Thursday, April 09, 2009
Draw A Bead
This shot was taken in Quebec City in mid-September 2005. It was not just the vivid colours that stopped me outside this entrance to a street-facing novelty/tourist store, but the beautiful cascade of inter-connecting discs that looked like a monochrome waterfall.
I shot this just before I ventured inside the store. At the time, I was using a Pentax compact digital camera as well as a film-based Canon EOS 3000 that I’d only bought less than a year earlier. I had a standard 35mm lens on the Canon and used it to shoot this frame.
I could have simply concentrated on the beaded discs and yes, it would have been an interesting image, but there would have been nothing to define the shot as being in Quebec City. So I opted to shoot the entrance from side-on, to make use of the distinctive steps leading up, as well as the metal handrail.
If you look to the left of the picture you’ll see a couple of familiar Quebec City landmarks - the distinctive red metal roof and the coat of arms on the building in soft focus in the background. But the thing that dominated my perception of the scene - and therefore my depiction of it as well - was the combination of yellow plastic in a soft curve, the bright red of the wall and of course the green of the steps.
Would I have shot the scene any differently now that I have made significant progress as a photographer, almost four years later? Yes, probably. For one thing, I would have taken probably half a dozen frames with my Pentax digital SLR, using a different composition each time.
You see, you think differently when you use a film camera; when you have a digital camera in your hands, you know you can shoot about 1000 images on a single 4GB memory card. - rather than having to change a spool of film every 36 exposures.
It was raining, it was damp and there was a low, grey sky - not great conditions for stopping every few minutes to reload a spool of Kodak film. But if you look below, you’ll see that I have cropped the original image to show you exactly how I’d shoot the same scene from the same angle the next time I’m walking down the street.
For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.