Tag Archives: Architecture

18 – From the Garbage Can

Today at noon I went back to the park with the playground, mainly to get a perfect variant of an image I had already tried yesterday, and later at the way back to work I made some images of a red Ducati motorcycle, one of them quite good. After these about 30 minutes I was confident to have at least two or three good candidates, all of them in vivid colors.

I was wrong. In the evening, on my way home, I came by Gutenberggasse in Vienna’s 7th district. On the corner there was an open garbage can, one of the sort that are mounted on lamp posts. Normally they have a cover on top with only a small opening, but this one had the lid raised. I don’t know why, but somehow this attracted me, maybe because it looked different in a way. I put the camera on the garbage can, set the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 to 10mm/f.8, held my breath and clicked. It took two exposures to get a sharp one.

According to the terminology of yesterday, this is again a (3), a weird perspective. What makes the image for me are the curves of the garbage can and its lid.

17 – Not in Color

I had three short sessions today, one on my way to work, one at noon in a park with attached playground and one on my way home. I think I’m getting the hang of this ultra-wide business now.

Basically you can use these lenses for three purposes:

  1. getting more into the frame
  2. gaining an extra foreground
  3. creating weird perspectives

(1) is the straight-forward and somewhat naïve approach, (2) is the orthodox way and (3) can be interesting, creative or plain rubbish, whatever applies.

“14 – Yesterday is Here” was (1), “15 – Morning on the Mountain” in a way was (2) and this is definitely (3)!

This is the first B&W image here. I shot the image on my way home, the sky was not yet fully dark, the street lights had this strong orange tinge, and although orange vs blue makes for nice color depth, the color version did not work. The orange was too muddy brown, the blue too dark, thus I decided for high contrast B&W.

Technically this is the image with Photoshop’s automatic white balance, a color mixer of mostly green and blue applied, a levels adjustment layer for darkening the midtones and two curves for modelling contrast. No masks involved. Sharpening at the end.

Of course one curves layer would have sufficed, but this is my way of working. I prefer small changes, one step after the other, sometimes going back and adapting one of the curves, sometimes toning the effect of a layer down with the opacity slider, sometimes using masks or blending options to restrict the effect to certain areas.

I had no tripod, thus I rested the camera on the railing directly behind the bicycle and hoped that I could hold it steady for 2.5 seconds. A side effect of the way I held the camera was, that I could not see through the viewfinder. It took me five or six exposures to get what I was up to, mostly because I wanted some lines to finish themselves exactly in the corners.

11 – Crossing Time

It was a drab day in Vienna. Normally this does not prevent me from taking photographs, though it probably makes finding motives a bit harder. Not so today. I had no time at all, thus here we go with one from the archives. This is a door in Seidengasse, in Vienna’s 7th district, that’s where I live.

The atmosphere is a perfect match for today’s overall feeling. I have taken the image on October, 5th. I used the Sigma 30/1.4 wide open. I really love this lens as it is a “standard lens” on the D200, and it forces me to try harder on composition. Many of the images I take with this lens have somewhat strange angles and strong lines that frequently originate in corners. Actually the style I have at the moment in general, even with the Nikon 18-200 zoom, is strongly influenced by my working style with this lens. The images of the day numbers 8 and 10 are good examples.

What fascinates me in this image is the combination of Art Déco ornaments and Christian connotation. In fact it looks like a cross looming large above me, but at the same time, with the face at the center, it has a strangely heathen aspect. Along with the angle this makes for a disturbing quality.

5 – I am Reflecting About a Hotel

Funny, and I thought I wouldn’t have anything today. There were some images that probably would have been more spectacular, but for its simplicity and geometric quality I like this one a lot.

This is a new hotel, right opposite of where I work. While going for lunch I noticed the reflections on the facade, together with the already visible signs of weather. There was not much choice about composition, because to both sides there were traffic signs, but actually I like the juxtaposition of the group and the loner.

I have pushed contrast and color a little bit in Photoshop, but not too excessive.

3 – The House is On Parade

This is from last Thursday. I couldn’t find anything suitable today, thus I had to resort to the archives. This house entrance was so vivid in color that it reminded me of flags and parade uniforms.

Hmm … so far I really seem to fancy the color red 🙂

A week ago I finished Bryan Peterson’s book “Learning To See Creatively”. A wonderful book about photography from a man who seems to value nothing higher than rich, vivid colors. Well worth a read, because it made me hunt for colors like I never had done before.