Tuesday, May 30, 2006

91 Queen Street

I was determined to take a picture on the weekend with the idea of posting it to this blog. It is not often I shoot with black and white in mind. The original of this shot had some interesting colour highlights with the blue of the sky visible through the ceiling. However, the monochrome conversion draws attention to the interesting semi-organic lines and hints of reflection. Hopefully the crop works too.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Abstract in Grey

One of the newer buildings in the CBD is the Brisbane Magistrates Court
. The structure is impressive, and so is the large artwork outside the front entrance on George Street. I particularly like the repetition of the pattern and the highly reflective grey surface generates interesting tones in the soft light of early morning (OM4, Tamron SP35-80 f2.8 towards the long end, f8, 1/125, HP5). Where different surfaces meet there is a slightly bevelled edge that provides a nice highlight, even though the whole sculpture is constructed of one material in one colour. The sculpture is located within a garden, so I decided to leave the tuft of grass in the bottom right of the frame. I am still not sure if the composition would be stronger without its inclusion — tell me what you think …

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

King George

It is surprising how many objects there are around Brisbane city that can serve as challenging photographic subjects. This large statue of King George on a horse stands outside City Hall. Not only does a dark bronze figure present a difficult subject in shadows of the early morning, but the King’s gaze from this angle gives an interesting viewpoint where I can almost image myself as a small child watching him pass by in a parade. This shot was taken with a zoom lens that often doesn’t get taken out of the bag (OM4, Tamron 35-80mm SP, f4, 1/125, handheld towards its longer end), but when it does it tends to surprise me with its degree of sharpness and contrast. After printing this in the darkroom (the wet one) last night and being able to dodge the bronze and burn in the clock tower, it has highlighted for me that there is much more detail in the deep shadows of the negative than my scanner (Canon MP760) is able to give up. I can see me making a few more attempts to capture different aspects of this subject, maybe next time I will experiment with a fill flash. I would love any comments or suggestions about how I might again approach this piece.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bronze texture

Two things had me out and about this week: my continued quest to reduce the grain in my negs and I was inspired to shoot with one of my "alternative" camera bodies - an Olympus OM40. The bronze statues in King George Square have long held my fascination. Each has great textured surfaces that range from highly polished to rough areas reflecting very little light. They are arranged so that they catch different light during the day and their different shapes means that when one is dull, another close by can be shining. The one shown here has almost slab sides and I love the way the finished produce shows the work that the artist put into the mould. The shot was taken with Ilford HP5 early morning using a "standard" Zuiko (50mm) lens stopped down to 5.6 at 1/60. Although this image has had the lightest of sharpening (but no other manipulation) after scanning (Canon MP760 at 1200dpi), I am really happy with its tone and the relative lack of grain compared with my earlier efforts (this one developed in Ilford DDX). There were some shots on the day that almost worked, but I will have to go back to reshoot those before I put them up ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Anne St Uniting Church

I have been trying to reduce the grain size and increase sharpness I have been realising in my prints. As part of my experimenting I loaded Ilford Delta 100 and took a different route to work. I tried to capture the early morning sun hitting the church spire to see if I could capture the tonal range (handheld, om4, 1/125, 128mm Tamron f2.8, Ilford DDX developer) - I had to shoot wide open to get the shutter speed required for hand-holding. The DDX and Delta 100 combination certainly seems to make a huge difference compared with what I was achieving before, I will now have to try the DDX with HP5. I would love to get some comments or hints about how to further improve ...