Assignment 42 - If You Build It...
Architectural photography...not my strong suit. Add to it the fact that Mahwah doesn't have a ton of new or historical buildings (that was the brief), and I was a bit stumped. Doug was out with some friends one Friday night, so I headed to Mahwah's municipal building to see if it was photo worthy. I also wanted to practice with my Tilt-Shift lens, as it hadn't been out of the kit bag in a while and it has a bit of a learning curve.
The Shift function of the Tilt-Shift lens helps correct the perspective problems you often see in a photo when taking pictures of a building. Typically the photographer has to angle the camera upward to get the entire building in the shot. This then causes the parallel lines of the building to look as though they are converging toward the top. The Shift physically moves the lens up and down on the body of the camera, allowing you to hold the camera parallel to the building and eliminates the perspective distortion.
While taking pictures of the municipal building, a city employee came out and looked up in the sky. He said to me "should I be seeing something?" I laughed and told him I was just taking pictures of the building. I guess he didn't think that was too exciting, so he said good night and we parted ways. To be honest - I didn't find the municipal building very exciting either. The best shot I took is below, but I decided to do a bit more thinking on it.
After a few days, I settled on St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church up the road from my house. It's a pretty church and I drive past it every day, so I decided to make some pictures of it. I waited until Sunday evening, about an hour before sundown, for two reasons. First, generally the best light is right before sundown and secondly, I wouldn't have to contend with churchgoers in my shot or running me down in the driveway.
I took shots of the church from multiple angles, but ended up submitting the image below because I loved how the tree branches framed the tower and the cross.
We were also asked to take some close-up shots of the structure as well. I decided to have a bit of fun and play with the tilt function of the Tilt-Shift lens for the close-up shot. The Tilt function gives you selective focus on a plane within the image. Depending on whether you are shooting in portrait or landscape orientation, the plane of focus is different. In this shot, I liked how the roof lines were pointing at the statue of St. Paul, so I decided to put the focus across the frame to get St. Paul in focus. This took a few attempts, I'll admit.
One of the cool thing that this lens does, because of the selective focus, is to make things look miniature. You don't see it as much in this shot, but I've used the lens in the past from tall buildings to make the cars and people below look miniature. The image of St. Paul at right, and you can see that the horizontal strip across the middle of the frame is the only thing in focus.
Next week's assignment is a Free Shoot - the last one of the project. I'm in the process of going back through my notes from past assignments to see if there is something I had been wanting too shoot but didn't get the chance. I'm leaning toward a shot of Oreo's and pouring milk, but I've been trying to watch the carbs, so Oreo's might not be the best plan!