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It is generally considered a poor idea to have a dominant out-of-focus foreground element in an image.  Our eyes naturally start with the closest elements in view. When we look at an image like this and see at that first blurry tulip just to the right off-center, it’s a bit disorienting.

But I liked the way those 2 in-focus tulips relate to one another from this exact angle. And this is not my garden where I would have felt entitled to bend that front tulip out of the way and risk damaging it. So here we are.

I’m not bad at composition, I’m just so damn ethical.

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  • Jimmy DenhamJuly 24, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    Personally, I like when we break rules like this – makes the image a bit more artistic and personal. Lovely colors too!ReplyCancel

  • Len SaltielJuly 24, 2014 - 7:47 pm

    You should know the rules before you break them and you chose correctly on this Mark.ReplyCancel

Miller Theater Doors, Columbia University


A fine if uninspired photograph. I mostly enjoy it for two reasons:

1. I’m amused at how I was able to stand directly, dead center of the doors, and yet avoid having any part of me reflected; and

2. I also like how the door itself is in focus but the reflection of the building across Broadway is blurred.

Minolta SRT-202
Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.2
Ilford Delta 400 film pushed.

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Statue of Liberty With Passing Boat Light Trails


It was very early in the morning; pre-dawn in fact. I took this shot of Lady Liberty and it needed to be pretty long — 50 seconds — just  to capture enough light. I was not trying for any sort of long-exposure effects and did not expect any. The Statue of Liberty is a statue after all. She does not move except in Ghostbusters 2.  Plus it was so dark that both the water and sky were essentially invisible, rendering the most common form of long exposure effects irrelevant.

So it was a surprise when I looked at the result and saw the light streaks. It was so dark I could not see the boat at all and did not even notice its lights in real time. It just turned out to be a very happy accident.

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Those blades on the roof of the new building spin in the wind, and look pretty neat from the right angle, and can be seen from a fair distance. As of now, if you look at that location on a satellite image map, it still shows an empty lot. Finally, you cannot see it here but I took this standing underneath an elevated subway line. I have another shot of the new building with its fans/blades/art? contrasted with some coiled wire hanging from the elevated that I will feature later on.


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Earlier this week I noted that I was a bit wary of posting some of my shots taken with real film, because I sometimes end up falling in love with a shot that has a weak composition or subject, simply because I love the look of the medium.

So here are two cases in point, which I think both fall into that category with a key difference. I think the image above is actually good. Not great, but a solid capture. It is enhanced by being a film image but has additional positive elements. In contrast, the image below is one that would have never taken with a digital camera and that has very little to say for it except that I do really love the way that the red and blue of the dumpster look, and contrast with one another. The loser shot would hold no appeal for me in digital. No matter what processes or plugins I added, it would never look quite like this.

But for all that, the image is nothing special — not because it is a photo of a dumpster, but because I don’t think the entirety of the composition adds up to much. The elements weren’t there.

The top image, however, has something. The colors work again, but there is something more. I think the interrupted flatness of it works.

That’s a lot of words that in the end  add up to an excuse for me to post an image I know isn’t that good but which I can’t let go of.

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  • ehpemJuly 18, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    I really like that first shot – it does have great colours and that nice feel of film, but there is a lot more to it than that. It has a nice balance, the rectangles work well, there are good textures. It would probably work pretty really well in black and white too – it is an interesting photograph. Can’t ask for more than that.

    I have been regressing toward film lately, and find myself posting some pictures I might not bother with if they were digital because I too like the feel.ReplyCancel

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