This is Part Four in our “Pointing Your Camera” series which is designed to help you filter the scene your eyes are seeing, and find that memorable scene your camera can see.  Part One, Part Two, and Part Three  before this are worthwhile reading.

Fuji x100 @F8 1/60th ISO 200

This is Part Four in our “Pointing Your Camera” series which is designed to help you filter the scene your eyes are seeing, and find that memorable scene your camera can see.  Part One, Part Two, and Part Three  before this are worthwhile reading.

I picked these three shots to make a point.  When you’re deciding what to point your camera at, think about if you want to show a picture of a pretty building, or if you want to tell a story of a pretty building.  Allow me to elaborate:

When I first drove past the grange I immediately knew I’d want to take a picture of the structure, so I drove around from all four sides, parked the car, walked around the four sides, and decided there were three different views from two different sides I wanted to photograph.  Each side would be compositionally different from the other.

The Feature Photograph is my favorite, but it may not be yours.  I’ll tell you why I photographed each the way I did, and maybe you can tell me which you like better.

The Feature Photograph tells the story of how the grange is placed in its community.  It shows it being located next to its own gas pumps where its members come to fuel their vehicles.  It’s on a main boulevard directly before the Interstate 5 entrance.  The I5 South sign acts as a distant foreground anchor and I love the way the light illuminates it’s surface.

I came back the next day at dusk to get this picture knowing the sun would be behind me, shining on the I5 South sign, the gas pump sign, the cars, and of course the grange building itself.  The clouds in the background were a bonus, and lend a beautiful contrast between the dark blue/grey clouds and faint yellow patina of the metal siding of the grange building.

There is so much in this scene that it’s almost ‘too’ busy, and while normally I shy away from busy scenes, in this case it’s what made the image. You can actually ‘feel’ the life surrounding this grange building.

 

This image of the same grange building and even the same side of the building, but from a different angle isolating the building from its environment so I could focus on the building itself. I made this capture on the first day I did the walk around.

Fuji x100 @F8 1/350th ISO 200

This image of the same grange building and even the same side of the building, but from a different angle isolating the building from its environment so I could focus on the building itself.  I made this capture on the first day I did the walk around.

I was hoping to catch the light behind me as I did in the first one, but despite doing this many times I was still surprised with how quickly this type of light makes its appearance and then disappears into darkness.  I made four exposures from this position, one after the other, and by the time I was done and thinking about my other view the sun had dropped behind the horizon and darkness enveloped the scene.

Can you tell the suns direction behind me when looking at the shadow of the street light to the right of the middle door and in between the two windows?

When the sun is at this steep angle its very intense allowing an F8 aperture and fast shutter speed virtually guaranteeing a perfect critical focus and adequate depth of field (DOF) along with underexposing the sky background resulting in the deep blue.  The resulting exposure gives nice deep colors, reflections on the steel siding, and an illuminated loading dock door entryway.  Love it!

It’s a nice picture of a unique building, but it sits alone without the rich context of its environment.  You can’t tell if it’s in the middle of a dirt field, a big parking lot, a bustling downtown, or even at an airport.  You must be satisfied with the building itself and the satisfying way the setting sun embosses its features.

 

The other interesting view showing several major features the other views didn’t.  It shows the high catwalks and the enclosed ladder the controller needs to climb into position, the two additional tanks, and did you notice the freight car underneath the local gangs graffiti?  Those big yellow letters really set off the scene.

Fuji x100 @F11 1/200th ISO 200

The other interesting view showing several major features the other views didn’t.  It shows the high catwalks and the enclosed ladder the controller needs to climb into position, the two additional tanks, and did you notice the freight car underneath the local gangs graffiti?  Those big yellow letters really set off the scene.

From these three images you can tell how thinking what you point your camera at rewards you with three very different views of the same building and remarkably different exposures than if you’d just pointed and shot in an automatic mode without any sort of exposure compensation (Ev).

This ends our “Pointing Your Camera” series and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.  More, I hope you’ve taken at least a small part with you.  Sharing ideas is the best gift possible, and I look forward to seeing yours.