This wonderful line was thrown at the wunderkind by Emperor Joseph II in the 1984 film Amadeus, which figures among my personal cinematic Top 10. Does this image have the same effect on you?
Why would I frame this disparate jumble of detail? The fussiness of the view is exacerbated by the safety fencing, the many, many rebars awaiting their concrete covering, the mustard yellow and cobalt blue primary colours in which some of the structural metal is painted and the odd contrast with the preponderant grey of the concrete which has already been poured.
My first response was triggered by the shape of the road snaking down the left of the frame. It provided a sense of movement and form, which gave birth in my mind’s eye to an overall sense of the abstract skeleton which is rising from the ground. I closed my mind to the jarring colour scheme and concentrated on framing a shape which used the road to take the eye through the image, from back to front.
Unconsciously, I was using the omnipresence of the rebars as a kind of weave effect on the overall surface, such as comes from the warp and weft in making cloth. It seemed to add a third dimension to the concrete surfaces of the road and the supporting walls at right angles to it. Finally, although the site was crawling with workers, I had to frame the photograph without any of them, in order to achieve the abstract intent of the capture.
This was a simple exercise, apart from taking the precaution of bracketing and using a monopod to improve stability. The principle issue was taking the image into monochrome in post-processing, in order to harmonise the image as an exercise in shape and pattern, rather than colour.
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: VR 70-200mm zoom f/2.8G
Focal Length: 200mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
Auto Focus -Area Mode: Single
Shutter Speed: 1/180s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation : 0EV
ISO Sensitivity: 400
Mounted on a Monopod
What response did it trigger in you? Is it interesting and coherent, or fussy and boring? Let me know.
P.S. Thursday 4 September
Patricia asked to see the version having reinstated the jarring colours, which I deleted for my version. Do you agree or disagree with my choice of removing them? Here is the image :
Copyright Paul Grayson 2014