Urban & Architecture Photography

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Posts in Glasgow
Mixed media collage: is this the Glasgow in Bits eBook cover?
Glasgow+in+Bits+Collage+Mixed+Media

I have been a bit quiet on the photography front recently but I have been trying out loads of ideas for the next edition of the Glasgow in Bits eBook.

Honestly, I have never really been happy with the original covers.  The first two versions of the eBook seem to have been rushed out a bit quicker than they should have been and on both occasions the cover image was a bit ‘splash and dash’ I suppose.  You live and learn.

After a few missteps I have created something I am actually happy with and (at this stage) I am ninety percent sure this will be the cover image for the next edition of the Glasgow in Bits eBook.

The collage its is created using only photographs taken for the Glasgow in Bits project and was entirely analogue until the very last stage where I photographed the design and added a few paint splatters etc in Photoshop.  I have to admit just being away from the computer I creating something using such simple tools was a really enjoyable experience, and one I am sure I will take up again soon.

Urban and abstract photography using classic lenses: Canon FD 100mm 2.8

The Canon FD 100mm 2.8 is the first vintage Canon lens I have tried. Come to think of it, it is the first ever Canon lens I used. Period.

I have read a few bits and bobs about Canon’s FD range and I took this out for a spin around the city centre in Glasgow.

Modern architecture in Glasgow’s financial district

Modern architecture in Glasgow’s financial district

I enjoy using these telephoto primes as the lend themselves perfectly to a more abstract style of photography - something I seem to be continually pulled back to no matter how I much I try to move on to something new

The lens itself was light and responsive. Even when using a fairly chunky K&F adaptor the FD 100mm 2.8 sat nicely on my Fujifilm XT2 and felt comfortable in the hand.

The 100mm focal length is great for picking out architectural shapes and details

The 100mm focal length is great for picking out architectural shapes and details

The focussing was silky smooth - although I did miss focus on a few occasions but I will put this down to user error and the fact I was scurrying around eagerly searching out compositions. The aperture rings clicks nicely in to place. Overall the lens is a joy to use.

Brutalist architecture in Cardogan Street

Brutalist architecture in Cardogan Street

Architecture on the river Clyde

Architecture on the river Clyde

Motorway overpass near Anderston

Motorway overpass near Anderston

More information on the various Canon FD 100mm 2.8 can be found here.

If you have any questions about this lens or these images please leave a comment below.

Urban photography with classic lenses: Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm f3.5

The Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm f3.5 is a small, light and responsive lens. Focussing was nice and smooth and I really liked the colour reproduction especially using the Classic Chrome film simulation. Black and white shots also looked pretty decent when using the Acros film simulation too.

The photographs here were shot in RAW and processed in Adobe Lightroom with some minimal tweaking to contrast, colour balance and sharpening.

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

[XT2 / Acros]

[XT2 / Acros]

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

[XT2 / Classic Chrome]

More information on the various Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm f3.5 lens can be found here.

If you have any questions about this lens or these images please leave a comment below.

Bored with perfection: why I had to create a new style for my urban and architecture photography

I initially moved to mirrorless around a year ago in order to find a camera system that was light weight and could be used in the city with minimal fuss; a system that left me a more nimble, responsive photographer.  This is hardly a revelation and I am sure this is the exact reason a lot of photographers ditched their heavy dslr and lenses for a mirrorless set-up.  For me, the switch to mirrorless ran parallel with my desire to create a new style of photography too.

I love architecture and I love photography but I have to admit sometimes architecture photography leaves a little cold.  To be honest, I have always found perfection a little boring (not just in photography!) and to a large degree, architectural photography is often too perfect for me.

I have been wrestling with this in my own photography and have been trying to create a style that focuses on architecture but embraces more of a ‘street photography’ aesthetic.  I love the immediacy of street photography, its imperfections, the grain, the way it captures the essence of a moment.

Zaha Hadid apartments The Highline

After purchasing John Comazzi’s excellent Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography book a few months back I finally became convinced that this was the direction I wanted to go in, or at the very least, a style I had to experiment with.

It had been obvious to me that my style has been undergoing change recently, most notably in the amount of black and white work I am creating.  This certainly wasn’t a deliberate choice and I cannot really say why I began doing this.  Nonetheless, it is a definite theme in my work that has occurred completely organically.  All I know is that I want my photography to look less perfect in order to capture the ‘spirit’ of the building, place or environment I am photographing.  At this stage, I do not even know if I am even capable of this but it is something I need to try and achieve.

Reflections at the Highline

Perhaps it was my visit to New York where I finally realised that the big city is not a place of perfection.  In such a ridiculously busy environment that looking to achieve perfect images often resulted in me missing out on numerous other photo opportunities, or I felt I was creating images that just seemed to lack something.

I would be interested to know if any other photographers have felt like this and felt compelled to change their style of photography.  Is this something we all go through in order to find our voice as a photographer?  Please feel free to comment below.