Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Sun Finally Came out ...

And I could continue with my ideas around Assignment 2.  I am increasingly drawn to the theme

"Once.  There were Trees!"

The basic idea being to use modern glass, concrete, and Steel buildings to contrast with the shapes and forms of trees.  I will avoid directly imaging the tree, capturing either it's shadow, reflection, or silhouette created by light coming from the building.  The trees appear as ghosts in an artificial place where once stood other trees, long destroyed to make way for the inexorable spread of the modern city.

The challenge is to do this creatively and to capture the 4 different image types needed by the brief.  I have waited for sunshine as I wanted the extra light to drive up the contrast and create stronger reflections/shadows.

I am still working with the immediate confines of my city division, gradually building a visual knowledge of my immediate surroundings.  Today I started with shadows, not easy to find:

The first image shows the corrugated surface of an escape staircase from an underground highway, with the faint tracery of tree shadow.  The second image below is a more conventional shot of trees shadowing an office block.

Moving into an area dominated by glass, my first reflection shot is a crazy mosaic of crane and tree, created by a series of rectangular windows that have been angled to reflect the Sun and keep the building cool:

Very strange, but it does something for me.  The next photograph is more conventional, although containing many layers of information.  The tree reflection is very complete and almost appears to grow inside the building.  The challenge for this and the last shot is to understand what you are looking at, although solving that puzzle is part of the viewing challenge.

The final 6 images are more conventional tree reflected in glass studies, in each case taking care to frame the image using the elements of the building.

I am currently using a 70-300mm zoom tele for these images, versatile and fairly compact, I really like this new lens from Canon.  I am finding that I must use long focal lengths as I am confronted with two challenges in making these shots.  First of all I want to eliminate the actual tree from the shot, all I want to see is the reflection or shadow, this means I need to shoot through the trees requiring a fairly narrow viewing angle.  Secondly I can take photographs of private buildings providing I remain on public land, i.e. the pavement, so having some extra reach is handy.  On the weekend when there are fewer people about I may take a look with a wide angle and get closer into the buildings, however, I need to ensure that I stay out of the frame.

The irony of this thematic approach is that my statement on the destruction of trees to make way for buildings is difficult to do because the bloody trees are in the way.

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