SPOTLIGHT: Serge Ramelli and the Art of Photography

Notre-Dame, also called Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris"). Photo © 2019 Serge Ramelli. All rights reserved.

Serge Ramelli is the kind of photographer by whom a city can only pray to be captured. Using photography and software, he coaxes out the soul of his subject whether it be Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles. The artist gives us an insight into his process and some tips on how to achieve breathtaking results.

INDULGE: Each of your books focus on a city with a different appeal. What do you consider when deciding on what city/location to photograph?

SERGE: The architecture of the city, it’s past, it’s popularity. That is why I started with Paris and New York as they are so incredible, and everywhere there is something beautiful to photograph. It is then a matter of finding the right composition and the right light.

INDULGE: What would be some of the most basic tips you could provide for aspiring photographers in this IG culture?

SERGE: Find an interesting composition, look for a foreground element like a nice car, a tree, a person, a stone, whatever, to show from where you are looking, then find a great middle-ground like a monument and wait for a great sky that will be your background.

No matter how nice a place looks in a city in the afternoon, there’s a 99% chance it will look even better around sunset.

Take photos in what I call the magic 15 minutes window, that is right at the end of the sunset when the city lights turn on, then take photos for 15 – 30 minutes. Usually, later than that there is too much contrast and no more details in the sky.

INDULGE: Who or what inspires you/how do you find your muse?

SERGE: The photographer that inspires me the most is Erik Almas. I also love Ansel Adams, Scott Kelby and Joel Grimes. But cinema also inspires me a lot, the light in some movies is incredible. For example, I just watched the move, In search of Fellini on Netflix and every frame was incredible!

INDULGE: What are some of the cities you hope to capture in your forthcoming books?

SERGE: Rome, London, Tokyo, San Francisco.

— Ghalib Dhalla

Check out more on Serge Ramelli at and books at