C&C on Building photo's

Soldato
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Hi, as a lot of you may know I'm very new to photography. I understand the rule of thirds and I'm now starting to get to grips with aperture etc.

Anyway, I've found it quite tricky sticking to the rule of thirds when photographing buildings. I would appreciate some comments on the two photo's below.

Both have only had the contrast increased a little, other than that I haven't altered them other than adding the border.

Thanks in advance.

#1 Title: "A place to stay"

761240226_b401203235.jpg


#2 Title "Angles"

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Associate
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1) Don't like this one at all. I am sure that the building looked very nice, but the falling over backwards effect of the converging verticals really does it no favours. The trouble with many shots of this sort is that intellectually we all know that you are looking up at a building but our eyes see a building leaning away at an alarming angle! Not sure what to suggest to improve this. Perhaps you would have been better off concentrating on a detail to suggest the whole rather than trying to get it all in.

2) Although the building itself is not as attractive, I rather like the slightly claustrophobic way that the sky is framed. This also gives enough impression of looking up that the converging verticals are not so alarming. There are also enough textures on the buildng to make it interesting.

Now you need to look for a combination of the two, an attractive building that lends itself to a strong composition.
 
Soldato
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ChroniC said:
Some things are just not photogenic, people, objects and corners of buildings. You just need to find a better subject.
Will have to disagree with you on that one, but that's what makes life and photography so interesting and challenging.


Nicos Rex said:
1) Don't like this one at all. I am sure that the building looked very nice, but the falling over backwards effect of the converging verticals really does it no favours. The trouble with many shots of this sort is that intellectually we all know that you are looking up at a building but our eyes see a building leaning away at an alarming angle! Not sure what to suggest to improve this. Perhaps you would have been better off concentrating on a detail to suggest the whole rather than trying to get it all in.
I do see what you mean and this is the kind of tip I was after. Unfortunately I couldn't move any further back otherwise I would have been in 20 feet of water! I will, however, take your comments on board for the next time.

Nicos Rex said:
2) Although the building itself is not as attractive, I rather like the slightly claustrophobic way that the sky is framed. This also gives enough impression of looking up that the converging verticals are not so alarming. There are also enough textures on the buildng to make it interesting.
Thankyou...I think! I agree though, it is a pretty dull building (a typical development of flats) and I tried to make it as interesting as possible!
 
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Soldato
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NorthstaNder said:
Will have to disagree with you on that one, but that's what makes life and photography so interesting and challenging.

Thats the problem with some of the photos people post here, and in general, everyone can take a photo that conforms to rules but they make for boring photos if the subject isnt great.
The trick is if your subject is boring it has to have a reason or feeling, i.e A house is boring, a haunted house isnt, a derelict building has character ect ect. Its not always about how the photo is taken.
However the opposite is true, and if its not about the feeling then it has to be about the subject. Taken badly a picture of a ferrari mostly always looks better than a well take photo of a bucket.
I put both of your shots in the well taken, but not well thought out or interestng category, sorry.
 
Soldato
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Taken badly a picture of a ferrari mostly always looks better than a well take photo of a bucket.

I agree with your theory, but not that example! You get SO many pictures of the same old cars, animals, whatever, and they could've been taken by any Tom, Dick or Harry. Sure they look professional.. just like every photo in a car magazine is professional.

A good photo of a bucket is SO much better.. but maybe I'm thinking 'betterer' than you :p

*ON TOPIC*

Agree with most of what's said here, in that technically there's not many problems with the photos. But that doesn't make them good photos. You could find more interesting subjects.. or you could be more unique with the way you view your subject.
 
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ChroniC said:
Thats the problem with some of the photos people post here, and in general, everyone can take a photo that conforms to rules but they make for boring photos if the subject isnt great.
The trick is if your subject is boring it has to have a reason or feeling, i.e A house is boring, a haunted house isnt, a derelict building has character ect ect. Its not always about how the photo is taken.
However the opposite is true, and if its not about the feeling then it has to be about the subject. Taken badly a picture of a ferrari mostly always looks better than a well take photo of a bucket.
I put both of your shots in the well taken, but not well thought out or interestng category, sorry.


I disagree strongly with this.

Shot 1 was taken (I suspect) with little thought and the result was poor since NorthstaNder was unaware of the unsettling optical illustion that would result from his natural disinclination to fall into 20 feet of water. He was probably thinking "that's a nice building, I can't go wrong".

I would contend that shot 2 was well thought out, precisely because the building was ugly. To me, the second shot gives a feeling of bleakness and mild claustrophobia which gives a real impression of why it would not be a pleasant place to live.

Of course a Ferrari is more attractive as an object than a bucket. Given the choice between owning a Ferrari or another bucket the car would win. In many ways that makes it much more difficult to take a photograph of a Ferrari that says something new!

Indeed these 2 shots illustrate the point nicely. In shot 1 we have an uninteresting photograph of an atractive building made worse by a techical issue. In shot 2 we have an interesting shot of an ugly building.
 
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Try it in B&W too, remember just because and image is nice does not mean you can make it better - just like Steve Austin!
-How.
 
Soldato
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Nicos Rex said:
I disagree strongly with this.

Then you disagree strongly with very clever people in the fields of philosphy and art. Its a known area you can study, "aesthetics", the why of how we perceive shape and meaning in art, and "representation" how we explain it.
It in a nutshell says if we dont appreciate art for its creation we appreciate it for what it represents. A photo can only be representational because it is a carbon copy of something i.e it represents something real. So if we cannot associate with what is in the photo, and it does not fit a natural instinct (like you would a sunrise or a hot women) we must associate with how it is made or what it means.

Seeing as i have no interest in the corner of a building visually i must associate with how its made or what it means. I dont associate #1 building with anything so it may mean something to you but not me, i do like the shapes that the buildings make in #2, as that adds to he unique way its made, thats about it though, and on the scale of things considering the subject thats the best anyone could hope for. Which leads me to my first point, although having read it i may have been a little blunt and not given any constructive points.
 
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ChroniC said:
Then you disagree strongly with very clever people in the fields of philosphy and art. Its a known area you can study, "aesthetics", the why of how we perceive shape and meaning in art, and "representation" how we explain it.

You presume too much, firstly that your opinions are congruent with those of the very clever people, secondly that you have clearly expressed these in your earlier post, thirdly that I am blissfully unaware of the study of aesthetics and representation, not to mention philosophy, optics, neurophysiology history of art and semantics.

It in a nutshell says if we dont appreciate art for its creation we appreciate it for what it represents. A photo can only be representational because it is a carbon copy of something i.e it represents something real. So if we cannot associate with what is in the photo, and it does not fit a natural instinct (like you would a sunrise or a hot women) we must associate with how it is made or what it means.

Packing an awful lot into a very small nutshell! Actually not a bad overview, although semantically your use of absolutes such as "we must" verges on the inexcusable.

All the above has achieved little other than to make me feel condescended to and to demonstrate that you have at least a nodding acquaintance with the theoretical basis whose names you have dropped into the discourse.

But wait! From the general, we move to the particular!

Seeing as i have no interest in the corner of a building visually i must associate with how its made or what it means. I dont associate #1 building with anything so it may mean something to you but not me, i do like the shapes that the buildings make in #2, as that adds to he unique way its made, thats about it though, and on the scale of things considering the subject thats the best anyone could hope for. Which leads me to my first point, although having read it i may have been a little blunt and not given any constructive points.

Lo and behold, we discover after all this that the first picture does nothing for you - if does nothing for me either. As I stated before, the building itself has some merit but the photograph fails to convey this and is marred by the unintended converging verticals.

The next revelation is that you like the shapes in photo 2 - which (if you strip away my more emotive language) is exactly what I also said.

To sum up: The less attractive building has made the more interesting image!

(Just in case you are wondering, I am not normally so insufferably pompous ;) )
 
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Nicos Rex said:
(Just in case you are wondering, I am not normally so insufferably pompous ;) )

Although you should be more often, as it makes for a very good post. ;)

Im with Nicos Rex on this one. First pic is a decent enough subject, but the shot is technically poor in terms of composition.(exposure etc is absolutely fine) The second shot is much better in terms of composition, although the subject is lacking somewhat(although im strangely drawn to this style of post modern(?) architecture) It might also benefit from a slight increase in saturation. Would it be possible to shoot the first building from further down the street so that you got more of an angle? Overall though, not a bad effort and id like to see more like the second one, picking out abstract shapes from buildings. :)
 
Caporegime
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Just to get an oar in here. All of you at the moment are looking mainly at these photos for the their artistic merit, while that's ok and I suppose quite resonable on a forum that usually has artistic photos, it is a little short sighted in a way. As we all know the money and the majority of people that work in photography take photos not fully for their artistic merit. They are taken to show things in their best light (usually very boring things at that).

If you look at the photos not for the artistic merit but wether they have taken a boring subject interesting or pleasing for the eye then I would say photo 2 is a very good shot. I could see it in a brochure advertising that block of flats to prospective buyers. :)

As for number one, remember all rules are there to be broken. The rule of thirds is a useful guideline but it is not the be all and end all. Photos especially of buildings and a couple of other subjects can bend or break the rule and look better. Personally for number one I would have stood right at centre and taken the shot, as opposed to just off centre to the left. (20ft of water depending of course. ;) )
 
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I agree with the chap above about rule of thirds ... its all about what looks best and quite a lot of the time goes against this rule.

As for those photos ... nothing too wrong with what you have taken, ok, tilting angle on first one is not that great ... but to be honest, the subject matter of both of them isnt very interesting.

I live in Bristol and buildings I would recommend would be the 'old school' listed ones, ie; old cinemas which are no longer, old pubs etc. also churches. If you want modern, go for modern, but if the building is somewhat plain and ordinary, look to take the shot at night, or perhaps under different lighting. Concentrate on getting a good sky, ie, filters, or post processing. Can make the most boring object more interesting. Alternatively, look at features of buildings, perhaps the sign, or shape of windows, look at symmetry (bad spelling sorry!), even look at external pipes and focus on bits of a building. Sharp angled buildings are quite hard to capture, unless you get the angle and perspective spot on ... not conforming to any rules, but just what looks good ... remember, take as many shots as you can from totally whacky angles ... you will know when you take a good one!

Have posted a link to a really great blog - not generally about buildings but, I urge you to read through, has some solid tips to better shots.

http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/
 
Soldato
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least a nodding acquaintance with the theoretical basis whose names you have dropped into the discourse.

You pompousuness amuses me highly, especially that sentence. I do feel slightly pompous myself in pointing out that i study the subject for a living at the moment and have been spent the last 6 months researching the subject as such.
I could post the 5k word rough essay i did a few months ago if you'd like my nodding aquaintance of the subject or if you like you can wait, for the 15k word version, to which i had to funnily ;) get the opinions of very clever people first hand.
Maybe you should write your own thesis on the subject, id be very interested to see that!

Lo and behold, we discover after all this that the first picture does nothing for you - if does nothing for me either. As I stated before, the building itself has some merit but the photograph fails to convey this and is marred by the unintended converging verticals.

The next revelation is that you like the shapes in photo 2 - which (if you strip away my more emotive language) is exactly what I also said.
To sum up: The less attractive building has made the more interesting image
ChroniC said:
The trick is if your subject is boring it has to have a reason or feeling,
To me, the second shot gives a feeling of bleakness and mild claustrophobia which gives a real impression of why it would not be a pleasant place to live.
Sound like the same thing to me

Then "lo and behold" why did you disagree with me.
Firstly you've disagreed with me "strongly", then you 180'd with some fancy trying to make me look stupid and then said what i said is what you said in the first place. Has googling the information confused you, because reading you inane ramblings sure has me.
 
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