Posts tagged “Urban Photography

An Old Complaint (Two Photographs)

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It used to be that the phrases “time is money” and the “customer is always right” had meaning. We didn’t toss things out that worked for other things just because they were shiner and newer. Clients were not made to work harder for a not quite the same result. Help lines and complaints were listened to and not downplayed. But as corporations grew, seeing innovation as a mark of progress and their clientele grew into large numbers, only the corporation’s time mattered, only the corporation’s concerns mattered and those who had problems became whispers in the dark talking to help centres that could do nothing but parrot the corporate line.

At the end of 2021 unless WordPress keeps the old editor I will end this blog. I have better things to do than rail at a windmill.


Local Art (Two Photographs)

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There has always been a rich array of public art where I live, these were taken pre-pandemic. Since the pandemic the growth has been exponential to the degree that many of the latest murals are reported in the local paper, giving due credit to the artists involved.


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) :).


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.


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.


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.


Natural Modern (Two Photographs)

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To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

It seems the city is always cutting down trees, and trees give life to the city. This tree trunk struck me as looking a bit like modern art. I faded out the background to emphasize the tree. This once taking the city away from the tree.


Shops (Two Photographs)

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Taken like the previous posts this week in Montreal. This time just a bit off “The Main” (St. Laurent Boulevard) but in the same neighbourhood, one very much in flux and increasingly popular. I keep saying I will do another part of Montreal, but this area is like a magnet.


Doorways (Two Photographs)

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Both taken in Montreal. Pulling out detail and using contrast has made these photos a bit gritty, reflecting how I remember the scene and neighbourhood. Once again hard to find straight lines for some shots like these.

P. S. Today is the start of the eighth year of this blog!


Wall Art (Two Photographs)

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These are two photographs I could not resist putting up. While I am doing a lot more black and white photography, colour has its allure. Both of these were taken in Montreal; the one of the food truck during the set up for a street fair.


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.


Waldman’s (Two Photographs)

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Waldman’s used to be a huge seafood retailer. The place to buy fish. But a lot has changed on the Main in Montreal. Still the shop has its own character, especially in Black and White. I think colour can overwhelm a photograph and hide some of the finer things that give scenes character.

 


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.


No Two People (Three Photographs)

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No two people see the same photograph the same way. Everyone has their perspective. Our objective as photographers is to make a photograph that has impact. But frankly even a widely applauded photograph will not appeal to all and they may be the most vocal. It’s another reason to make photographs for yourself.


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.


Don’t Look Up (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes looking up is amazing and capturing that feeling in a photograph isn’t difficult. I took a direct approach, making the near symmetry in each photo work for me. The sun coming over the top of the building was perfect.


Shadows (Two Photographs)

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These are the fun street photographs that are both simple but made interesting by shadows. Photographers often talk about the importance of the time of day, emphasizing sunrise or sunset. What you don’t hear enough about is the rest of day when the sun is angled making for interesting shadows.


Hieroglyphics (Three Photographs)

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I have no idea how these came about, or why people carry chalk, or carve in concrete. I’m just grateful they do for my pleasure and my camera. Simple things for a complex world. Meaningful or not just a wonder. Happy Holidays!

 


Sidewalk Chairs (Three Photographs)

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I am always surprised by what I find on the sidewalk. Over a few days I came across these chairs and thought they made a great series. You can see earlier posts this week as to how they were processed. I would add that the camera angles I chose were purposeful and intended to add a bit of oddity to the shots.


Antique Finds (Two Photographs)

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I took these shots with my Fuji XT-2 at an antique fair in an old barn. I have seen quite a few photographs like these, especially kitchenware in museum collectionssimple, detailed and concentrating on shape and form.


Almost Abstract (Three Photographs)

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I was not sure how to title this, but the results are almost abstract.  These photos illustrate an issue in photographic composition and the engagement of the audience’s eye. Simply put we are attracted to the brightest spot in a photo. Which is unfortunate if it’s not your subject. In these photographs my technique, besides knowing I could crop some of the brighter spots out, was to make sure my subject was front and centre. Sometimes you have to use more complex techniques in Photoshop, but the approach I have used worked well for me here.


Details (Three Photographs)

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Intimate urban landscape is not quite street photography or architecture, it‘s those quirky little things you see in the corners and down the alleys of the city. For me its a matter of seeing things in a way that is unique. I enjoy showing these to people who pass the same spot and never noticed.