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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Silver Railings – a Photographic Study – Part 1


Morning, Evening and Night

Well, so far I have captured 2 of the 3 above lighting conditions, as weather is the true variable in outdoor illuminations.

This year I am fortunate as I am a passenger while going to work and with that pleasure I am able to gaze at the surroundings. This was not the case when I was the driver. You would try and look but only for brief seconds and never enough to fully take in the beauty around you.

Leaving the western parkway that runs along the Ottawa River and heading into the final stretch of the downtown core, there are these silver railings, really just stainless steel, that provides wheelchair access to the 'Garden of the Provinces' Park across from the National Library and Archives of Canada. These railings zigzag back and forth as they rise up to the next platform.

While driving by around 6:30 in the morning, the tall buildings on the east block the sun and I noticed that these railings have a radiant sheen as they were being lit by the lightening sky.

The railing as seen driving by in the morning

f5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 200; Sigma 10-20mm @15mm

Below is a Google Earth map of the location

Image size 1690 x 1080


I thought it would be interesting and somewhat challenging to capture a series of studies of the metal railings in 3 different kinds of light. Metal, except for shape, does not have much texture in itself but reflects the light and texture surrounding it.

The Study:

• Early morning, with only the uniform sky to illuminate the metal;

• Early evening, when the sun, coming from a NW direction, is not obstructed and could directly strike the metal railings; and

• Late night, when the street and building lights could add its own charm to the metal.




f16, 1/25sec, ISO200, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR @ 78mm

This is the first set of metal railings looking back onto Wellington Street taken during early morning.


This image is almost totally an abstract with the trapezoidal squares forming through the grids of the metal railings and then also being mirrored by the same pattern in the stonework. The partial silhouette of the biker and walker on the darkened roadway take this image into another depth of interest.

Since I have not completed the study, I am only showing a few other images within the park and once finalized, I will post the sets that I hope will capture a unique way of looking at these railings.


I’ve not explored this park before even though I’ve lived here for more than 20 years. I was surprised at the hidden gems in this small concrete park.


f14.0, 1/10sec, ISO200, , Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR @ 125mm

There is a small pond that on one side has these 3 water spigots poring water in the central basin.

Within the basin is a 30-foot metal sculpture comprised of leaves that catch the cascading water as it flows from the top.



30 sec exposure, f8, ISO 200, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR @ 130mm


Further back in the park surrounded by towering trees is another fountain, which also cascades water, but with this fountain, the structure is made-up of large concrete basins.


2 exposures combined (f9 at 0.8 sec; and 1/40 sec @ISO200) Nikon 18-200mm f3.5 @ 105mm

With luck I should be able to get a good cloudless evening shoot to complete the series and then I would be able to show you my final selection in the form of a project. One idea is to make a 4 or 6 pix image within a frame from the series. It will depend on how well the different angles and lights combine to create a unique perspective of this study.

Metal is not an easy object to photograph and really requires controlled lighting to bring out its best. I hope that I can, with the different sun angle lighting, capture enough variants to make a series. So far, there are a few images I like which may develop into a good series. As yet, I have not decided to use a flash to create additional highlights but maybe I will explore this also.


It was good to get out and take some images, as this had not happened much since I acquired the new Nikon D300. The main reason for this is that I have been busy trying to set up a new Wordpress site and in the process, because I am a constant tweaker, I have been trying to learn XHTML, PHP, CSS style sheets and by default Wordpress template functions. At least I have learned enough to throw acronyms around like pebbles.

I thought camera manuals were hard to understand, but programming languages and its different constructs for each language sure does test my ability to learn.

The basic theme was easy to adjust but I want to create some static pages to combine other photo sites into one solution.

Niels Henriksen




A Photographer’s Adage



Impressionism has induced the study of what we see and shown us that we all see differently; it has done good to photography by showing that we should represent what we see and not what the lens sees . . . What do we see when we go to Nature? We see exactly what we are trained to see, and, if we are lucky, perhaps a little more but not much . . . We see what we are prepared to see and on that I base a theory that we should be very careful what we learn. - Henry Peach Robinson

2 comments:

Anita Jesse said...

Whew! I'm worn out from just reading about all the projects you have taken on. Selfishly, I am happy to see you begin these projects. Now I can look forward to enjoying the photographs you produce. As for the progamming languages, better thee than me.

nielsp said...

Thanks again for dropping by.

Last evening I was able to get out and complete the set of 3 lighting series.

With the sun shinning on the metal it sure creates a lot of contrast.

Some of my favourites are where the highlights are retained on metal edges and the other parts are more dark than normal.

I hope you will enjoy these also.

Niels

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