Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adjusting The Dome

My friend Brady posted about A Photo A Day and Lightbender (my other blog) on his blog today (thanks, Brady!). Brady lives in London much of the time these days, and thinking of Brady made me think of London, a city I love. Here's a photo I took last time I was there, in 2003.

The photo was taken on Millenium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge which spans the Thames river. While crossing the bridge, I turned to look at St. Paul's Cathedral in the distance, and immediately knew I had to snap this photo.

It's a pretty easy to achieve trick. It relies on the flattening of the scene and the resulting possibility of scale confusion which occurs when shooting with a very long depth of field (those bad snapshots which look like a telephone pole is growing out of grandma's head is the same effect at work). All it takes is a small aperture setting and a careful lining up of the objects you are shooting.

Although it was unintentional, the crane growing out of the guy's head on the right side of the photo demonstrates the same concept. While that's the sort of thing that can ruin an otherwise good photo (like a telephone pole growing out of grandma's head), in this case it contributes to the surreal feeling of the photo.

I use this photo in my classes when I'm lecturing about how to achieve depth of field changes in a camera, and how to use both long and short depth of field creatively.

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