Monday, April 1, 2013
Photographing Abandoned Places: Depth of Field & Contrast
"Wish You Were Here!" If you want to portray that statement, you need to place the viewer in that space and understand just how vast something is or how contracted. You want to give them the texture so they can almost reach out and touch the setting.
Depth of field--showing how much distance there is in your photo's view.
This shot was a no-brainer. This abandoned stone shop had lots of weird rooms and strange places and every angle was good, but the thing that got me about it was looking through the building--a door through a door through a door through a window to the distant desert.
Before and After. (Before upping contrast and lowering brightness to bring out texture) Using a doorway to frame this shot above. It shows so much depth in the building and interest. It's like looking to the guts of a gumball machine. There was so much texture and so much architectural interest. A distant shot would have lost all this precious complexity into a giant gray blur.
Climbing up on the rocks, the slick perspective down the granite slivers showed the texture of the precarious perch and the shadows within the rocks show their size and depth and the length of them points to the distance. I just asked myself while up here, what impresses me most and that was the fact I hadn't fallen flat on my ass to the rocks below because it was so tricky and damp from the rain. So, I found a shot that said to you "hey, isn't this fucking stupid?" So, I shared what was inside my head with you visually.
When you're in a scene, just ask yourself, "what impresses me?" Enhance it!!!
This long wall pointed to the desert, but more importantly, the wall itself was interesting and crumbly and so I got a shot that accentuated just how long and complex it is going to the beauty in the distance as if it's pointing with its hand.