Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Re-visiting photographic subjects

click photo to enlarge
I while ago I posted a piece about the value of re-visiting photographic subjects, and talked about the variables that can come into play if you snap something the second (or third, or more) time around. When I visited photographic forums more than I do now (which is very rarely), I found that there were some photographers who knew and appreciated this, and others who seemed to see it as a failure of sorts if they weren't making images of new subjects in new ways. The fact is, it's impossibe to take the same photograph twice (even if we wanted to), and what we are doing is capturing a variation. If we do the job well, that variation will be as good as the previous effort(s) or better. I'm now in my third year of living in Lincolnshire and I find myself (as I did when I lived in the north-west of England) shooting variations on images I've taken before. I'm doing it with buildings, landscapes, flowers, and more.

Today's photograph of a sculpture-cum-seating-cum audio/visual installation called "The Sampler" at The Hub, Sleaford, is a case in point. In September 2008 I photographed it from a balcony at the top of the building. A couple of months ago I photographed it from ground level, at a time when it was in the process of being repainted. Yesterday I noticed the paint job had been completed, and was different from the original, so I thought I'd try another, slightly wider-angle shot, from above. As I began shooting I decided that the inclusion of people improved the image, and I composed variations with them at various points relative to the main, colourful shapes. Then, as I concentrated on my work, a thought occured to me. The repainting had introduced blue and orange as new colours, dispensed with yellow, increased the amount of red, and reduced the quantity of black. I don't know if the designer agreed to the new colour scheme - I doubt it - but I do think it isn't as effective as the original. Smaller amounts of strong colour worked much better when placed with black, and the whole effect is now more garish. Perhaps this is a photographic subject I won't be re-visiting again!

photograph & text (c) T.Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11mm (52mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On