Monday, February 28, 2011

Classic Downtown ~ Mono Monday!

"Lazy Days in the Core"
(1/1sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 23mm fl, 18-55mm kit lens, tripod, remote shutter, ND filter)

Growing up in the same city for your whole life means some things become icons, spots that you just know will always be recognizable, no matter how much the rest of the city changes. At the very heart of Hamilton's downtown core is Gore Park. It's one of those timeless icons for me. It splits the city's core right down the middle, buildings and businesses jammed up against either side. But in the center, this wonderful fountain, drawing young and old into the park all summer long. Gives you something to look at while trapped in rush hour traffic.

It's a bit contrary looking at times. On one hand you have the recently restored historical fountain, the city's pride and joy, and the flower beds and trees surrounding it, giving the illusion of quaint city park space. On the other, just beyond the fountain are the zillions of city bus stops, blaring traffic, and benches with sleeping drunks. Depending on how long you wind up sitting in traffic depends on which part of the view you really see.

I had to photograph Gore Park for a past job. The image above was the result of frequenting the park over the course of the summer and learning which days were the best to capture the classic nature of the city space. I discovered Sundays late in the afternoon were the best. Folks were out finishing up shopping, letting their kids dip hands in the cool fountain spray, and even seniors sat reading in the shade. Capture it all in Black n' White to boot, and you suddenly have an image that seems, well... timeless.

These are the types of scenes I find very easy to capture in black n' white. There are interesting shapes, lots of contrast, and a phenomenal sky is not necessarily a must. For this image, I had my tripod and remote shutter release so that I could use a longer exposure so as to blur and soften the water spouting up in the fountain, as opposed to it's spray looking frozen. The neutral density filter helped keep reflected light and the sky from becoming impossibly bright. Also, a women walking through the park is also in motion off to the right as she leaves the composition, due to this slow exposure. She creates some interest. As I saw this scene I couldn't wait to convert it into a monochromatic image. I can think back to Gore Park when I was young and it was slightly cleaner and less chaotic than now... and it looks exactly like this!

Mono images. They can reflect a very classic look to any type of photo. Portraits, landscapes, candids, architecture. Have you tried it yet?
Have a great Monday folks, thanks for letting me ramble!

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