Sunday, October 09, 2011

New perspectives on familiar subjects

click photo to enlarge
It occurs to me that the title of today's post states one of the aims of most enthusiast and professional photographers. It is still possible to find subjects that haven't been photographed before, or haven't been photographed very often. But, photographers number in their millions, photographs in their billions, and inevitably most of the things that you and I point a camera at have been subjected to photography before. Consequently we daily try to see our familiar subjects in a different way from the way they've been seen before.

There are two ways of achieving this goal. You can set about the task consciously, adjusting your viewpoint, focal length, time of day, weather or any of the other variables that you can deliberately manipulate. Or, you seize the moment when serendipity offers you the opportunity of a less usual kind of image. On my Thames-side walks from Rotherhithe into the centre of London I've taken more than a few shots of Tower Bridge, a structure that says "London" to the world. Most of them have been ordinary, unexceptional, cliched, hackneyed, boringly familiar - choose your own description. I've posted only two of my images that have the bridge as the main subject - one from a less familiar location, and the other a deliberate attempt at a "different" kind of portrayal.

A couple of days ago I seized the moment when a shaft of late afternoon sunlight illuminated the bridge and made it positively glow against the dark clouds and deep shadows, and I thought this serendipitously taken shot, though not unique, was unusual enough to post.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On