Architecture

Juxtaposition (Two Photographs)

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Juxtaposition can sometimes be all you need to tell as story; it’s a form of contrast. Here we have an old Totem Pole on an island in the Ottawa River and in the background Government Buildings in Gatineau, Quebec. It certainly says more than some of the temporary exhibits on the history of Canada installed for Canada’s 150th Anniversary.


Modernist Pueblo Style (Two Photographs)

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I have taken a number of urban walks looking for interesting subjects and then thinking about the processing. There are several famous black and white photos of the South Western Pueblos (native communities). Given the age of those photos I doubt one could find a film to replicate the feel. But as I was taking these photographs it struck me that I might be able to duplicate that effect by tweaking the contrast and detail.


Doorways (Three Photographs)

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Like many photographers, I have been taking photographs of doorways for a long time. The fascination lies not just in what is beyond the threshold but also in the stories they tell. An old pub with its now forgotten rules, an avant-garde shop, and the embellishment of an apartment doorway tell stories.


Urban Brutalism (Three Photographs)

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Every modern city has in its practical and efficient modern architecture, some element of brutal minimalism. You can add fancy lamps and benches, but it’s still minimally finished steel and concrete. Acidic critique aside, getting photos of this type to have impact is an art. They can help to clarify thinking about light, leading lines, the use of shadows, contrast, mid tones and highlights. Margaret-Bourke White took the photo for the cover of Life Magazine’s first issue; it was from a story about a dam. You can see it here: Bourke Photo. I was given a copy of that magazine many years ago and that cover photo is something that I am reminded of often. It is both brutalist and beautiful.


Modern Reflection (Two Photographs)

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Taking photos of reflections in modern buildings of older buildings, in this case the Canadian Parliament, are frequent favorites of urban photographers. Mixing the old with the new, leading lines, foreground and background interest are all elements worth thinking about when doing one of the types of architectural photographs.


Two Murals (Two Photographs)

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When it comes to prime lenses, the angle of view of a 24mm lens makes it one of my favorites. It gives a lot of room for maneuver. In an urban environment you capture great things in a tight space. Landscape photography is another great use of the lens. These were taken on a cold overcast day when I just wanted to test my new 16mm Fuji lens (which has the same angle of view as a full frame 24mm lens). There is nothing to dislike about this lens. Many kit lens are 18mm at their widest and it’s the least used element of the lens. Besides allowing you to shoot quite close, it’s a great exercise to force yourself to use an unusual focal length. Wide-angle lenses are a great tool to make sure your photos have context and framing.


Dynamic (Two Photographs)

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The statue is called Joy and it sits on a street that was long ago turned into a mall. The construction and for rent signs are only two of the obstacles to shoot around, during the weekday this downtown venue is packed, evenings and weekends not so much. It’s a space that it is hard to get clear shots. The statue is almost lost in those distractions so I chose a perspective that gave it some dynamism. The color version underline the issues I was trying to avoid and the black and white just works, but that’s my view.