Posts tagged “Architecture Photography

What’s It Worth? (Two Photographs)

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I have always wondered why some of the world’s most expensive modern photographs were worth the price. The photographs in this post mimic one such photograph. In an art gallery on seeing a photograph valued in the low six figures, I asked the gallery owner why it was so expensive. I was told it’s not the photo alone that sets the price but the fact that it was printed on special paper with special inks. And while some papers and some inks make a difference I could not see it making that much of difference. Some things are just bluff.


Formats (Two Photographs)

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Besides deciding to shoot in portrait or landscape format, we have to decide what format to cut the photo down to e.g. 8×10, or 4×5. There may be a number of factors at play over and above the subject matter. But the one trap is filling the frame in camera in such a way that you cannot format the photograph in post production, the subject fills the screen. I make this mistake every so often and the portrait shot here is one case of that.


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.


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.


Allegory (Two Photographs)

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These are photos of elements of the Arthur Erickson extension to the Bank of Canada (it used to be publicly accessible but no longer). I think the photos make a great allegory for the state of the world economy and its complexity.


Black and White City (Two Photographs)

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Black and white photography has as many styles and options as colour photography. Here I have done a photograph with a bit of dutch tilt (not something I am prone to using but it works here). The second photograph is a reminder of those old photographs of the forties with a lot of contrast. I must say the totem pole hidden behind tree and more visible by its shadow struck me as unusual. The photo was edited to remove signage.


Straight No.2 (Two Photographs).

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In Monday’s post I complained about the lack of straight lines. I have decided to give up and go with what I saw. These are the back windows of a hotel in broad daylight.  The results of the light, shadows and clouds is abstract and compelling. I am not sure that this works quite as well in colour.


Straight (Two Photographs)

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I think these photographs acknowledge that the concept of a straight line is in the eye of the beholder. It is the one of the most annoying things about processing urban photography, there are no straight lines. And while many photography courses remind you to keep your horizons straight, it is clearly not always easy.


Modern 1 (Two Photographs)

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I was reading up on on black and white photography and one of the suggestions was that modern buildings make great black and white subjects. In another article I read how to make them more abstract. This is my take on the two suggestions.


A Trick or Two (Three Photographs)

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The black and white was developed from a saturated and strong contrast 5 shot HDR (the last photo in this series). I used a green filter, worked the contrast and the details. The more muted colour version is the result of desaturation, contrast and a white balance fix of the original HDR. In other words a more saturated original can help in the black and white process, and you can still pull out a good colour version if needed.


Steel and Concrete (Two Photographs)

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More from Montreal. In the first, the sun ray tool in Luminar worked out very well. Kudos to architects that try to make concrete and glass somewhat more friendly. However, for the photographer who has to work around tethered bikes, garbage cans and other elements of the urban jungle, it’s hard to get a clean view. It forces you to use strange angles and crops.


Edwardian Houses (Two Photographs)

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The object here was to take some urban shots, experiment with colour filters and work with detail to get some dramatic architectural shots. These are from my last trip to Montreal.

 


There is no such thing as straight line! (Two Photographs)

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One of the advantages of high-end processing programs like Photoshop is that you have many tools to straighten your lines and horizon. One of the downsides of high-end processing programs like Photoshop is that you can spend all day with the transform tools and be only slightly better off. Now I am not an expert but I am finding few straight lines in my urban photographs. Sure I give it a try in post-processing and I find more tools and techniques all the time, but frankly this is the most time-consuming element of processing some urban photos. When I find a tool that works for me I will pass the info straight along.


Architecture (Three Photographs)

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Photographs like these give me an opportunity to bring out detail, working with shadows and light. The subject may be static but you get to choose the direction from which to shoot, and that makes all the difference. These photos were taken in Montreal.


Why? (Three Photographs)

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I was in a camera store chatting with some friends in front of and behind the counter. Beside us a man was showing off some photographs to another person. We overheard “why did you take that? Which sort of stopped the conversation I was part of. There was no reply as the man moved onto another photograph. In my view that is the kind of question a teacher asks a student. Most of us take photographs of things that interest us and that should be obvious. There are better questions to ask.


Symmetry (Three Photographs)

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Montreal is know for its outdoor stairs. With the Fuji I tend to fill the frame and leave little room for cropping. It’s something I need to be more aware of. It does not really hurt my photographs but it would be nice to have that option of a bit more in the frame.  When you have just a bit more space to work with, straight lines are easier and more creative cropping is possible.


Juxtaposition (Three Photographs)

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It often strikes me walking down a street that the less than perfect public spaces are more interesting than the contrived or planned ones. For the photographer who still sees interesting shape and form in the latter, it takes more effort in choosing what is in the frame to make it stand out.


Montreal Windows (Two Photographs)

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Photographs like these are taking me longer and longer to process as I struggle with perspectives (it would nice if things started out a bit straighter). And of course contrast, and how to deploy it is also challenging. It’s worth it for the results.


Montreal Buildings (Two Photographs)

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I am very pleased with both of these shots, the details show in the staircases; the tonality shows the contrast between new and old. The slight tilt adds impact. It takes a while but when you can predict the final outcome, photography is a lot more fun.


Old Mansion, Montreal (Two Photographs)

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Magnificent in mono or colour. This is one of those cases where either you want leading lines to focus on the door making it the focus, or on the stonework and edifice as much as the door. In this case either works and it depends on your preference for colour or black and white. The choice is yours.


Spaceship (Two Photographs)

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The black and white is the final product though the colour version has its appeal. The idea for the photo hit me when I was experimenting with a wide-angle lens. Lenses in the 10-35mm range allow for creativity in perspective, angle of view etc. A little known fact is that you can focus quite close with most wide-angle lenses. The standard wide-angle is 24mm, for street photography 35mm. With a 20mm and down the exaggerated optics become more obvious. By the way the photo is of a skylight in a modern building.