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Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 1 September 2008 in Abstract & Conceptual and Portfolio.

Given the location of my recent photos there's no prizes for those of you who have guessed that this particular tricolour flag is the French one.

This one is atop The Palace of Chaillot at the Trocadero and faces the Eiffel Tower.

NIKON D40 1/2500 second F/5.6 ISO 200 127 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Kylie Greenan from Richmond, Australia

Amazing light and detail Ian!

1 Sep 2008 6:12am

@Kylie Greenan: Thanks was one of those days of heavy clouds with periods when the sun came out for a just few minutes from time to time providing great contrasts.

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

A stunning shot with a great composition. Maybe I would have cropped only a little bit more (especially on the left side) as I find the little dark patch in the clouds (upper left side) a bit disturbing for the eye...

1 Sep 2008 7:16am

@Mirko Herzner: Thanks're right about the small dark patch (it was blue sky) but I'd already cropped this image as far as I wanted in order to get the flagpole properly central. Looking at jkjond's suggestion below, cloning would have worked. Sometimes when you are working on images on your own it's easy to miss the obvious things like this.

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

Super shot with great gravity to it. I agree that I might cut out that little dip of black sky in the upper third of the left side. But I love the strength of the image and how you've placed the flag in the overall composition.

1 Sep 2008 11:25am

@GJC: Thanks GJC....the patch of darkness looks wrong as Mirko pointed out. I'll clone it out if I get the time to re-process this one sometime.

Re the composition comment - Just to be safe I actually took photos with the flagpole to the left and to the right hand side as well as quite a few like this in the middle. As I suspected the central compositions all looked better. The biggest variable was the flag itself (I ended up with quite a few shots where the flag was either not extended or in the wrong position in the swirling wind)

jkjond from Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom

I certainly wouldn't crop anything - the balance to the lower part is strong as is, you'd end up having to crop three sides, then reprocess the entire sky to get back to the fantastic mood you have here.

I'd duplicate the layer, then set phasers to stun (clone tool on 'lighten' with ink flow at about 10-20%) then scribble the dark bit down a few tones - maybe completely. Flick between the two layers to compare and no doubt conclude that it would be best to use 100% flow.

You get away with moydah when cloning clouds.

1 Sep 2008 12:14pm

@jkjond: Thanks for the suggestion John....I'd already cropped this one slightly to the top and left sides in order to get the flagpole exactly central and didn't want to crop it any more. I should have thought of cloning it out.

(by the way CS3's B&W Converter was incredibly useful in getting separation of tones in the 3 colours of the flag)

IanSmith from London, United Kingdom

I love the drama of this shot Ian... The flag and clouds work perfectly together - but the building maybe a little too dark? I can see this being used on a movie poster/DVD cover - subject to property release of course ;o) Well done.

1 Sep 2008 12:28pm

@IanSmith: Thanks Ian! needs a bit more work in post processing selective areas of the image. It's a funny thing about the building. I took quite a few different variations of this photo while I was there. The majority didn't have the building in the composition as I thought at the time that it was a distraction - it was only once I saw the photos on a larger screen that I realised that the building was important in order to give scale to the image as a whole.

Paolo from Udine, Italy

a little bit "classic" and predictale (oh well, when I was there I didn't take this particular photo) but very well taken. If I was a french I'd ask the Légion d'honneur for you


1 Sep 2008 1:14pm

@Paolo: Hi Paolo.....I always try for the 'classic' photo if I get a chance as it's such a great way to learn more about photographic composition. This photo looked great in colour but I thought it was much more interesting with the colour (and obvious nationality) removed by converting it to B&W.

The flag as a potent symbol of patriotism is what I found interesting rather than anything especially French.

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

Nice composition. The sky looks menacing and the way the flag is whipping about makes for a powerful image.

1 Sep 2008 2:06pm

@Laurie: Thanks Laurie....I learnt some new things about composition whilst taking (and processing) this photo.

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

A perfect light that reminds of heroic moments in silent movies.

1 Sep 2008 3:50pm

@MadScientist: Thanks!

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Strong and solemn! Admire how you've approached the subject in such a simple and straightforward manner; yet the result is so effective... excellent Ian!!

1 Sep 2008 4:25pm

@hugo poon: Thanks Hugo!....I hope you had a good break.

daniel kurniawan from solo, Indonesia

wow.. for me it`s hard to compose a photo for BW, but not for you ian.. wonderfull!

1 Sep 2008 6:03pm

1/2500 second
ISO 200
127 mm (35mm equiv.)