In Photograph 2, I tried to employ a couple of similar techniques – the misty effect of the river against the shore and the smoothness of the water and also subject matter and sublimity. However, a lot of this photograph bared significant differences excluding the aforementioned techniques. These differences included: a different kind of compositional device. I was half-forced into making this change in composition because there wasn’t much foreshore to choose from and the space within which to work in was quite cramped. Having said that; I decided on this composition as well; influenced by some of the 18th and 19th century paintings I had been researching regarding framing.
As I had noted while carrying out research on 18th and 19th century paintings, ‘I felt the framing elements equally led the eye’; however in the case of photograph 2, the objects framing the scene were not ‘trees framing the main subject’ and the subject didn’t possess ‘small figures and an expansive sky’ but rather the scene was framed by parts of the Thames’ foreshore and instead of the ‘small figures and an expansive sky’, there was obvious a huge famous landmark – Tower Bridge. I thought this kind of framing was very powerful and quite unconventional for me and the type of landscape images I had produced to date. The reason I found it powerful was that the viewer’s eye was forced in between the two high, vertical columns of perhaps an old wharf (even though there was some space on the right side of the photograph past the right foreshore element). This I had experienced was a typical trait in the paintings, where the viewer’s eye was forced to the centre of the image. However, because of the foreboding presence of Tower Bridge, for me at least, my eye was attracted to this landmark but also, ‘bounced back’ towards the foreshore; which was unfamiliar and suddenly became obvious to the viewer.
Another difference Photograph 2 possessed compared to Photograph 1, was the time of day it was shot at. I visited this part of the Thames’ foreshore just before the Golden Hour, where the light from the Sun was casting interesting shadows and highlights on Tower Bridge, while the foreshore remained quite dark. This was another case where I felt the black and white treatment applied added for me to the sublimity of the scene. Instead of there being a warm glow to the Tower Bridge, the viewer would potentially be more inclined to look at the form of the bridge and how it related back to the strange foreshore.
The time of day also meant I had to utilise different equipment on my camera and employ a different technique for Photograph 2 than Photograph 1. This included a 10 stop neutral density filter on top of the lens to reduce the amount of light hitting the lens dramatically, which was necessary in order for a slow shutter speed to be acquired in daylight. Also, I had to blend two images – a lighter exposure based upon the shadowy areas of the foreshore and a darker exposure for the highlights of Tower Bridge and the sky.
One more compositional point of note was that although the viewpoint didn’t look particularly high; in fact my intentions were to keep the viewer ‘involved’ with the foreshore, I still had to raise my tripod to its full height in order to get some of the river between the Thames’ foreshore and Tower Bridge. I felt this retained the context of the river as the linking factor between the landmark and the foreshore.
So the technical information for Photograph 2 was:
Darker exposure – f11, 56s, ISO 100, focal length 11mm. Filters used: 10 stop neutral density filter
Lighter exposure – f8, 38s, ISO 200, focal length 11mm. Filters used: 10 stop neutral density filter