Architecture

Postcard (Two Photographs)

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There several ways to make your photographs of monuments look original but it’s always a good idea to take a postcard approach as well (they are just as difficult). The photo is of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.


Walls and Patterns (Two Photographs)

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Patterns are really interesting ideas for photography; they can be seen everywhere from flowers to walls. On my walk about with my camera, patterns sometimes seem to jump out of the confusion of the city.


Awesome (Two Photographs)

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Building owners are always looking for good pictures of their buildings be they drawings or photos. There certainly are many ways of making even the meanest of buildings impressive, usually this involves avoiding shooting ugly surroundings, choosing a particular perspective, or framing a part of the whole.


Concrete and Flora (Two Photographs)

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Here minimalism is taken up a notch to add in trees and foliage. In my view it is no less stark, no less dramatic and makes for some interesting photography. There are many varieties of photography and I urge people I know to try new things, it can’t hurt.


Looking Up (Two Photographs)

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There is a photographic saying that you should look up, down and around and you may be surprised by what you see. Walking the streets with a camera requires a real wandering eye. I look for the unexpected, something different and am often surprised when I see it.


Stairs (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes the shadows catch your eye. I find it takes more than one shot to get the framing right and even then I fiddle with the crop to capture the idea. Often I will bracket exposures and use Photoshop’s HDR function to meld the results, giving me even more latitude.


An Abstract of an Abstraction (Two Photographs)

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Twist 1.5 was crafted by Alex Wyse and Ken Gould in 1978, and it has weathered many a storm in its outdoor location since then. These shots were almost inside the sculpture itself, to reflect the detail and working of the wood. Just a piece of the whole on a day when the kids weren’t playing on or in it.


A Matter of Taste (Three Photographs)

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I like these shots or I would not publish them. One of the lessons I have learned in photography, is that no two people see things the same way or have the same aesthetic appreciation. I don’t expect everyone to choose their favourite among the three shots. I do hope, however, that one or more of these will have something in it for all (I call this the photographer’s prayer) :).


Another Take on the Museum (Two Photographs)

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Most museums that permit photography do so with some caveats (no tripods, avoid photos of modern works etc.). I would note that many museums are themselves architectural works of art worthy of study.


Light and Shadow (Two Photographs)

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A photographer once told me given the right lighting anything can be made to look great. There have been many instances where I would agree that lighting has made all the difference, but frankly I kind of like a pleasant subject as well as good light. But it is worth remembering what he said when you are faced with a challenge.


Working (Three Photographs)

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“They call them works of art for a reason.” This is my umpteenth time trying to get shots of this unique doorway and in these three photos I may have succeeded. My point, however, is that photography is seen by many as simply pressing a button, while in reality many photographers put considerable effort into every shot they take.


Dali-esque (Two Photographs)

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I mentioned earlier my criteria for the legitimacy of taking photos of the works of other artists (signed or unsigned). Here I took a piece of the whole that reminded me of Dali’s work. Photographers can learn a lot from other art forms and mimic the light, general ideas, and moods. It’s almost a must in one’s photographic education. 


Distortion (Two Photographs)

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There are three types of distortion in photography that I think are of interest: lenses often have distortion (there is usually an in camera or post-processing fix that can easily be made); whenever we photograph glass there is a high incidence of distortion; and finally there is creative distortion in where you position yourself. You can take advantage of these distortions. These photos, while the focus is on the reflection, also benefit from other distortions of the glass and lens position.


Old is New (Two Photographs)

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I have photographed this window before and it has appeared on my blog before. Sometimes an urban subject is such that I return to it again and again, hoping to get just a touch better result that better illustrates my fascination.


Objets Trouve´ (Two Photographs)

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I often think of a collection I once saw in a museum of found items (objets trouve´). The exhibit was of photos, drawings and paintings of objects found in the streets. The idea behind the show has stuck with me and that’s the best thing you can say about any exhibit.


Stoops (Two Photographs)

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I often wish I had a stoop to sit on. A place where I could sit and watch the world go by. When I was abroad I used to find places I could stand or sit a while and get great shots. Staying in one place long enough you could become almost invisible. But not in our more modern cities where everyone is suspicious, cautious and wary, the guy on the stoop stands out.


Sunlight (Two Photographs)

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You read that midday sun is the worst for photography, but I am a fan of the harsher shadows and interesting skies. Light is light after all. Learning to use it to best advantage is an important part of photography.


Museums (Three Photographs)

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Museums are a gift to photographers:

  1. Sometimes they inadvertently do comedy (note first photograph entitled Sculpture in Box – its been boxed for shipment)
  2. They usually have amazing architecture
  3. You can learn lighting from the Old Masters, e.g. the Dutch Masters


Half a Window (Two Photographs)

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From a distance I saw this tattered, flaky old window and the shapes of things inside. If it drew my attention, I thought that perhaps it might equally engage the interest of others. (Isn’t that what photography is all about?)


Modern Perspectives (Two Photographs)

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These were taken in the National Gallery of Canada, a magnificent building. The first is done with a dutch tilt. Like the rule of thirds it is one of many standards taught in some photography schools and highly rated in some photography clubs. I believe there is a time and a place for these techniques but they are infrequent. The second photograph tries a textured layered approach to what is a gallery and staircase. Another approach I would use sparingly.


Red and Brown (Two Photographs)

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I posted these awhile ago in black and white. I have decided the colour is also worth putting on the blog. I used red and brown in the title but it could have been burnt sienna or rust or a hundred other obscure names in the red, brown and orange group of colours.  When someone tells me what colour something is I am always tempted to ask what shade. Have you seen how many colours there are in the Pantone catalogue… But in the photos it was the abstract nature of the bricks and colour that drew me to them.


Urban (Two Photographs)

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My urban photography is not per se landscape photography, it’s what some photographers call intimate landscape photography. The idea is you single out and frame interesting elements of the urban environment, in the case of the doorway some soft focus helped show the transient nature of a blank wall in today’s cities.


Brick (Three Photographs)

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I find patterns in brick interesting and I have shot a few series showing off some of these more intimate bits of the urban environment. In this case all three are in black and white ensuring the detail of the designs are front and centre. The colour versions will follow as they are part of the series, but they convey an entirely different story.


Hard Edges (Two Photographs)

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The camera and computer add sharpening, we can add more when we edit and the photo gets sharpened once more when it leaves the post processing software. Too much of it leads to halos or white outlines around objects. Three solutions: do no sharpening or do less of it, paint the outlines away or follow some of the more complicated  tutorials on the web. I usually go back and try minimizing the sharpening but I will paint away outlines if all else fails. Fortunately these photos had no unusual problems.