The Light At The End OF The Tunnel?

March 18, 2021  •  1 Comment

Blog 21 03 19 Light at end of TunnelBlog 21 03 19 Light at end of 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?

 

Aesthetic choices.

 

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.

 

La Loi 

 

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: 

https://photothisandthat.co.uk/2012/02/15/the-french-privacy-law/

 

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.

 

Settings 

 

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm zoom f/2.8G ED

Focal Length: 56mm

Drive Mode: Single Shot

Aperture: f/8

Shutter Speed: 1/30s

Auto Focus-Area Mode: Continuous

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation: 0.0 EV

Metering: Pattern

ISO Sensitivity: 250

Format: Raw

Stabilised on Monopod

Time & Place : 2019, Venice, Italy.

 

Copyright Paul Grayson 2021 All Rights Reserved

 

 


Comments

Eric Bontemps(non-registered)
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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