I’ve finally got to the last couple of activities for Unit 1, apart that is for the assignment activity. This was quite a tough one, not because I had any difficulty taking pictures in portrait format, I do that all the time, but because the subject I chose, Huntley Church, meant that many of the pictures were taken inside the church in low lighting conditions. Because I had the camera on a tripod and was having to play around with exposure, I decided to take the portrait and landscape pictures at the same time once I thought I had the exposure about right. Having said that, now that I have processed them I will go back and retake some of them where I think I have the makings of a good picture but the exposure still isn’t quite right. I don’t think I deliberately looked for tall objects to photograph, although some of the subjects, such as the stained glass windows lent themselves more to a portrait format. What I did find which surprised me, was that
some pictures that I thought would work better in portrait format actually worked better in landscape although I did invariable have to alter the compostion. This window was one example, you can see the detail in the stonework more clearly in the landscape shot, added to that, because I was looking up at the window from fairly close in, the portrait image is quite distorted.
Some landscape shots definitely didn’t work as well as can be seen from this shot of the queen’s head on the side of the porch. The background is distracting and even when I tried to crop this out, the balance of the picture didn’t seem right. I much preferred the portrait version of this picture, below.
I have really enjoyed this activity, partly because it gave me the opportunity to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time and partly because the subject I chose really made me think about taking photographs in low lighting conditions, even though that was not the topic of the activity. It has also made me think about the composition more though and not make assumptions about what will and won’t work.
One of my problems though when I embark on something like this is that I have to learn when to call a halt and move on. Being a reflector, I tend to over-analyse everything and beat myself around the head with the results. I’d really like to go back and retake some of these
pictures to see if I can improve on them but I still have a lot of work to do for the assignment for this unit so maybe I have to park this for now and get on with the job in hand!
Of all of the pictures I took for this exercise, this one, of the sunlight shining through the window across the top of the pews is probably my favourite. The landscape version worked quite well as there is another window to the right. I need to work on the exposure for that one though as the detail in the window was burnt out. Another job for another day!