Friday, March 4, 2011


As I progress with B&W, I notice that the quality of light in shadows and their shape are frequently defining features of an image.  In colour photography, this is less so as colour has a much greater role of delineating space within the frame.  Some photographers, such as Peter Schloer take this to extremes, images being defined by the shadow more than the light.  To experiment with this idea I headed down to the Friedensengel about an hour before sunset to look at and capture the development of shadows.  The light was not as strong as I expected, some low lying trees were casting shadows and causing some diffusion, however, I was able to explore some of the ideas.

The first photograph I have worked on is similar to one from a week or so ago, the lamp against the stone work.  This time I have adjusted my position to better isolate the lamp and tried to involve greater contrasts of light and dark

This has clearly not worked, the composition is clumsy (hand held camera this time) and the shadowing is confusing.  The trees are interfering with what should be clean shadows from the stonework.  The next photograph works better, it is very simple, but I have managed to capture detail in the shadow that informs about the rest of the structure without actually showing it.  The blacks at the base of the picture are too dark in this JPG version, however, the RAW still has good detail and I think this would print well from a 16 bit TIFF conversion.

The next image, is better, less shadow, but more structure, this time created by the glancing sun light illuminating the edges of the stone work.  I was really attempting to define the shadows, however, this works well in a different way.

Next I very deliberately take advantage of the shadows cast by the trees and have tried to build a composition that uses the stone and shadow together.  This is another image that brings to mind some of my thoughts about using evidence of trees to imply their presence within an urban space.

Moving around a little this shot is more dominated by the shadows and less by the stone work.

My final image from this shoot, is not about shadow, rather an attempt to place the Friedensengel within its own environment, technically it is a glorified traffic island, completely surrounded by very busy roads.

I am treating this location as a photographic playground, being only 15 minutes walk from home it is well positioned for me to access and try out different ideas.  I don't think I will use any of these images as part of my assignment, but each is helping me to build my experience and personal aesthetic in B&W.

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