Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunny Side Up

Simple Light And Shade Can Bring A Great View

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


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.


Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

24 comments:

Pat Houseworth said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year David!

AirmanMom said...

Magnificent shots, David.
Warm Christmas Greetings to you and your family.

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Cheffie-Mom said...

WONDERFUL! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Daryl said...

Those spires, always looking to be noticed first... no goldbrick(er)s there

:-Daryl

Maggie May said...

The first one does say, "Look at me", doesn't it! Very impressive.

Craig Glenn said...

Very nice David. I like the backstory to the photographs.

Craig

Celebration of Life said...

Thank you David for helping us remember the "Reason for the Season"! I am inspired by your spires! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!
Jo

cheshire wife said...

Inspiring! David

Sylvia K said...

Happy Holidays, David! And I have to admit I love the first shot! It has that uniqueness that you are so good at! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy!

ewok1993 said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

imac said...

Hi David, great shots, looks like the stairway to heaven.
Happy Holidays.

Pienovski said...

Thank you for explaining the story behind the photo and including the detail in it as well. I find it EXTREMELY helpful as I have just started photographing.

I have had to live without my camera for a few days as it is now in repair due to the sand that went in it after the desert trip... Lol.

Moannie said...

I agree with Pienovski, a new friend, that it is so helpful to read your thinking behind each shot. What amazes me is the speed of your thinking...with only nine seconds between shots.

Happy Christmas David, to you and your family.

Word verification is :wined...lets hope you are well dined also.

squawmama said...

Another fantastic photo... Loved them both... Thanks David

(((HUGS)))
Donna

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You are right, David! A few seconds made all the difference. They were both good, but that first one had that extra something that made it really stand-out!

Sheila

joan said...

Very cool shots David! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

fishing guy said...

David: A creative post using the church as your central theme in this special time.

Sara G said...

Great post and wonderful photo's!
Thanks so much for sharing.
Merry Christmas!!

Susie of Arabia said...

Wonderful MyWorld shots - and thanks for the little lesson too! Happy Holidays!

Leslie: said...

As usual, a stunning shot!

Sandi McBride said...

David, Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Authorblog and all the Authorbloglets. Thank you for the lovely shots you have captured and shared. It's been such a pleasure these past few months and I for one will be looking forward to many more.
Sandi

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

ANd the composition of the first is what makes you stand out from the crowd as a photographer David. Merry Christmas.

SandyCarlson said...

I love it, David. Sometimes it seems looking up at a church is enough to remember the timelessness and the eternal beauty of the love that is promised inside but often forgotten at street level. Your perspective is a gift.

Wren said...

Nice shat. Thanks for the tutorial on composition, it's always good to get helpful hints and learn what other photographers think about. And photos of Melbourne, as well.