This photo is, in many ways, quite similar to another one I posted last year called Control. Both pictures are looking upwards at structures, both have a building on the left-hand side, and both have something sticking out of the building that you, the viewer, are supposed to focus on. I think on some kind of subconscious level that original picture informed my choice of composition and framing here, which goes back to what this blog is all about in the first place: helping me learn to be a better photographer. And often that means taking other ideas, even ones that I have had before, and not just learning from them but using them to change how I see other photo opportunities in the present day. (A good example of this is the REMIXD blog that a former student of mine set up with one of his friends where they essentially re-take photos in a new light after learning more about photography. It’s pretty cool.)
I’ve said before that a 50mm lens on a crop sensor camera is not the best for architecture pictures, and while I still stand by that assertion I am coming to realize that there are some situations in which it can be useful. This image of a crane, for instance, would not really be possible with a wider lens because the building would fill more of the frame and the crane itself would be more of an afterthought or a footnote in the overall composition. As is illustrated here, a 50mm lens on a crop camera lets you see architecture in a more limited manner but that can also mean that you have to learn to emphasize different things in the photo.
What makes this picture a bit more interesting, in my opinion, is that there is a clear sense of motion because of the wind causing the straps hanging from the crane hook to blow around a bit. It almost seems like they’re dancing, though of course that bit of personification would be utterly silly :) Compare it to this picture taken a few seconds earlier though:
It’s the exact same image, but without the wind everything seems so dull, lifeless, and (worst of all) just plain uninteresting. While I certainly wasn’t planning on using the wind to make a point about adding a sense of motion to your photographs, I kind of like the lesson that I was left with when it was all said and done.
You certainly made the right choice using the shot with the dancing ribbons. It changes the photo from an industrial one to a whimsical one.
Thank you Rebecca, and I like your choice of words with “whimsical.” I couldn’t think of that on my own, but it perfectly encapsulates the feeling I was going for in this picture :)
Incredibly sharp details. Your Nikon 50mm is performing admirably. I like how the movement of the straps gives “life” to an otherwise stationary situation. You contrasted this photo with one taken a few moments earlier when there was no wind moving the straps. The difference in the two photos is striking. Hmmm…..something else to file away — can we use nature to assist us in getting a more creative capture of a scene? Definitely so!!!!
Thank you for the lesson, Simon.
Thank you for your comments, David! They are much appreciated as always :) I wasn’t really planning on using nature to assist me in a more creative scene, and to be honest I was a little annoyed with how windy things were at the time but in retrospect I am quite pleased with how things turned out. It’s another reminder to try to find ways of turning challenges and problems into opportunities :)
Have a good weekend!
Awesome photo and discussion here, Mr. Ringsmuth. I really enjoy your ReMIX of your older shot, too. The added effect of motion is something I’ve tried exploring in some of my own photos. There’s a dynamic there that you’ve captured really well.
Also – thanks for the shoutout! We’ve been slacking a bit lately since life’s gotten in the way, but we’re hoping to get back on track soon.
Thanks Tim! I enjoy the pics you post on your blog too, and who knows…one of these days I might just pick up my own Full Frame camera too :)
One thing most people don’t realize about W50 is all the posts are scheduled 4-5 weeks in advance. As I type this I have posts ready to go for the next five Wednesdays, which are published automatically at 1am CST. This really helps me out when things around here get in the way of blogging (which often happens with two kids and a full-time job). I don’t know if your WordPress hosting allows you to do that, but I just wanted to pass on the tip since it sure has helped me.
Keep up the good work with your photos! I always enjoy reading your blog and getting inspiration from your pictures.