Still Image

I decided to take all my stills using my iPhone as I am not confident enough with the DSLR and just wanted to be able to go out and snap without looking too conspicuous. I was most concerned with the framing of my shots, to make my pictures more interesting and to add interest where I could. In all my photos I wanted the sky to feature and to show contrast with buildings beneath it. Here are the selected 5:


  1. The sky again tries to dominate but the man made buildings at edges of the frame both left and right are closing in menacingly I think. They look like curtains closing in on a window soon to block out all light. There is life inside the building if you look closely we see a figure standing up close and enjoying the view of the sky and light unaware of what is happening behind her. I particularly like the flats in the centre, lit by the setting sun from the right, and their shapes overlapping make the buildings look connected, like a family. The trees in front of them give them a break and separate them from the next block of concrete. I like the triangular shape in the centre of frame; it draws your eye upward to the sky but then back down again to the buildings at the base. The clouds as always are an added interest adding movement to the shot.


2. An image of a tall looming building, housing hundreds of people slicing through the pale blue almost empty sky. The sun lights only the top half of the building, leaving the rest looking dark and cold. The sharp corner at the top of the frame seems to point right in towards the sky and then forces your eye downwards to the ladder looking column of windows on the left that disappear out of frame. What I like most is the lamppost silhouette sneaking in to frame half way up on the right, completely out of place looking like a giraffes head nosing in on the scene to see what’s going on.


3. I was experimenting with in the style of Alvin Langdon Coburn (as discussed in other work) and wanted to include silhouettes in the frame. What I think works well with this shot is the way the man made traffic lights are shown as black and contrast with the reds in the background on the tower block. The building as well offers interest with its 4 different colours but I like the way also that I have managed to capture the setting sun as it illuminates one strip of red to really stand out and catch the eye. The added interest of the man made structures in opposition or conflict with the living tree struggling to survive in the concrete and steel world adds drama. The extended arm of the traffic light as it looms in toward the centre of the frame adds menace, it is taking over but can also look like an extension of the tree. You almost miss the central grey lamppost structure resembling a ships sail as it blends into the concrete behind it and the more you look the more you see. The sky adds more drama as the light is fading on the day but the clouds add some hope with a last hint of white clinging on.

I am really pleased with the angle I chose and my positioning for the shot, the straight lines cutting through, the shadows on the far left of frame and strong oblong shapes really help define the frame.


4. The theme of the sky is continued. The shot is sort of split in half horizontally and it can feel quite clam, peaceful, quiet and empty with the amount of natural light shown from the sky. But also I wanted to show how the sky looks like it could be battling its way in from the outside – a beautiful friendly blue filling over half the frame with a hint of white cloud pushing down onto the windows to be let in. From inside, the glass windows and the grid protect us but we know the sky is huge and universal and will win. Or are we trapped inside with prison bars on the window preventing our escape to the beautiful outside? The protruding triangular window centre frame gives the shot more perspective and luckily has reflected images in giving even more depth to the picture. The sharp edges and corners of the man made structures could pierce or damage the soft sky outside perhaps. Again because of the sky being part of my story, I shot at a low angle so the shapes and angles look strange which put you off balance I think.


5. This shot was taken inside The Galleries, my main subject again being the sky. It’s easy to forget about the sky when inside, but at Cabot with the huge amount of glass windows and ceilings it pours through and gives everyone inside the sense of being outside. I chose this position to shoot as the hanging light is central which contrasts well with the light from the sky directly behind it – it almost seems unnecessary and pathetic in comparison to the sky’s natural light. The clock too adds another circular shape to all the straight lines that dominate inside the frame and reminds us of time spinning past, the rush and chaos associated with shopping and daily life. I purposefully chose to shoot from an angle where the stairs crisscross each other as it reminded me of Escher’s House of Stairs and added more chaos to the image. The strong solid concrete steps on the left of frame contrast with the thin delicate structure of the roof panels and handrail lines. I like that the darkness of the steps I am standing on to take the shot are in deep shadow which also exaggerates the blueness and power of the sky above.


Other photographs from the project: Discarded


Theme of the sky continued obscured by buildings. Note the buildings at bottom centre, the student accommodation featured in the photograph from one of the final five. Also the bird on the right.


A shot in the Galleries showing four people going four different directions up escalators and stairs. Frames in a  frame. Wes Anderson and Escher influenced. Order in an otherwise hectic and chaotic frame


Subject walks through the frame. A happy mistake, as he looks like graffiti.


Interesting green tone colour palette. Sinister in ways. (This walkway leads into this)


Here the sky theme is continued. A more joyful atmosphere. Lovely colours.




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