Candles_Notre Dame_Paris

Close up of lit candles in Notre Dame Cathedral Paris, FranceCanon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 105mm. Exposure Details: 1/10 second @ f5 ISO 400.

You'll agree this is a pretty straight forward picture. The image was made at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The fact is we often want to photograph subject matter that is not overly complicated. How then do we make that subject matter into an interesting composition and embed into it a sense of mood or drama?

In the case of the picture above the candles were neatly positioned in rows on a stand inside the cathedral. The first thing I did was to move in and concentrate attention on an a smaller groups of candles. I then positioned my camera so that the pattern formed between the lines of candles was evident. The pattern is formed by the positioning of the candles and the spaces between them. The repletion of pattern within the greater scene was emphasised and a sense of symmetry revealed. Repetition and pattern are design elements that help make sense of images by brining a sense of order and cohesion to the composition.

I was careful to concentrate my framing and the camera's focus on a set of candles that seemed to burn particularly brightly. I emphasised this area by employing Adobe Lightroom 3 to darken the surrounding candles and, thereby, further draw the eye in towards the centre of the frame.

So this image, while it utilises candles within a religious setting, is really about order, cohesion and luminosity.

An alternative approach would have been to use order and cohesion, together with light, composition, framing and vignetting to suggest the sense of order and calm some people find within a structured religious organisation. This was not my intention. Nevertheless, it does point to the power of art to influence the masses. Religion and advertising are masters in the area of influence. And both have used art to influence the masses.

I'd love to read any comments you like to make relating to this post.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved
Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru