Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Red Cube And White Tile

The Search for Fresh Perspectives

Red Cube, a familiar New York landmark, was created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi in 1968. Its location just one block from the World Trade Center complex draws a lot of tourist traffic.

Is it possible to capture a unique view of an object that is photographed hundreds, perhaps thousands of times every day? Creativity is a vast universe. Why not give it a try?

After snapping some rather mundane shots of Red Cube, I decided to look for a more interesting perspective. Young men were skate boarding in the area, and I took a few shots with them in the frame, but nothing special materialized. Daylight was beginning to fade, and I hadn't captured a single decent photo.

a photo of the red cube statue in new york with a white tile
Red Cube White Tile - New York

I noticed that one of the plaza tiles was lighter than the rest. Perhaps the original tile had to be replaced by a newer, less weathered slab. When I walked over to the white tile, I noticed that the line adjacent to it (to its right in the photo above) led directly toward the center of the cube.

When I noticed this geometric relationship between the tile and the cube, my creative mind launched into a virtual orgasm. I couldn't wait to take the shot.

A wide-angle lens would make all of the lines in the plaza to converge toward the sculpture, effectively linking cube and tile. I mounted a special tilt-shift lens that would prevent the distortion of vertical lines and keep both the tile and the cube in sharp focus. (This feature isn't available on most lenses).

I leveled the camera on the tripod, focused and metered carefully, spent a few minutes fending off a polite but unhelpful security guard, and captured the shot seen above.

Red Cube and White Tile is one of my favorite images of Lower Manhattan. It took a bit of time to get all of the pieces lined up and in focus, but the final image turned out even better than I had anticipated. The lone white tile and the convergence of lines toward the center add an interesting dimension to an oft photographed object. 

As with all of the photos on this blog, you can view larger, more detailed versions on my website. Please click the link below. You'll find this image in the 28 Days Sharper Portfolio 

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II (tilt and fall movements applied)

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Low Light Photography

Cool Nights Warm Colors

When I began to take a serious interest in photography, I ran down to my local bookstore looking for guidance. There I found one of my favorite how-to books: "The Complete Guide to Night and Low-Light Photography" by Lee Frost.

I spent many hours reviewing the beautiful photos and studying the text that accompanied them. Chapter by chapter, I learned about cameras and lenses, films and filters, and the all-important color and quality of light.

I began to understand, for instance, why the camera's internal metering system would fail to properly expose most low light conditions. Mr. Frost presented a variety of techniques to help compensate for this limitation. (Remember that this was during the film era when photos weren't instantly displayed on the back of the camera.)

To this day, I love shooting in low light conditions when the world slows down and the colors take on a vivid and dramatic character.

a low light photo of venice at dusk
Venice At Dusk

Special thanks to Mr. Lee Frost for writing so eloquently and informatively about low light photography. You inspired me to see possibilities where once I saw only darkness.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved