Roughly two years ago I saw a photograph of the Flatiron Building that blew me away. It was November 2009 and I was barely a month into photo blogging, but I had quickly connected with a bunch of other photographers online, one of whom was Dave Wilson. I’ve learned a lot from Dave, and others, and he still probably knows at least twice as much about many photography techniques than I do, but back then the difference was in the order of magnitude, not multiples. When I saw his close up detail shot of the Flatiron Building I was blown away and my eyes opened a bit more.
Starting out, I had a smattering of good instincts for composition, I knew a small set of tricks and rules, and I devoured as much content as I could to learn more. As Dave explained in his post: ” Rather than shooting the usual wide-angle images showing the entire building, I wanted to capture a closely cropped image showing the symmetry and geometry.” I have incorporated this idea in several of my own photographic compositions over the last 2 years, but purposefully avoided making a similar image of the Flatiron. I knew I would someday, but I wanted enough time to pass for me to forget as much as I could about Dave’s image before I made my own. I intentionally refrained from looking at his original again.
Two days ago, Sunday morning, I happened to be shooting other subjects about one-quarter to one-half mile from the Flatiron, and had the idea to go ahead and try my own version when I passed by an establishment called the Flatiron Lounge, and it reminded me how close I was. As a test, I tried to remember as much as I could about Dave’s image, but all I could be certain of was that it was a close detail. I could not remember if it was straight on to the front edge, at a partial angle, or from the side. I was not sure how tight he got in, and I also did not remember anything about the processing. My best guess was that Dave’s was from a side angle that just showed the lip of the front curved point, which has obviously turned out to be incorrect. It’s possible that was my own idea 2 years ago for a way to twist his original, which I misremembered. Funny thing memory.
After I finished processing my version, I finally went back and looked at Dave’s again. Frankly, they are more similar than I intended, but I think there are still enough differences to call this my own, with substantial due credit to its inspiration. Thanks Dave.