I had dropped my bags grabbed some supper and my wide angle lens and went to explore how this area of Athens was going to photograph. I had walked down a fairly commercial street filled with American stores and I came smack up against this beauty. When a building starts to fall down the Athenians put these upper railings/deflector walls I think to prevent the pedestrians below from getting clunked on the head. It was a building of such character and my eye got pulled down the alley to the right to continue my exploration.
The Glass Museum in Tacoma has been built in an older area of Tacoma that is dominated by railway tracks and old warehouses. This image is taken from the same pedestrian walkway bridge as the previous picture looking off to the south. I loved the contrast of the modern curving stainless steel with the old square brick warehouse. And yet our past has something to tell us about our present as the modern building is reflected in the windows of the old building. The contrast of the steel-blue reflections with the red brick wall increases visual interest and moves the eye around the frame. I processed this with Nik HDR to bring out the texture and colour of the brick. The problem that I see with this photo is that I blew out the highlights in the middle of the sky.
It may seem odd to have a photo essay about the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington without any pictures of glass but in the next three posts I want to focus on the architecture of the buildings and it’s neighbourhood. The large conical building that houses the glass blowing gallery/workspace dominates the area with its textures and sharp geometric presence. The stark rhombus shaped stainless steel patterns contrast with the more organic circular form of the tower itself. In the first picture above I positioned myself on the bridge walkway so that the triangular wedge would cut across the cone, providing I hope, some visual tension in the image. I was also please with the way that all of these harsh geometric shapes and textures contrast with the soft shapes and textures of the clouds in the background. I pushed the processing of the textures of the clouds in Nik Silver Efex Pro so that they would be more obvious. The camera in the far right of the frame, and all that it implies provides an interesting counterpoint to the world that is illustrated in the next image in this series. Available in a few days.
Finding new perspectives in architectural photography can really yield some striking and compelling images. Usually I get stuck working from a low point of view looking up. This time, however, I noticed the very striking lines and forms of the open atrium tower of our hotel in Panama City. I leaned over the balcony as far as I dared, opened up to as wide a focal length as I was able, tried to get everything square and snapped the photo. The extremely wide angle lens helps to emphasize the compression of the image at the vanishing point. Every line in the image pulls you down to the point at the middle of the frame and you feel as though you could fall into the picture. Line and form where so important in this image that it had to be in black and white. Even though the hardwood floors of the balconies on the right were a rich red the colour only really distracted from the power of the image.
My wife and I were wandering through the old city of Casco Viejo in Panama City and my eye was caught by this old building. I think the thing that first struck me was the ragged outline of the roof against the skyline. The overhanging roofs of the neighbouring buildings help to build the sense of compression that the wide angle lens establishes by pulling in the edges of the frame. After I took the image I pulled it in to Nik HDR Efex Pro. HDR Efex Pro is a piece of software that is intended to produce HDR like images from a single RAW frame without having to take 3 or more frames. (If you are interested in HDR check out this tutorial.) I hadn’t really used HDR Efex before and I was impressed with the results of some of the more subtle treatments. If pulled out the detail in the overhanging eaves of the neighbouring buildings and and added real punch to the texture of the image. Below is the image without the HDR Efex treatment.