Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Silo demolition

Back in my film days, I spent a fair amount of time photographing buildings in the process of being demolished. Here’s another example.

Notice the difference between the two shots. The subject is the same; the only change is the camera angle. The shot above was taken from a nearby overpass, and the shot below was taken from ground level. Note how the two images look and feel different.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

State Drive-In

Ah, those sweet summer nights at the drive-in. Bad food. Warm beer. Awful audio. Barely visible screens (at least until the sun went all the way down). Sigh.

The State was the one we all went to when I was a kid. Many years ago they closed it up and tore it down. But I got some shots of the sign before it vanished.

The photo presents some shot composition lessons, but for this week I’m going to let the teaching slide and just appreciate it for what it is.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wells Overlook

Nikon D3000, 50mm fixed, 1/1000, f/18, ISO 1600, edited

Another photo expedition, this time to Wells Overlook just south of Lawrence. The landscape naturally suggested a panoramic photo, so I shot a series of 30 or so pictures and combined them in Photoshop. I didn’t have a tripod with me, and the uneven frames shot by hand cost me a bit on the top and bottom. But with the jagged edges cropped away, the pan looks fine. As usual with extra wide photos, it will look better if you click on the image to enlarge it.

Rain fell for most of the morning, and it had let up less than an hour earlier. The haze was still fairly thick, which you can clearly see in the photo. Compare the vivid greens of the trees in the foreground with the faded greys that almost blend into the sky along the horizon. Normally I’m not a big fan of haze, but here it gives the image a pleasant sense of depth.

Of course I could have eliminated some of the murk by adjusting the input levels, as I’ve done with this photo:

Nikon D7000, 55mm (18-55), 1/320, f/9, ISO 100, cropped and adjusted

You can see KU in the background and a hawk of the non-jay variety riding the drafts toward the top.

For the record, this is what the overlook tower looks like:

Nikon D7000, 20mm (18-55), 1/250, f/8, ISO 125

And by coincidence, I shot exactly 61 photos with both cameras. Weird.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Liberty Memorial

Nikon D7000, 130mm (75-300), 1/640, f/6.3, ISO 200

The Sketchbook staff were at the Liberty Memorial last week. The main target was Union Station, but we also noticed some workers cleaning up some of the bas relief sculpture.

The lesson here is a question of shot composition. Compare the “best shot” above with other framing options made possible by a 75-300mm zoom lens.

The next shot provides the best detail on the worker, but it doesn’t supply much context. The drama in the scene is how high the scaffold dangles above the ground. This shot does nothing to show the height.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 400

The next one’s a little better. The detail on the sculpture is good. Still, it doesn’t look all that high up.

Nikon D7000, 175mm (75-300), 1/1600, f/5.3, ISO 400

Of all the shots in the set, this last one puts the most distance between the scaffold and the bottom of the shot. But here it’s almost too much. The stairs at the bottom confuse the space, making it hard to judge the height. And the worker is now too small a part of the overall composition.

Nikon D7000, 75mm (75-300), 1/640, f/6.3, ISO 200