On-Line Digital Photography Course
Be A Moana, Eiffel!"
world's most famous picture and the world's most famous
building, side by side, for Paris Set Me Free viewers'
delectation - now don't say I never do anything for you...
Sorry about the ragged
sticky tape and rather dishevelled appearance of said icons. Not
my fault. Out of my hands.
Still, Lady Lisa doesn't
seem too put out by her somewhat undignified predicament, and as
for Mona Eiffel, she's bashfully hiding her nether regions
behind a convenient awning and we can only presume she's not too
Symbols & Icons
of the best ways of giving a sense of place to a photo is to
include some well known aspect of the city, and in this shot
there are two of them.
We immediately know (or
can strongly suppose) that we are in Paris, although we are
seeing a less than glamorous version of the originals. But
that's actually the point. Most people in the world will
have seen the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower far more often
in pictures than in real life, and often those pictures play
with the facts quite blatantly.
Paris you can buy postcards showing the Mona Lisa depicted
in a multitude of ways, from wearing a moustache to dressed
as a punk with safety pins through her nose, not forgetting
her passable imitation of Queen Elizabeth II or even Miss
Piggy. What on earth would Leonardo have thought?
Irony plays its part
here also. For two such revered monuments to be slapped up and
now peeling off in this disrespectful manner next to some grotty
old tape, trying to attract your attention to a tacky gift shop
is a pleasing contrast in itself.
is also another great advert for 'looking up' as you wander
around. There are so
many gems to be spotted just above (and just below) eye level, I
wouldn't know where to begin describing them to you.
Particularly in cities
where lots of people are living in close proximity to one
another, and space is at a premium, the human race has a
tendency to get creative and do strange things with the little
living area they have. Walls are decorated on the fly and weird
objects are hung willy nilly from balconies and window frames.
Paris is particularly
rich in 'official' graffiti which is often very impressive, as
well as a great deal of unofficial stuff which has sometimes
resulted in the artists becoming well known and even
acknowledged, if not recognised, by the establishment, such as
Miss.Tic, which must hurt
them a bit.
Then comment on this
lesson in the
Photo Blog with a link to your best result - we all want to see
- Look for any representations of
famous buildings or people or art in a new or unusual
setting. Try to get them to interact with their
environment somehow. A poster peeling off a wall is a
- Be aware of little contrasts
between things you see and how they might want to be
seen. A well-off person avoiding a down-and-out, for
- A challenge: go out shooting
and only take pictures of things above eye level. You'll
be surprised by the results.
- symbols &
icons - include them in your pictures to give them a
sense of place without having to say anything - people
will have something to recognise and identify with and
say 'Oh, I bet that's in Paris...' (or wherever)
- irony - it's everywhere,
and once-glossy now-tattered posters of yesterday's
happenings are as great source
- looking up - in Paris
I'd almost say there are more interesting things above
eye-level than at it. Strangely, we are conditioned, or
perhaps programmed, to walk around looking straight
ahead. This is fine I suppose if we are concerned about
imminent attack from head on,
or just not getting run over by a
tram. But although we turn our heads from side to side
continuously, looking up doesn't have much use in every
day life. In city photographic life, it's vital.
~ Comment on this lesson in the Photo Blog