I don’t normally use my blog to shout about my own photographic achievements, but I thought this one deserved a mention. Two weeks ago this photo took the top spot on 500px; no mean feat considering the intense competition from all the landscapes and fashion images which generally have more mass appeal. Agreed it was only for a couple of hours at most, but it made it!
Although I have done some editing to eliminate reflections from the glass in the window, most of the work was done when taking the shot. I often have to move around to adjust the reflection to my liking, sometimes to include it, sometimes not.
The building I was photographing here was a fairly boring, almost brutalist style concrete structure. Here I have focussed my composition on a section of the structure, just as the concrete protrusions were casting shadows, all perfectly in line with the windows.
The day I first visited this location, there were two problems. The first one was that it was a working day, and there was too much activity to feel comfortable about taking the shot, particularly as the only suitable position was in their private car park. the second problem was the sun was behind me, so I was getting far too much reflection from the steel walls and glass. Thankfully I was able to return the following morning, which was a Saturday, and the sun was in front of me!
Same idea, different city!
Most of my minimal images are straight on shots, or are straightened in post processing. Occasionally though, I can’t get near enough without getting lens distortion, so the fallback is to shoot at an angle.
I often mention in my blogs about how I try to avoid distracting objects like streetlights and trees. Well, in this example, without the streetlight it would have been plain boring. Sometimes a bit of distraction is good, sometimes it is essential!
I have been asked more than once why there is no shadow on the window. Well, if you look closely there is, but it is very faint. Why would that be when the shadow on the wall is so strong? I guess it is all about the timing.
The beauty of abstract work is that the viewer can see what they like. Someone commented that this image looked like a piano keyboard. I never saw this until they commented, now I can’t get it out of my head!
Isn’t it great to be able to wander around industrial estates when the sun is shining! Much better than those boring country walks with nothing to see but lakes, valleys, trees and grass. I much prefer steel walls, security lighting, conduit and rivets!
Compare this to an image posted by my WP friend Melinda Green Harvey last week. It is a different composition, but taken from almost the same spot in San Antonio, Texas, no more than two weeks apart. Now, I believe Melinda lives in Texas, but considering Texas is 3 times the size of England where I live, this is quite a coincidence. It really is a small world!
Sometimes converting images to black and white works, sometimes not. in this case I had little choice, as the steel structure was very monochrome. In fact, going back to the unedited file, I can’t tell if I ever converted it, although there may have been a slight cyan cast in the shadows.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and followers!
I had just spent a few hours wandering the city streets for inspiration and I was on my way back to my hotel when I spotted this image. The first problem was I was driving along a highway so had to take the next exit, and then back to the location. The second problem was, trying to find a suitable place to stop as the location was right next to a highway exit. Having driven around a few times, I did find somewhere to stop, but then there was the third problem, finding somewhere to stand to compose my photo!
I just love how composition in photography can be used to position two otherwise unrelated objects to form a pleasing minimalist composition. The ‘incomplete’ grille, and the darkness beyond the opening add intrigue.
As a rule I dress down when wandering the city streets in search of good photographic subjects. I try not to look like a tourist, or that I am carrying around expensive camera gear. When I was asked last week by two homeless people if I was going to the (homeless) mission, I realised my deception was working!
If had been paying more attention at the time, I would have made a mental note of what the orange thing was in that window. As it was, and as it usually is, I was paying more attention to composition and to finding the right spot to take the photo. Now I am curious and must go back when I am next in that city!
This may look like part of an industrial building, but in fact this was residential. Thankfully the sun was so bright that the residents had closed their blinds, otherwise I feel the scene would have been ruined, at least from a minimal photography perspective.
This was the first attempt at capturing this image, and really liked it. However, the wall was in shade, so I decided I needed to go back when the light would be casting a shadow. The time I calculated to be best was 7.30am, so the next day I crawled out of my bed and trekked the 2 miles to the scene. My calculations were correct, as light was casting a shadow, but the shadow was uneven and very displeasing to look at, so I stuck with my first image.
Well, certainly in minimal photography it is anyway. This wall was otherwise a random mix of shapes, colours and textures, but some close cropping brings the composition, for me, to life.
This is one of those rare images where I have re-visited a location to take further photographs. I was not happy with the first attempt. Thankfully was back in the city a year later, and actually remembered where the building was!
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am normally trying to avoid streetlights. Sometimes, however they do contribute very well to the composition, and no more so than in this image.
Find your way out of this one!
While this wall was very interesting to me as a minimalist photographer, I felt it needed something else to lift it . I tried including some some of the wall’s windows, but that didn’t seem to work. Finally, I decided to include some of the roof security fencing, which to my eyes contrasted nicely with the wall and the Californian blue sky in the background.
I tried various crops of this photo, including with and without the ‘circle’ in the bottom left corner. Normally I would have cropped it out, but somehow the remaining image didn’t seem as balanced as when I left it in.
I am a real sucker for ‘I can see a face’ images. This one I ‘found’ on a fairly uneventful stroll around a dull and grey city. Thankfully the bricks on the wall were white, which nicely contrasted with the blue of the door and vents.
A lone tree tries to fight its way out of the urban jungle.
It is difficult to know how far to go with minimalism. Taking out too much detail can lead to blandness, whilst leaving in the detail can be distracting. In this image the intent was to see just how much detail I could remove to keep visual interest. For me this works, the essential part of the image being slight imperfections in the wall to compliment the simple composition.
It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that architects will go to in making a drab walls look interesting. This was the side of an industrial building, away from public gaze and, to the best of my knowledge, the pattern did not serve any practical purpose other than to please the eye.
The red frame was to let you know where to enter.
More often than not I am trying to avoid trees and other street ‘obstacles’ in order to get a clean view of my intended subject. Not here. The sun was at a perfect angle, with the ‘on parade’ trees bathed in brightness, providing superb contrast with the shaded wall.
Ferris wheels as tourist attractions are becoming a common site in many cities around the world . This is a reflection of the one in downtown Atlanta, the distortions in the reflective glass making it look quite surrreal. Fortunately I caught the light at the right time!
This was another one of those board games that the aliens taught me when I was abducted. Like the previous one, I have forgotten how to play, so if anyone has the instructions, please let me know!
Much to the disappointment of my wife, like the vast majority of men I know I do not enjoy shopping, unless it is for cameras or electronics of course! I would sooner be outside the shop taking photographs, as in this particular case.
This says, ‘To all of you who visited my exhibition in Horsforth today, thank you very much!’
When I am in a city, I often meet and converse with fellow photographers, but never do I see any when wandering around industrial estates at the weekend, as those of you who read my blog reglulary know I do. I was therefore wondering if this was an unhealthy obsession of mine?
I often feature shadows in my images. Maybe my fascination with deep shadows is because they are a rarity here in the UK. Thankfully I get to travel to countries where the sun is not such a mysterious object in the sky.
The title doesn’t refer to my mental state, although there are some who would agree. No, the title is in reference to the ‘incomplete’ window in this image. Often in minimal compositions it is better not include the whole subject in a frame, to add intrigue and emphasise the abstraction.
This image is part of a series of images featuring that ever popular subject of ventilation grilles, which is a subset of my Industrial Minimalism series. I think I spend an unhealthy amount of time at the weekends wandering around deserted industrial estates!