Details

by Alan Godfrey January. 29, 2021 85 views

When exploring big cities with my camera, I can't help be drawn to the architecture of the buildings and structures that I am walking past.

There is certainly a time and place for a sweeping dramatic cityscape, a lively street scene, or a precise architectural image - but for me I find pleasure in the details and patterns that I see.

In some respects, taking these images and representing them as my own feels like cheating - since the artistry was all designed by someone else; but I still believe there is value, and pleasure, in drawing out a particular angle, form, or frame from the whole.

Blue on Blue, Window details on the CitizenM Tower of London hotel, Tower Hill

Blue on Blue, Window details on the CitizenM Tower of London hotel, Tower Hill

Sweeping, Roof details on the One World Trade Centre building, New York

Sweeping, Roof details on the One World Trade Centre building, New York

Stairway to Heaven, Balconies lining up on a central London apartment.

Stairway to Heaven, Balconies lining up on a central London apartment.

Bric-a-Brac, Exterior details of the Tate Modern, London

Bric-a-Brac, Exterior details of the Tate Modern, London

Diagonals, Exterior glass panels on The Cheesegrater, London

Diagonals, Exterior glass panels on The Cheesegrater, London

Sundial, Suspension bridge details, Tokyo, Japan

Sundial, Suspension bridge details, Tokyo, Japan

Hindsight

Part of the reason for doing this weekly blog is to force me to slow down and reflect on my images - why I like them, why I don't... what did I do well, what could I learn for next time.

In some respects, it's just good to remind myself how much I enjoy some of these images, so that I am reminded to look for further opportunities. They are odd in the sense that I didn't take them to attempt any great work of art, or as record shots for whatever trip or day out I was on - but purely for the enjoyment of the image.

The majority were taken with a 50mm prime lens, which strikes me as odd for this kind of thing! The lack of distortion and natural human view may work will with architecture designed to be viewed from the street by eye... however, it may be because, when exploring cities, a small prime lens is a better choice than a large zoom in most occasions - and I have likely cropped in quite a bit on some!

My settings are all over the shop across the images, and reflect in some way my own development as a photographer - getting slightly better at setting the camera correctly over time!

Most could have benefited from a lower shutter speed, for the benefit that it would have given to depth-of-field or ISO. Not that this is anything obviously wrong with the images as they are - but an observation that this was luck rather than judgement! It's actually rather a stand-out observation to note that if I had set the shutter speed to 1/focal length for each shot, I would have been able to set ISO 100, with an f-stop around f/8.0-11.0; so in all cases any lack of quality would have been entirely down to how I was using the camera!

Can't blame the tools then!

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