Flatiron Detail

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.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Wow – Mark! This is fantastic. No only did you nail the composition but you also got fabulous light and this makes a huge difference. I took mine on a dull, flat day but that splash of sunlight on the front of the building makes an enormous difference.

    I hereby crown you King of the Flatiron (butI need to find some excuse to get back to NYC to try and reclaim the title 🙂 ).

  2. Mark really an outstanding shot. The lighting is awesome.

  3. This is outstanding Mark, I love the lighting and the details
    Dave DiCello recently posted..UnexplainableMy Profile

  4. You caught some fantastic light Mark!

  5. That’s just crazy you can make such photos. Wonderful work for sure.

  6. Mark, I love this shot! Awesome tones and love the light splash on the front of the building. The details are awesome! Haven’t seen Dave’s, but this one is top notch!
    Jim Denham recently posted..Another FallMy Profile

  7. God, the lines and the light in this shot are beyond phenomenal! PERFECT composition here, Mark, which further adds to the drama that the wonderful natural light is basking the building in. Great colors, great tones… a GREAT image, my good friend!
    Toad Hollow Photographys recently posted..BC Forest Discovery CentreMy Profile

  8. I haven’t seen Dave’s version, Mark, but this is magnificent, I like the camera position, the tight crop, the level of detail and the rick tones. You nailed this.

  9. I’ve seen many images of the Flatiron over the years, but this one is absolutely brilliant, the light is perfect. I hesitate to use the word – but this is ‘unique’.
    LensScaper recently posted..Street ArtMy Profile

  10. superb detail, great light, contrast and color mark.

  11. I saw this when it hit Twitter but am a little behind on RSS feeds, sorry for the delay, but I absolutely love the detail in this image. VERY WELL DONE.

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