Saturday, August 29, 2009

750th post

click photos to enlarge
I just noticed that yesterday's post was a small milestone - the 750th PhotoReflect post. Add the 60 posts under the PhotoQuoto heading and that makes 810 posts since December 2005. All of which begs the question, "How many more posts will I make?" Recently I've had the feeling that I may be drawing to a conclusion with the present format, or that perhaps I need a new direction. Well, we'll see.

Today's pair of photographs show a couple of contrasting buildings with slightly different photographic approaches. The first is a piece of Victorian showmanship from 1856 by the Lincoln architects, Bellamy & Hardy. Corn Exchanges in England are often wilfully odd and awkward looking buildings that take enormous liberties with the Classical vocabulary. Hull's is relatively sedate in comparison with many, and, its original purpose long past, is now part of a museum. For this image I stood in the narrow High Street, positioned myself at the centre of the building, pointed the camera up, and took this symmetrical shot which echoes the symmetry of the structure.

The second photograph is a detail of the corner of the north facade of Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, a work of the 1720s by Sir John Vanbrugh. It is also a strictly symmetrical design, and in my earlier photograph of a detail of the centre of the building I acknowledged this. However, in this image I was looking for balanced asymmetry, and so placed the pair of heavy columns slightly off-centre (though with one in the centre anchoring the composition), and included the angular cornice-line and sky, as well as the differing windows, as elements of imbalance.

Perhaps it's because of my interest in painting, architecture and architectural drawing (see yesterday's post), but representing buildings with strongly converging verticals doesn't come naturally to me. It's always seemed to me to be a convention exclusive to photography - which I suppose it is! When I'm photographing architecture I find myself aiming for shots that keep the verticals properly upright, and only after I've done that do I look for shots of this sort.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Image 1 (Image 2)
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (11) (32mm (22mm)/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1 (5.6)
Shutter Speed: 1/320 (1/500)
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 (-1.3) EV
Image Stabilisation: On