On The Clock: 5 seconds for a portrait • 5 secondes chrono pour un portrait – Paris, Musée d’Orsay

May 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

 

[Français ci-dessous]

A window of opportunity - small in time, large in size and potential. I enjoyed seizing it for an impromptu environmental portrait.
Une "fenêtre d'opportunité" - petite en temps, grande en taille et potentiel. J'ai été heureux de la saisir pour un portrait in-situ improvisé.

Eva On The Clock - Paris, Musée d'OrsayEva On The Clock - Paris, Musée d'Orsay

Paris’ Musée d’Orsay is a fascinating place, not only for the treasures on display, including some of the Impressionists’ most famous paintings, but also for its architecture. Many of the features of the beautifully converted train station were preserved, including the two monumental clocks on the 5th floor. Both are freely accessible; one is the end of the café/restaurant, the other (used here) in a hall.

Unsurprisingly, the spot is heaving with tourists, and getting a clear shot takes patience and a bit of luck. A wide angle lens, 24mm or wider, is advisable – necessary if you want to capture the whole dial. As contrast is high between the moderately lit interior and the outside, exposing for highlights is key to avoid burning the beautiful view on the Montmartre hill, which would be a shame. Shooting RAW with a high dynamic range camera will help recover details in the shade (unless you are adept of gunning for hand-held HDR…)

Le Musée d’Orsay à Paris est un endroit fascinant, non seulement pour les trésors qu’il expose et qui ont fait sa renommée (en particulier sa collection inégalée des Impressionnistes), mais aussi pour son architecture. De nombreux éléments de cette ancienne gare superbement convertie ont été préservés, y compris ses deux horloges monumentales au 5ème étage. Les deux sont accessibles – l’une à l’extrémité du café/restaurant du musée, l’autre (utilisée ici) dans un hall menant à des salles d’exposition.

Il n’est pas surprenant qu’un lieu aussi magique grouille de touristes en permanence, et en avoir une vue dégagée demande beaucoup de patience et un peu de chance. Un objectif grand angle (24mm ou plus large) est conseillé – et même nécessaire pour prendre le cadrant dans son intégralité. Le hall est faiblement éclairé, essentiellement par la lumière naturelle venant de l’extérieur, et exposer pour les hautes lumières est fondamental pour éviter de « bruler » l’extérieur et la vue sur la colline de Montmartre – ce qui serait dommage… Photographier en RAW avec un appareil proposant une plage dynamique large permet de récupérer des détails dans les ombres (l’alternative serait le HDR, mais à main levée ce n’est pas évident).

I was visiting the museum with Eva, and we seized a 5 second "clear" window of opportunity to create this evocative environmental portrait… The “window” then closed, and the scene went right back to its typical state:

Je visitais le musée avec Eva, nous avons saisi une fenêtre d’opportunité de 5 secondes pour créer ce portait.
5 secondes plus tard, la fenêtre se refermait, et la scène retournait à son état typique :

Musée d'Orsay, ParisMusée d'Orsay, Paris

Incidentally, I wish the museum would clean the clock’s glass more often… doing it in Photoshop is a bit tedious 😉

A propos, ce serait bien que le musée fasse les vitres de l’horloge plus souvent – les nettoyer avec Photoshop est assez fastidieux 😉

More to come, stay tuned! A suivre !


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