Last weekend I was again, my second time, at the Mall of Asia in Metro Manila. My previous post about this Mall was titled The Random Shot wherein I was at an escalator inside and randomly took a picture of a geometrically interesting glass and steel ceiling. No thought and preparation came into that shot. This time around I was outside the Mall complex but within its grounds was this gigantic Ferris Wheel towering probably some ten stories high. I had an hour to spare and I wasn’t going to pass up this one without thinking of my shots and approaches. This was my first time to shoot a Ferris Wheel, and just how does one photograph something that is sure to strain the neck? Let me count the ways…Seriously, I had lots of angles and perspectives to choose from. It was high noon with thin linings of clouds; I was shooting against the light. That backdrop of sun and sky became key elements in the composition. Here is a short but spot-on tip on how to tackle the subject of Ferris Wheels:
“Ferris Wheels are a great spectacle to photograph…Going beyond the standard tourist photographs of minimal distortion (good, but not the most original) and taken at a distance away from the Ferris Wheel, try to position yourself close-up and photograph with a wide-angle lens. If the Wheel is illuminated – experiment with a slow shutter speed and capture the circular motion, creating a blur of colour and light, and remember to fill the frame – wasting no space in your composition!”
~Ferris Wheel Photography from Scott Photographics Inspiration
If I had stayed till sunset I could have captured more colorful and subdued photographs and could have experimented with long exposure. Anyway, do visit the link above which also showcases lots of Ferris Wheel images to give you an idea on the various ways to photograph this interesting subject. Here are but two of the many images I took last weekend.
Wishing everyone a refreshing weekend!
Beginners often photograph their subjects literally. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many times, though, an ordinary subject can be made extraordinary. That is rarely due to the subject and almost always a reflection of the photographer. Extraordinary photographers do not see their subjects only literally…
Begin to look at your compositions as visual elements, rather than merely literal subjects, you will go a long way towards taking photographs to be proud of. Remembering that photographic images are made of tone, shapes, and lines and their relationships will make it easier for you to find a good composition, no matter what the subject. And you’ll know that even old subjects can be shot anew, no matter who tells you differently.
~Bernhard J. Suess from his article Back to Black-and-White: Choosing Subjects for Black and White Photographs
Have a great weekend my friends! Keep on clicking!
No “graphic photographs” do not have anything to do with adult themed images. Graphical photography is an image style that utilizes shape, geometry and color to resemble something that might be drawn or designed. Photographs that are considered graphic in nature have distinct curves & lines, color contrast and highlight geometry within a particular scene. It may sound more complex than it really is, as I’m sure you’ve seen photos everywhere that fit this description.
Finding and taking photographs with a strong graphic element takes an observant eye. Man-made objects such as machinery, architecture, roads, etc. are inherently great graphic photography subjects because they’re designed with geometry in mind by engineers, architects and civic planners. Nature subjects also have a strong geometric shape rooted in the molecular geometry of organic compounds like cellulose and inorganic compounds with crystalline structures like quartz. Whether your subject is made by man or nature if you add light, shadow and color plus follow the 5 tips below you have all the ingredients needed for a great graphic photos.
~Jim Goldstein from his article 5 Tips to Create Graphic Photographs
The basic material of photographs is not intrinsically beautiful. It’s not like ivory or tapestry or bronze or oil on canvas. You’re not supposed to look at the thing, you’re supposed to look through it. It’s a window.~John Szarkowski
The advantage for us – amateurs, hobbyists and enthusiasts – over those who engage in photography as a means of income is that we can afford to take random pictures which do not need to be professional-looking. Okay, though we strive to capture and create pictures worthy to be printed in top quality photographic paper, framed and displayed on a wall for all the world to see, that is not a primary consideration. For most of us, sharing a picture online for the viewing pleasure of our friends and peers is enough. We need not produce visual masterpieces all the time; we are not compelled to.
The above picture is of the atrium of the Mall of Asia in Metro Manila. As the name suggests, it is said to be the biggest commercial complex this side of the world and yesterday was the first time for me to go inside this cavernous structure. As it was a Sunday, the place was filled with people enjoying their weekend time. It was around early afternoon when I went down an escalator and looked up to see this massive ceiling of glass and steel. In the rush of people and the 10 seconds it took to ride the escalator I pulled out my point and shoot cam and took a couple of random shots, no time for thinking and composing and how the shot will come out. At that moment I was dependent on Auto Mode which, if you have read many of my previous posts, is an option I do not totally count on. But Auto Mode is an ally you can turn to in certain situations where you can not properly set up gear or go around to find certain angles or perspectives. I have done many random shots and some of them are keepers, such as the above. Most, however, go straight to the trash bin. The photo may not be the most satisfying of my captures but I can live with that, rather than leave the place with no capture at all. Have a great week ahead my friends!