Friday, July 18, 2008

Nice Steeple, Jack

Receiving You Cloud And Clear

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


When I was a kid and I was being taught the rudiments of photography, I was always told to a) make sure the sun was always behind me when I was photographing anything and b) to make sure there was enough natural light and c) never to deviate from either of these basic rules.

But while handling a progression of cameras, I have always enjoyed flouting those rules. I revel in using a camera in low-light situations. And quite honestly, I never look to see where the sun is. If I see something I want to photograph, even if it means pointing my camera directly into the sun, I don’t think twice, I just do it. The great thing to remember is if you are hitting the trigger in bad light or heavy cloud, you get to use everyday objects as great silhouettes.

I took these shots some weeks ago, while walking across a pedestrian crossing opposite Flinders Street Station here in central Melbourne. It was almost dusk and my gaze swung towards the steeple of St Paul’s Cathedral on the left of the frame. Naturally enough, I slowed down and I simply had to swing my camera up to take the shot.

Then the pedestrian light began flashing red and of course I had to take a vertical shot to include the street sign, with the red of the pedestrian warning sign providing the only real colour in the frame. And yes, I completed my walk across the crossing in complete safety!


For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch Friday.

57 comments:

Old Wom Tigley said...

Perfect timing David...
Great Sky Watch post as usual.. catch you later mate.
Tom

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Glad you made it to the other side!

CJ xx

Juliana RW said...

cloudy sky

Mine in here. Thanks

archiearchive said...

Nicely framed and well timed to catch the little red man :)

Ackworth Born said...

that is a smashing shot with the red light adding the touch o colour to grey scene.

imac said...

Ever the pro photograher David - my friend, I love to shoot at the sun to. Love the 1st shot tho.

Welcome to our new Skywatch Blog.We hope you will like and enjoy posting your skies here.
The Team thankyou for participating and helping to make this venture a success.

fishing guy said...

David: Thanks for the SWF lessons. Glad you are willing to share.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Great photos, David! Love the capture of the illusive little red man! =)

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

These are really beautiful. I love the silvery skies.

Carletta said...

Love the silhouetted steeples!
Makes them more majestic.

The little red neon man is a wonderful delight in the second photo.

Louise said...

Love your rule-breaking photo!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

AH, good thing you didn't follow the old rule or you'd have missed these two great shots. (Don't tell my kids I said it was all right to break the rules.)

The Texican said...

Nice change of pace with the shadows masking the buildings. Pappy

Petunia said...

Nice silhouette shot and the cloudy sky looks beautiful:)

Petunia's SWF

For The People said...

Great Job David! Have a great weekend!

Tommy V said...

Hello from Colorado. Nice pictures.

Kim said...

Rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes they make even better pictures. Great pictures :)

RuneE said...

"you take them when you see them"!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You have a lovely site! I've enjoyed my visit!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

As always, I enjoyed your photos; thanks for the brief tutorial.

Hope you and the authorbloglets are safely winging your way home.

Pietro said...

A great sky for a splendid Sky Watch!

bobbie said...

I love your red pedestrian light! Makes a perfect shot.

AnneKa said...

Greate Sky Watch post.
Have a nice weekend, from AnneKa in Norway

Pearl Maple said...

Fun photos for Sky Watch Friday because we do like playing outside the rule book!In doing so, you can have lots of amazing discoveries. Melbourne is such a beautiful city to be taking photos of. Thankyou for sharing your view of the sky in one of my facorite cities.

quilly said...

For my July 10th post (Day #2 for Project Black) I showed a series of photos I had deliberately taken as silhouette. My two favorites are the first peacock photo, and the kid walking along the beach while looking over his shoulder at the sunset.

It was a blast taking these photos. I just have a cheesy little point and shoot camera -- with no light adjustment controls! -- but I have discovered many ways to bend it to my will.

Maggie May said...

I was always told to put the sun behind me too! These photos could well be London!
Good shots!

Julie said...

There are a few silhouettes posted today. Yours are particularly splendid, David. Spires seem to reach up into the very heavens.

Texas Travelers said...

Nice silhouettes.

Come visit,
Troy

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hi lovely David. Sorry I'm so behind. Life caught up ad bashed me on the head. Love those pictures though, they make me think of Mary Poppins.

Craver Vii said...

That's a terrific effect. I love looking for shapes that might show up well and give a strong impression such as what you have here.

Jeanne said...

Hello David! Enjoy your pictures as always. Love the view with the spires. You're so right no hard fast rules anymore and that's a wonderful thing.

CrazyCath said...

I learned those rules too - and also flout them blatantly! lol

These are brilliant shots and I love the silhouettes. First class stuff again.

Sandi McBride said...

Well keep flouting those rules David, you must be doing something right...I've never seen a "bad" photo come in here from you!
Sandi

Fish Whisperer said...

Great sky!
Cheers

Nessa said...

I like breaking those rules, too. You samplings are great, especially the first one. Very dramatic.

SandyCarlson said...

I love the way you break the rules. This is wonderfully dramatic.

And I love yer man below with his hat. I admire his confidence!

Neal said...

You have the same ideas I do about photography. Besides, what do you have to lose when taking pictures with a digital camera. I love the shots!!

babooshka said...

Rules of course are menat to be broken. Rule of thirds, I can live with, but you have to shoot into the sun for the sunflash. Forebodding sky, glorious image and the title as usual cracked me up.

Neva said...

I always learn something from you but I love your title on this one!

Sharon said...

Great shot, cute title! Happy SWF.

Indrani said...

Whoa! Dramatic clouds... you are in Bollywood? :) Reminds me of "Woh Kaun Thi?"

Sherry said...

Great photos! The sky stands out so well behind the dramatic silhouettes in the first photo, and the red glows in the shadows of the second shot. Interesting photos.

Gary said...

Great SWF post David, as ever.



Gary
Bodge's Bulletin

luna miranda said...

Great timing and lovely silhouette!

Jennifer H said...

Whew!

You always seem to get your shot. Love these.

Kim said...

(most) Rules are made to be broken, love the photo!! I love old buildings, especially churches!
Happy SWF!

Kahshe Cottager said...

I enjoyed your photos and comments today as usual! I liked the little red man scurrying to get nowhere fast Have a wonderful weekend!
My SkyWatch Here

Hilary said...

Beautiful shots. I totally agree about lighting. Some of the most interesting shots are taken into the light.

Daryl said...

love the red dont walk man .. the contrast draws the eye .. my eye doesnt like to be painted so much as drawn ... odd isnt it



;-Daryl

Dewdrop said...

Glad you flouted the rules for us! I love silhouette shots. They add a mysterious edge to a shot. When it comes to photography, I say, to heck with the rules! Just enjoy!

irish daisies said...

amazing shots i love the night sky!

AphotoAday said...

Your post reminds me of another silly photographic "law" that Kodak used to print on their color film instructions -- it warned not to take a photo before 10 in the morning or after 4 in the afternoon.   Pretty bad advice, I always thought...

Suzanne said...

Its fun to take photos in a different way to what you remember been told. Happy SWF.

cheshire wife said...

Great shots. They look like they could be England in July.

Annie said...

Well, that is interesting , because I just this week also photographed the little white man in the walk sign while here in New York! On the way home from taking all my sunset skywatch pikkies down the park!!

Well done for not obeying the rules, and keeping your blog going while on holidays!

Annie

John said...

Great shots for sky watch, David.
Love the first one.

edison said...
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