Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reflecting on reflections

click photo to enlarge
Today's photograph brings together two Peterborough buildings that I've featured before. One is the determinedly modern and reflective offices of a firm of solicitors (lawyers), and the other is a large, brick building, full of fine, simple details, a former teacher training college of 1856-64 by the eminent Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott.

I suppose it's quite natural for a photographer to be fascinated by reflections. After all, the art of photography is, in part, making a permanent reflection of the world using a camera. A photograph of the sort I've posted today could be seen as a reflection of a reflection. One of the reasons architects use mirror glass is to reflect the surroundings in their creation and thereby better "anchor" the structure in its setting. Sometimes it's to acknowledge or respect an adjacent building. That would seem to be the motivation behind the glass wall shown in one of my earliest blog posts. At other times the reflective glass is used to visually lighten the building, to reduce its apparent mass. And then there are times when the mirroring seeks to retain the actual light in the locality, ameliorating the shadows and gloom that a new, big building can bring to its neighbours.

The modern building is a good example of this kind of structure. Though only a modest four storeys it graces its location. I particularly like the faceted bays that reach from the ground to the top of the elevations, and the way they are turned into two storey oriels where the building fronts the major road. The paving, trees, grass and ivy ground-cover that takes up quite a lot of the site works well with the building and enhances this part of the road. My photograph shows part of the side elevation facing the side of Peterscourt, and contrasts the modern materials of the new building with the traditional bricks and tiles of its neighbour. It was good to find that the architects wrapped their reflective glazing around the building and didn't, as many still do, concentrate their spending at the front.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On