On-Line Digital Photography Course
Question Of Balance"
is full of these strange buildings that look like extremely thin
tall wedges of camembert, and I often wonder what it must be
like to be in one of those little rooms way up high hemmed in
between the windows at an angle of about 30˚.
This one inhabits a corner, if we can grace it with that name (a
spike would be more appropriate), on one of my favourite
crossroads, the Carrefour de Buci, in between the Latin
Quarter and St. Germain des Prés. This is
It's a weird building,
and although that can't carry the photo in itself, it's a
good starting point. How many pics have you seen where the
subject either doesn't exist or is primordially boring? A
What is vital with something like this is not to lose the
reason it's interesting in the first place. A badly composed
shot stemming from a poorly chosen vantage point can
completely negate what you can see with the naked eye.
Don't forget when you
take the shot that your eyes don't have four little lines
called the frame chopping everything else out of the
picture. Which is why you sometimes see people holding their
hands up in a little rectangular shape and looking through
them. It can seem a bit precious but has a real practical
The easiest way of
emphasising something long and thin is to make sure you use
a portrait composition, not landscape, and you can even make
it narrower later if you want to increase this effect.
keep an eye open for complementary effects or elements.
Here, there are balancing bits of red from the awnings on
both sides which stabilise the image. These are crowned by
identical lamps which also add interest.
I could have tried to
make the shot perfectly symmetrical: almost a mirror image
if you drew a line down the middle from top to bottom (apart
from the words, of course). But this only works sometimes,
and can seem a little artificial, so I went for the slightly
shot was pretty dull, so I bumped everything up a bit,
which has added some texture to the wall in the form of
the peeling paint or erosion in particular. The sky is
mind-blowingly boring, but never mind - a stunning
deeply saturated blue backdrop with puffy white clouds
added later just wouldn't have been honest. In the end
this is just a simple shot of a typically curious
Parisian building and nothing more. But taken straight
on, rather than grovelling around on the ground on my
knees it would have been much less.
- The angle
chosen is vital when taking pictures of buildings.
Experiment with a curiously shaped building you like,
taking some shots straight on and others at wacky angles
and see which you like best.
- Play with the effect of those
vertical lines zooming away into the distance - the
closer in you get and the more you tilt your lens in
relation to the face of the building, the more
exaggerated this effect will be.
- Try to add an external element
to give the building itself some context, such as a lone
lamppost or bird flying past.
Then comment on this
lesson with a link to your best result - we all want to see
value - starting with an unusual subject is a great
way to start!
- composition - match the
composition to the subject, or contrast them, but don't
forget about it
- post-processing - some
subjects need bumping up, and boring, monotone,
textureless grey buildings often fall into this category
~ Comment on this lesson in the Photo Blog
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