Last Tango in Paris

August 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Last Tango in ParisLast Tango in ParisA group of dancers under the Eiffel Tower dancing the Tango at midnight.

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

This photo is a perfect example of the expression of Cartier-Bresson's quote. It was midnight in early April, with only street lights illuminating the park next to the Eiffel Tower.  Tango music streamed from portable speakers, and the highly trained dancers felt the rhythm. It was magical . . . and our last night in Paris, ending our entire European vacation. My camera had two shots remaining on the memory card.  And no backup.  I ran to the back of the landing and, with my back to the wall, raised my camera and saw the dreaded number 1/15.  That's right, it was the best possible shutter speed, even with a high ISO. Fearing the music and incredible scene would soon end, I felt I had to shoot. Waiting a few moments until the dancers were positioned the way I wanted, I held my breath and pressed the shutter.  

Even with great lighting, plenty of time to prepare my strategy for the photo, and even a better camera, I doubt this photo could have been much improved. The reason is simple: it was captured from a mixture of emotion arising from the moment, a sense of awe, a vision and perhaps some luck.  This photo is my Last Tango in Paris.

~db

 

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