Kingston Apartments – an adventure in B&W

 

Kingston apartments

Kingston apartments

Functionally abstract, these concrete forms outer the commoditised lives contained within. For this reason they are rightly called apart-ments.




Composition in the wild

You could walk straight past a couple of kangaroos and never know they were there – perfectly camouflaged! I’m a bit suspicious of kangaroos wearing camouflage – they might be up to something. But what struck me about the scene, was how they led the eye up the hill, even though one was looking out of the picture. So what is going on here to make the image dynamic?

Kangaroos

Kangaroos

I think there are four compositional elements at work here:

The power of diagonals
The darker green tufts of grass set up a diagonal across the image from lower right to upper left.

Relationship between elements
Whenever there are two subjects, the eye forms a relationship between them, which in this case leads the eye from one kangaroo to the other – again lower right to upper left. But why that direction, and not from upper left to lower right? The answer lies in the gaze of the lower right kangaroo looking past the observer towards the left. The shape of the body takes you up that same powerful diagonal to the second ‘roo which has its back to us and is looking to the right.

Rule of thirds
The two kangaroos are approximately one third in from each side, and the lighter colour bands frame the image.

The vortex effect – the eyes have it

And here’s where it gets interesting. Our eyes are drawn first to the eyes of the lower roo, but then they are drawn up the diagonal to the upper left – where that kangaroo is looking to the right, so our eye is drawn back to the lower right in a kind of vortex that belies the tranquility of the scene. This adds to the sense of alert-ness of the roos and makes for a compelling image.

So beware of alert kangaroos wearing camouflage – especially in an urban environment. Yes, I lied about the wild. These ones were only 300 metres from my front door, in the nature strip between two suburbs. In darkest Canberra. Next thing they’ll be door-knocking…

 



Sydney – Circular Quay

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge by night [Jerry Everard]

What a great week! A short break in Sydney and a chance to attend the one-day ProBlogger Event and photo workshop sponsored by Olympus. Not only did I learn a lot about blogging (and I’ll be introducing those in time on this blog…) but I also gained some great insights into photo practice with a professional photographer at the photography workshop.

I had a chance to meet with Darren Rouse who is the driving force behind both ProBlogger and the Digital Photography School – that I have followed with great interest for some time. The main event will be held on the Gold Coast in August – and I already have my ticket. These events are so popular that they sell out quickly – the first 400 tickets went in just ten minutes!

Anyhow, after the photography workshop I thought I’d try some long exposure night shots – great for smoothing out water, removing the people and bringing out the architectural details. And where better to practice this than on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House!

Sydney Opera House by night

Sydney Opera House by night [Jerry Everard]

You can see how the water has been smoothed out by a 30 second exposure. I achieved this by keeping the ISO at 100, stopping down to f/11 and using a neutral density filter to control the exposure. The canon 60D was mounted on a tripod and I used a remote trigger to reduce vibration.

Woman in black dress

Woman in black dress – Circular Quay, Sydney [Jerry Everard]

I liked the leading lines in this one, and it shows how people become ghosts in a long exposure (20 secs) – only the woman paused over her phone for long enough to remain sharp in the image.

More Sydney photos soon!