Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Wave, Maryport

The Wave is a community centre/concert venue on the harbour side in Maryport. It is an interesting modern building who’s structure is presumably meant to reference the sea and the maritime heritage of Maryport. It is built on the old wharf area and is surrounded by a mix of modern housing and older buildings. There are grassy areas nearby across the river and it is overlooked by a couple of viewpoints on a small hill – also across the river. As an alternative to mechanistically ticking off the early exercises I thought I tried to set the design of the building in its context as a small one or two outing personal project.

From the town centre you need to cross the river to actually reach The Wave, but I chose to stay on the opposite bank which gives this rather attractive end-on view. As requested in Project 2 I have tried in this, and several of the shots to compose both horizontal and vertical format shots. As suggested in  Freeman’s The Photographers Eye I think this is made slightly easier by the 4:3 format of my camera. In this particular instance I think there is little to choose between the two version, although the vertical shot would benefit from a better sky, and the horizontal is slightly better suited to the structure of the building and its surroundings. Both show the curved theme of the building and the rather unusual vertical axis wind turbine in the car park.

Entrance to The Wave (i)  Entrance to The Wave (ii)

A little further along the path, taking my lead from Projects 5 and 6, is an old, and lichen encrusted cast iron bollard, which also offered possible horizontal and vertical shots:

The Wave with bollard (i)  The Wave with bollard (ii)

I prefer the horizontal shot, but I think the vertical is also valid. It would probably work better with greater depth of field, which is perhaps something to try for the next visit.

The next few shots take their lead from Projects 5 and 6: First a general view from the rear of the building, then a shot from the same place, but with the camera almost at ground level, then a shot from a few yards to the left, and then finally a few more steps back. This last shot definitely did not work in a horizontal format but I do wish I’d pressed the shutter rather than rejecting it automatically.

The Wave (i)  The Wave (ii) 

The Wave (iii)  The Wave (iv)

Moving on up the hill away from the river – using some handy steps – gives a couple of options again from the same position, just horizontal or vertical framing, the former providing a much more rural feel than the second, which begins to hint at higher ground. In this case both treatments are equally valid, although I think a person in front of the building in the vertical format would definitely add something extra.

The Wave from Castle Hill steps (ii)  The Wave from Castle Hill steps (i)

And finally, the view from the top. In trying to maintain the spirit of the two projects I have tried to maintain roughly the same focal length throughout, and in this view it seems a little restrictive. In trying to ensure enough of the surrounding context I have perhaps squeezed the building itself too far to the left, but , for the first time, the true context and harbour side setting is starting to be revealed.

The Wave from Castle Hill


This process of revealing the true context of the building finishes with this Panorama (Project 3) which was produced by the simple expedient of cropping a shot from a 7mm wide-angle in Lightroom. For me this is the anchor picture of the set, with the rest providing additional detail and flavour. I think (hope) there is sufficient detail in the sky and sufficient ‘movement’ in the river to counteract the rather central horizon and prevent the shot from looking too static. Again though, a few people would have helped, but a Wimbledon final is a Wimbledon final, and I think most of the population were glued to their TV sets.

The Wave 3:1 Panorama

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