Rodney Campbell's Blog

Keyed on Architecture…

by on Jun.28, 2015, under Life, Photography

One of the styles of imagery I really enjoy – both looking at and taking – is fine art black and white architecture long exposures with clouds streaking through the sky.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 246 sec at f/11, ISO 100

You need a pretty specific set of conditions of this style of photography. There is no exact formula but there are certain things which can certainly help including:

– a certain type of cloud cover/pattern – not cloudless and not completely cloudy – you want a sky which is predominantly blue with lots of fluffy separated pieces of cloud.
– something like 25-40% cloud and 60-75% clear blue is great.
– you need the clouds to be moving – and reasonably fast – ideally in one or two distinct directions (sometimes you get two different layers of cloud moving in different directions and the effect can be quite interesting).
– the direction of cloud is also important but you can often adjust for that by moving around your chosen subject building to get the lines you want.
– you of course need interesting architectural subjects – modern building often suit this style of photography but older or classic buildings can also work.
– sometimes very contrasty light works for the type of image you’re creating but I often like softer more subtle light on my buildings.

so for me – the conditions this morning were perfect for my take on this style of photography. It was time to swivel about on the expressway and point back towards the city skyscrapers behind us which overlook the Cahill and the harbour.

Up top is the famous AMP building which was Sydney’s first highrise to take advantage of the lifting of the 46m (150ft) height limit which was enforced until 1957. It dominated the city’s skyline for many years.

Sometimes even any old random apartment building can be made to look somewhat interesting as a monochrome architecture piece :).



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32 mm, 245 sec at f/11, ISO 50

We then headed down off the expressway to ground level and directly below the AMP building. The light was getting a little strong and harsh by this stage (it was 7:20AM and almost an hour after sunrise). Still the results can be pretty striking.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 307 sec at f/9, ISO 100



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 62 mm, 246 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and finally on to one of the newer modern glass structures along the quay offering up lots of opportunities for fine detailed structures and interesting patterns and shapes. The Gateway Tower at One Macquarie Place.

Dark Blade

Dark Blade

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 38 mm, 245 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Time to head home after a great morning out. Thankyou Gerry for the loan of the BigStopper mate; and thanks to Melinda for some excellent title suggestions.

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