The Light At The End OF The Tunnel?
Another topical moment arose, just as I prepared to write this blog, because France just announced yet another month of “Le Confinement”. My mood chose this image as a symbol of mixed feelings: where are we headed? How long must we go on? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
The small, disappearing, figure of the young woman silhouetted in the entrance/exit to the alley seems symbolic of our vulnerabilities during this long journey into the unknown. Are we even sure of whether she is coming or going? Is she entering the light, or leaving it? Does this journey have to be lonely? Will she be alright?
I am driven by a number of visual “tics” which never fail to inspire me. It is an additional pleasure when several of these “tics” line up with one another, as in this one image, which combines my love of: silhouettes, stark perspectives, the built environment and architectural detail. Others are: graphic shapes, shadows, the night; water and abstracts. You can see many examples of these in the galleries of this website.
At first, my decision to photograph people in silhouette was a necessity, driven by draconian French laws on personal privacy and the right to protect use of a person’s image. Absent very limited journalistic exceptions, it is forbidden to sell any image of an identifiable person without their permission and, unless a photographer uses models under contract, or harasses uncomprehending passers-by to sign releases, photographing in urban environments can be commercially problematic.
It is a complex topic. Here is a 2012 article on the subject by my fellow NUJ photo-journalist Nigel Dickinson:
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
This necessity gradually became a preference, as I enjoyed the both the technical challenge and the resultant visual impact of creating anonymous stories. Conscious of the anonymity rule, I have to exercise the kind of patience exemplified by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who would habitually wait at an aesthetically suitable spot until happenstance completed the desired effect by producing a brief appearance by a passer-by.
Finally, shadows create a timeless mood, perfect for capturing a little of the essence of a corner of La Serenissima.
Camera: Nikon D850
Lens: AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm zoom f/2.8G ED
Focal Length: 56mm
Drive Mode: Single Shot
Shutter Speed: 1/30s
Auto Focus-Area Mode: Continuous
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation: 0.0 EV
ISO Sensitivity: 250
Stabilised on Monopod
Time & Place : 2019, Venice, Italy.
Copyright Paul Grayson 2021 All Rights Reserved
J'aurais voulu la faire ! En plus à Venise qui est dans mon top 3 des villes mondiales. J'adore la silhouette, la perspective, la ruelle. Et toujours ces tonalités chaudes que j'apprécie particulièrement. .A big number of visual “tics” I love.
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