Tuesday, 15 January 2013

St Paul’s - Choosing the moment

As suggested in the text I’ve avoided sunsets for this exercise. These shots were taken from the cafe of the Tate Modern on Bankside and show the impact on an image of changes in natural lighting. Fortunately the wind was quite string and the clouds moving quite rapidly, so I could capture a variety of lighting effects in a relatively short time.

St Paul's(iii)
In this first version the cathedral is in full sunlight and the foreground in shadow, which has the effect of focussing all the attention on the cathedral. There is a sharply defined contrast between the traditional architecture, which perhaps symbolically is in full light and the modern building in the foreground and in the distance, all of which are in shadow.
St Paul's(ii) In this version a cloud shadow has covered the towers on the right, which brings them close tonally to the modern architecture in the distance. This produces an odd symmetry, which coupled with the brighter foreground, produces a curiously flat and un-engaging image.
St Paul's(i) In this version the lighting on the foregound is brighter still, and the cathedral is completely shadowed. In this version the cathedral provides a sense of foreboding – perhaps an almost threatening presence. There is a hint that the tower in the background is about to be caught in the light, which would have made an interesting comparison, but sadly it didn’t happen.

I’m quite pleased with the outcome of this quick shoot – which was a reaction to the view through the window. In the past I’ve tried similar exercises from hill-tops and other lookouts, but never with this degree of success.

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