Monday, March 19, 2012

Using Size & Space ~ Mono Monday!

"The Guardian"

Sometimes your circumstances force you to be creative. No easy answers pop into your mind, no quick fixes will do a subject justice. Gosh darn it, you have to apply every skill you've filed away for just such an occasion. This was the situation I faced as I walked the pier by the bay in Hamilton last week.

This Algoma Central Corporation Tanker is part of the largest fleet of vessels serving the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence Waterway. And due to it's enormous size and proximity to other industrial spaces hovering near along the pier I discovered I didn't have enough focal distance or enough room to back up and include a hefty portion of her all tied up to the dock. But I liked the lines and anchor chain sweeping away from her, I liked how massive her front end looked (not a nautical term by any means but hey, I'm a photographer) and I realized that even the weight and size of her could be conveyed if I was careful.

The key to this image working well, is playing her size against the steel mill off in the distant haze. There were no dramatic clouds, there were no people I could coerce into standing in the photo to give perspective and scale...
but I anchored the remaining part of my composition and perspective onto that steel mill and suddenly this image tells a story. Those lines lead your eye down to the outside of the frame where you suddenly realize there's something in the distance and the image comes together. The contrast of size and all the space needed really worked in the photographs favor. To say I
was giddy when I realized I could work this out is an understatement. Okay, so I did a jig in the middle of the pier, but don't tell.

I still wasn't fond of the the color version when I was editing, so I decided to process in Corel's Platinum b&w filter and warmed it slightly with a Nik plug-in called Skylight to remove the starkness from the image. Now shape and space and size are the main characters... and the Algoma Guardian now looks as if she's watching over the harbour.

I've missed focusing on monochromatic photographs. I hope to have some more ready soon. In the meantime, enjoy your day. And take the time to photograph something. Have a good one folks, and thanks for the Ramble!

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