Friday, October 30, 2009
New Perspective On Iconic Subjects
How to move beyond the "stock" shot for better photos of popular subjects
Weather Conditions. If you happen to be around when there’s an unusual weather condition, say, fog, a driving snowstorm, pouring rain or howling wind, don’t miss going out to shoot your icon in these special circumstances. That’s why, when I hear the weather might be turning bad, I hope it turns really bad because those extreme conditions provide a rare view of your icon. Mildly bad weather, on the other hand, a little haze or a nondescript sky, usually won’t give you the drama you need to make a striking shot.
Just Shoot A Part Of The Icon. Some icons are so, well, iconic that all you need is a part of them for your viewer to infer the whole. So, if you can find a great little café scene with one tower of Tower Bridge soaring in the background, you’ve placed your shot in London. In the case of The Bean, I came in close with a tele-zoom and shot the reflection of the Chicago skyline in just a part of the sculpture’s shiny surface.
I was in Chicago in May, prom season, and I noticed a lot of gussied-up high-school kids in tuxes and gowns coming down in the evening to shoot pictures of each other in front of The Bean. So, of course, I did the same thing, often hanging back with a long lens so all I’d see were the kids with this huge mirror surface reflecting the skyline behind them. It was fun to see how creatively these kids would pose and horse around in front of this giant mirror.
Use Extreme Optics. If you own a really long tele or an extreme wide-angle or fisheye, try using it on your icon. The extreme rendition of perspective with these lenses can help you come up with fresh angles and juxtapositions.
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