Posts tagged “Urban Landscape

More Windows More Detail (Three Photographs)

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I don’t think it makes any difference shooting in colour or black and white when it comes to urban detail, it’s a matter of preference. The graffiti is probably long gone, the junction box cleaned  and now coated in municipal art. The fleeting nature of the urban landscape is another thing that makes photos like these unique. When you read about emerging artists doing fine art photography or compositing, I think it’s their imagination and the uniqueness of their work that propels them into the spotlight. The urban landscape offers opportunity often missed by photographers.

Hand of Man (Two Photographs)

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In nature photography there are those who like their photos to be taken in a natural setting, the expression used is without “hand of man”. Still life and many other forms depend on the hand of man, even if it is unintentional and/or not influenced by the photographer. The language of art and photography can be complex and confusing, which is one reason why art is a language of its own. Clearly the most important thing about art is that it either speaks to you or it does not, and the hand of man has little to do with that. So in nature when we speak about “hand of man” it‘s more about our skill in getting natural photographs, the challenge of the hunt and capture. The photographs here are of some plantings on a street, something to spruce up the concrete jungle, clearly hand of man.

Thinking (Three Photographs)

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While I don’t hesitate to take shots of things that interest me, I do like to think through where the shot might go both in camera and in processing. I was once told that the definition of a professional photographer is that they know exactly what the outcome will be. In that regard I think imagination is one thing and reality is another. And while I think through what I do I am not beholden to a fixed outcome. Professionals have clients they have to please, the rest of us have our own ideals to live up to. These photos took some time in camera (number of shots to get what I wanted) and then more time in processing to flesh out my thinking.

Better Elsewhere (Two Photographs)

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At one time or another we all have that feeling that our photography would be better if we were somewhere exotic and different. I can vouch for the fact that travel is a boon for photography. When you walk the same streets everyday and it becomes mundane we don’t see the interesting or changing detail. I have taken to choosing a few neighborhoods and walking them several times in search of something that catches my eye. I also use prime lenses, shoot in black and white, and decide as I process the shots to go with the B&W or color. It may be the act of taking them in black and white that helps, it certainly is interesting, and I do see new things and new approaches.

Stairs and Windows (Five Photographs)

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I was walking down this well-walked street of old mansions trying to get clear photos of the elements I was I interested in. I got a few odd looks; somehow I seemed more interesting than what I was shooting. People take things for granted. The reflections in the windows against the stark architecture looked like abstract paintings. At some point I may just focus on windows. These photos took more time than most to process, if only because there were many options on how to approach them. It took me some time to decide on how much detail, contrast, and the amount of color filtering to correct color casts.





Stairs and Steps (Four Photographs)

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Doors, windows, stairs and steps, all everyday things that involve some form of transition. All are interesting to photograph anywhere in the world; they have character, detail and texture. I am sure many people walk right by and never see them, they aren’t landmarks, but they are important elements of their neighborhoods and as cities evolve these elements are often what we lose. A note for WordPress readers: These photos are in portrait mode, a format that has always been an issue on the WordPress Reader. That said I will format my work as I think best.




Times Change

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Cities are not static, they change; commerce changes and even major name stores go out of business. Montrealers might recognize this as a former Steinberg’s grocery store (and yes I put the apostrophe back just to be politically incorrect). This background will be meaningless to most who see this photograph, which opens up an interesting area for discussion. I contend that even if a photograph tells a story it may not be the same for everyone; the photograph needs to stand on its own with its own internal story of color, texture and composition. If I am successful my photo is of interest to two audiences: those who know the history and those who do not. Either way I will have succeeded and be very pleased.

Just Another Wall (and a new Gallery)

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I am an avid reader of everything photographic; I take a lot of it with a grain of salt, especially when the aim is to sell something. Many articles write about what to do if you cannot think of anything to photograph. It’s often described like writer’s block. I think many of the suggestions to cure the problem are excellent like going for a walk and taking pictures of anything of a specific color, or a photo every twenty feet. Photography is about seeing things and being curious and some days you will see nothing worth the effort. Photographs are inspired, something catches our eye and we work with it. That is not going to happen every day. Some days we just hit a wall.

More fun with Black and White

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This scene caught my eye while my wife and I were walking downtown. I had to wait for two women to inch their way through the scene, as well as some other distractions to move along before I could get this shot. I thought about using more aggressive perspective adjustments on the photograph but it caught my fancy as it is. Like most things, it’s a little off kilter.

Intimate Urban Landscapes

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Long ago I was told to pay attention to details. In the details I would find compositions and that in my frame I had control of the elements. To make the case we walked through the streets taking pictures of details. It remains one of my favorite types of photography, especially in a new city.

Here you see some art on a building in Montreal dating back to the sixties if not earlier. The picture was taken some years ago. I know many people who walked or drove by and never noticed it, or if they did it was a road marker in their mental map.

We have a tendency to take what we see around us for granted and the longer we remain in one place and the more familiar it is and the more unobservant we get. Honing our senses to overcome that means when we do venture somewhere new we see so much more.

Something worth thinking about when you take your camera out and get frustrated when you do not see anything worth photographing.

Almost Mondarian

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This photograph is one of series of photographs of numbers in an urban context.

You can view the rest at Rakmil Photography

A Modernist Park


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Suburban Gothic


This photograph is one of series of eight photographs.

You can view the rest at Rakmil Photography

Feel free to browse my other galleries!

A Nod to Nature


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A Modest Car


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Odd Man Out


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School Yard


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Window Shopping


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Not Another Brick in the Wall


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Seems Like Yesterday


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Signs of Popular Culture


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This photograph is one of series of ten photographs of doorways in Ottawa.

You can view the rest at Rakmil Photography

Please feel free to comment



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