On-Line Digital Photography Course
is jam-packed full of churches, and whether you find them
uplifting or insulting, there's no question that
architecturally, photographically and (why not) spiritually,
they offer many opportunities for reflection.
This rather bald-seeming
angel (as often happens with my self-portraits when there's a
particularly unsympathetic overhead light...) has a touching
uplifted gaze and is completely surrounded by the intricate
decoration of the doorway.
I often wonder about the
lives of those who created such creatures - I'd love to have
chatted with the sculptors responsible for the wonderful array
of phantasmagorical faces that graces the Pont Neuf, for
Can you imagine the hands
of the creator of this little character, gently caressing her
fine features and perhaps feeling a real emotion towards this
delicately crafted piece of stone?
The main thing I want
to show through this photo is how important it is to watch
all aspects of what is in the frame carefully.
this more global shot of the front of the church you can see
a particularly annoying grey metal wire cutting through the
angels when seen from ground level and capable of ruining
You could try and use
an image processing program to remove it later (which would
be a pain), or you could try walking around a little to see
if you can't improve the composition, but that line ain't
My solution was to look
for a composition which would allow me to avoid the line and
still produce something pleasing.
When I compared my shot
to those of my tour members, sure enough, there was the
thick grey cable in every shot. When they asked me why they
couldn't see the cable in my shot, as told them because
first of all I realised it was there in the first place, and
secondly, made sure it wasn't in my final view.
The same goes for the
classic horrendous rubbish bins, lampposts growing out of
heads and all manner of disasters. Keep your eyes open (and
move them around a bit too!).
Very often you can manipulate the composition and the
restrictions if you think about it. That's what I did here.
I wanted to take a shot of the angel but also to avoid that
awful wire at all cost.
I realised that if I zoomed in on the angel just above the
wire, placing her in the bottom right, I could then give her
lots of attractive celestial coloured blobs to be devotedly
gazing upwards into.
As with the principle
of giving people who are walking or riding some space to
move into, the same goes for gazes. As a general rule, it
makes sense to either give people some space within the
frame to look into, and if appropriate include the thing
they are looking at too.
Architectural shots often benefit from a bit of help
with the colours and contrast, as murky greys are
not the sexiest of subjects.
Here I cleaned things up to make the shot pop out
much more, while not really changing what you could
see with the naked eye, but which didn't come across
in the original image.
And anyway, what's wrong with a bit of divine
intervention from time to time!
- God is in the
details! Well, I don't believe that, but if you stop
looking at a boring old building as a whole and
concentrate on a detail you will often be surprised. An
amazingly decorative door knocker, an unexpected
sculpted face above the door, or a strange little figure
who holds the shutters open - it's all there if you look
- Take a global shot of a scene
without thinking about it much. Then count how many
horrible non-photographic items you've included - bins,
rubbish on the floor, street signs, unwanted people -
you'll find millions. Then ask yourself how you could
remove them from your shot.
Then comment on this
lesson with a link to your best result - we all want to see
- extraneous items
- keep your eyes open and always ask yourself - is there
any crap in my shot that I will regret afterwards... and
how can I eliminate it before taking the shot.
- composition - marry the
composition of your picture with the emotion emanating
from your subject. If the subject is looking up, well,
she would probably be happier with something to look at!
- post processing -
architecture almost always benefits from a bit of help
after the facts. Normally a few blips of contrast,
saturation and sharpness are all it needs
~ Comment on this lesson in the Photo Blog
lesson belongs to the following sections...
~ under development ~