Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Patience, persistence and planning.

Yup, boring as it may seem. Those are three key attributes for success. For architectural photography it helps to know the time of day and light quality you want for the shot you've planned and that's a combination of creative vision and either a recon or hitting the maps to find the time of day for the light you're after. Despite that, you're constantly at the mercy of the weather and the regularly 'partially cloudy' or 'mostly cloudy' weather forecast doesn't entirely rule in or out a beautiful photo opportunity so it pays to be flexible. Be prepared to scrub the shoot at the last minute or grab your kit and go, likewise, when you're on the ground, be prepared to stay there for a good while. Don't just sit there, explore the locale but be prepared to get back to your target quickly, the clouds could part for 60 seconds to give you that shot then it's gone for the rest of the day. If you happen to live somewhere with a more stable weather pattern you might not have that grief but equally you might not get the opportunity to shoot in weather conditions that could give a sense of 2-3 seasons in one day.
  Also on the patience point, we all know that there are definitely areas you should be careful about hauling out your expensive camera kit but don't be too quick to write anywhere off. On a recent trip over to West Croydon, yes, Croydon!, I got some images of a new striking building. Lot's of colour and geometry, pity about the couple of ropes still hanging from the very top all the way down to the ground whilst the finishing touches are being made.

See! Not sure if the red panels are supposed to look like flames licking up the building facade as some sort of a nod to the fires set during the riots some years ago. Not something I'd expect to be immortalised in the building design for sure, but what a beautiful addition to Croydon's frequently grey skyline.
The building sector is in a near constant state of flux so keep an eye out for new buildings going up but also old buildings coming down, providing new, cleaner aspects on other buildings.
Think you've exhausted all the opportunities in your local area, (really?) then find a bus route that takes you off to unfamiliar ground, start researching the area with Google and take the time to get over the there for a recce. Scoping the area doesn't require the best weather but take a camera, just in case, it'll allow you to document likely subjects even if the light's poor, better still if you can geotag your images. On the off-chance any camera manufacturers read this, it's time any camera costing over £500 had GPS built-in, not 'available with an optional (over-priced) accessory'.
On the subject of weather, we've had a few delightfully Spring-like days but it's still February and a storm is imminent so be prepared, dramatic weather can be very picturesque even without a beautiful building in shot. Proof of which was a top 12% (?) place for my image of a heavy fog in an open woodland on microstock site Twenty20:
Until next time folks, don't get blown away by Storm Doris (proof the public should not be naming storms or anything else) and get out there shooting. Better weather means less excuses to not get regular exercise and pictures.

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