Monday, October 26, 2009

Project 26

Triangles, easily found, not so easily framed as a simple triangles.  Roof lines provide the most obvious candidates and plenty exist close by to my house, however, I wanted to head into the city as I would need a fairly tall building to achieve the converging verticals composition.  Heading into the city centre I found the following shape in the Hofgarten, it is a conical cover for a fountain to protect it from the snow and ice in the upcoming winter.  It looks like a medieval flying saucer.  I chose to centre the shape in the frame and by hiding the edges of the lower cone focus attention on the upper cone as my triangular shape.  I also used a med-range telephoto to try and preserve the regular outline of the cone.

135mm f/2, f/2, 1/800s, ISO 400

For converging verticals I switched to my 24-105mm wide angle zoom and hunted down the tallest building in the city centre, in this case the city cathedral, one previous bishop of which now has a somewhat better job in Rome.  The extremely long windows on the side are better viewed from the interior of the cathederal, but provided a good pair of converging lines.  I would have preferred to have used a wider angle 17mm lens for this subject, but I did not have it with me at this time.  This image also suffers from barrel distortion, typical in a wide angle zoom lens, I could have corrected this in Photoshop, but chose to leave it in this image as it illustrates one of the challenges in producing such extreme angle photograhs

24-105mm f/4, 24mm, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 200

An alternative image is the following, which I took a month ago as part of another project, this one uses the wide end of a 17-40mm lens to really exaggerate the perspective:

17-40mm, 17mm, f/4, f/11, 1/60s, ISO 100

The final element of the real triangles, perspective with the point at the bottom was more of a challenge.  The easiest way to produce such an image would be to go to the top of a high building and point the camera down, reversing the effect of the two previous images.  The problem was that I don't have easy access to the top of a high building.  However, there are other ways of achieving this effect with a camera, the one I chose took advantage of my new present to myself, a 24mm tilt shift lens.  I bought this as I want to start creating quality images of Munich's many landmark buildings and want to avoid exactly the subject of this project, converging lines.  A lens that straightens lines, can be reversed and used to the exact opposite effect.  By pointing my camera up and pushing the tilt/shift as far down as possible I obtained the following reverse perspective image, fun, but not a great photo

24mm TS-E, f/11, 1/45s, ISO 100

Using the same lens, but correctly applying the shift to straighten the verticals, this is what that image should have looked like (taken from almost the same location with the same focal length):

I did have one other idea for this reverse perspective that came to me whilst standing on the station platform, just photograph my shoes, my legs become the inverted triangle

24-105mm f/4, 85mm, f/4, 1/30s, ISO 1600

Moving to the implied triangles created by still life to group photography.  For the still life component I thought I would go with a photographic theme and photograph part of my lens collection, mixing shapes and sizes to create a triangular composition.  I used a light tent and used a pair of fluorescent desk lamps for illumination, hence the long exposures.  I used a wide angle for the shots to force the perspective and selected a look down angle using my tripod.  Here are the two images:

17-40mm f/4, 33mm, f/11, 0.7s, ISO 100

17-40mm, 36mm, f/11, 2s, ISO 100

I used two different exposures more than an eV apart, the brighter image is better.  For the final image I took advantage of a visit to two great friends, who only 13 days ago brought Clara into their lives.  We have always been close, my wife even helped to deliver Clara, so this was a special moment for me, as it was the first time I had seen her. I also took their wedding photos and was present the day they met.

I have to admit that the grouping could have been better and that focus is not perfect, but it is such a happy photo, and the triangle is there even if it is rather an acute one.  We have already made arrangements to do a session with the three of them to create some formal portraits.  I have cropped this very close to emphasize the grouping and to correct for very poor framing in the first place.  When I have a better image I will post it to this blog

24-105mm f/4, 80mm, f/4, 1/60, ISO 100 - with bounce flash

Looking through the textbook several photographs utilize triangles as structural elements, these caught my attention:

75 - the girls legs form a triangle as she pulls her stockings up
91 - This may not be the intent, but whenever I look at this image by Don McCullin I am drwan from his eyes to the barrel of the gun, creating a triangle of fear and violence
96 - This image contains many different forms, but the most obvious are the tirangle formed by the models legs and the circle of her arms around her body
97 - This image by Ansel Adams has a series of repeating triangles formed by the end of the stakes that make up the picket fence

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