Simple Light And Shade Can Bring A Great View
At this time of year, I guess it would be completely appropriate to post a photograph of one of the religious symbols of central Melbourne - a slightly different view of St Paul's Cathedral. Both these shots were taken a few days ago, under a lunchtime sun.
More than simply sharing this post with you, I'd like to show you what a vast difference can be achieved by instinctive composition.
I was walking back to work when I idly looked up as I waited for the lights to change outside Flinders Street Station. My attention was arrested by the sight of the solitary white cloud in a huge expanse of brilliant blue sky.
I had my Sigma 18-125 mm lens on the camera, which was perfect for this shot, even though I was also carrying my 70-300 mm lens. I took this shot at the full extent of the 125 mm lens and chose to ignore the main spire. Instead, I used the exposed brickwork on the main spire as a simple, angular silhouette against the bright sky, and I chose to make the secondary spire the central point of attention.
Sometimes, asymmetrical composition can be more arresting than a standard, symmetrical aspect. Here, I was just lucky to have strong colours, arresting shapes and a great colour contrast. And maybe it's my early background in newspaper and magazine design that magnetises my attention to a close-in frame at an unusual angle.
By the way, in case you were wondering what the more formal view of the scene looked like, here it is below. It's the same scene, in the same light, taken from the same angle - and according to the electronic data on the images, the two shots are a mere nine seconds apart.
Yes, it's still a handy shot, but it is not endowed with that look-at-me immediacy of the first.
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