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Well, it's not a building...

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by PJohnP, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    ... but I don't think I can post another, "non-night photo" to the Night Photography forum (even if this photo is kind of in the dark). But this isn't quite architecture in the building sense of a big skyscraper. Although I.M. Pei did design it, and he is an architect - a truly fine and great architect, in fact - so well, maybe it counts towards a NikonCafe Architecture Forum contribution... Hmmm.


    The Miho Museum is one of the marvels of Japan, which is an extraordinary accolade given that country is filled with wonders, marvels, and sights to delight.

    The museum is isolated from nearby villages, and even more because the entry building, adjacent to parking and buses, isn't contiguous with the museum building proper. Instead, there's a long winding road, the connects to the museum. Ah, well, perhaps I need to make an entire thread over in the "Place to Shoot or Visit" forum to explain this completely (but more on that later and in that forum).

    But for the moment, there is a curving tunnel through a mountain peak that visitors must walk (or ride in an electric cart), before embarking on the next stage of the approach.

    Shooting around the tunnel is a touch tricky. There's literally a light at the end of the tunnel - daylight - and this carries around the curve. There are multiple periodically placed lights with a curved vertical element upward, and a constant line light along a railing like structure. Judging this light set successfully requires that I either be willing to "blow" the least important highlights, or accept a overall darker look to the tunnel.

    Pei's vision for the tunnel was obviously anything but dark and dank, so I decide to let the tunnel end light blow along with the closest "impact zones" of the vertical lights up the walls. The light balance is also odd, but I decide to stay with a Cloudy -2 WB, and then work with it in processing. While I can correct it to a sterile white look, I've already decided to leave the feeling "warmer" than perfect.

    Composition is also harder than I had thought it would be. I envisioned that the curve of the tunnel would carry the composition, but that's not going to work in and of itself. Crouching down a bit, I can "grab" the line of the lower wall on one side. But that falls outside the "rule of thirds". Indeed, both walls and the tunnel line are forming towards the dreaded "halfway" mark. Ah, me. Hurm. Perhaps if I turn the perspective slightly, I can manage the tunnel "ringlines" to bring the eye around the top of the image. If I step back a pace, I can keep one of the vertical light fixtures in the frame. And people... Ah, let's get some folks in frame with a jaunty walk (if possible).

    Then, just depress the shutter.

    D100, 28mm f/1.4, 1/125s, f/1.4, processed in NC, no crop

    Always shoot.

    John P.
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Another well done post John. Nice pic and enlightening narrative.


  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Frank :

    Thanks again for the kind words. And I'll be looking for some less kind words along the way in future threads.

    Why ?

    Well, 2005 has several (photographic) objectives in front of me.

    I want to continue to develop my wildlife shooting, but more, I want to develop some solid skills at portrait photography, an area I currently lag badly within; advance my eye for photo composition, especially in the area of architecture; and put some systematic polish into my documentary photography skills for my work (which isn't terribly creative, but needs to be technically sound at all times).

    If I'm going to get better, I'll need some critical review of my work - something we used to get on DPR before it devolved into namecalling and endless idiotic speculation on which camera does what - and I'll be offering it, if asked, for others as well.

    Don't get me wrong, I like praise as much as the next guy, and perhaps more than the one past him, but I do need to get the bad news when warranted.

    Composition. Exposure. White balance. Grey balance. Clean non-grey blacks. Focus. All that stuff. Maybe even finding a good technical explanation on how DEE (or the new thing in NC 4.2) works so I can apply it better. Or more appropriately. Or maybe not at all sometimes, even if I think it should be used.

    So. I'll post more photos soon. Tell me what you think. Really.

    John P.
  4. John,

    You're going to have to post a flawed picture to get critical comments. So far I haven't seen one. There's always room for the future, though! :) 
  5. Some things I like: The people images that go from silhouette to near silhouette as you progress into the tunnel. The gentle curve with the near perfect placement and golden line to draw you into the photograph. The warm colors that make the image inviting. The gentle curves at the top of the image that direct your eye back into the image. The one distracting element is the second tunnel to the left of the image that fights for your attention but adds nothing. I would be tempted to clone it out. Well done John.
  6. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Gordon :

    Thanks for the kind remarks.

    Second tunnel ? {ponders the image for a moment} Ah ! That's one of the lights with the vertical orientation and a curved "splash plate" . Hmmm... Now I need to think on this for a bit - I purposefully placed that in the image for the scale factor.

    Thanks for that catch. I hadn't even thought of that as looking like another tunnel.

    Always something more to learn (or perceive) for me.

    John P.
  7. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands
    WOW,I like that one
    Great comp. and color
    Do not agree with Gordon on the "second tunnel"I like it this way
  8. marek

    marek Guest

    Any more from this museum? This one is teasing for more! I think the curves driving through the frame could have been dealt with better by a wider lens, but obviously you shot with what you had.

    How's the 28 f/1.4? I've been considering a wide prime for street use - something faster and more unobtrusive than my 15-30 sigma.
  9. John:

    First, I doesn't handle English writing very well, being mainly a French speaking and writing person. I try the best I could to express my comments. But in case my words lead to some misinterpretations, please forgive me for my «bad» writing English.

    Secondly, I'm not a very experienced photographer and I still struggle to learn and improve myself in the composition area. So please take my comments as coming from an amateur.

    I'm at the same place as Gordon about People silhouettes, gentle curves, golden line, except for cutting out the second tunnel. I agree that the second tunnel competes with the main one for viewer attention but IMHO cutting it out will make the picture «unbalanced» (I hide it with a piece of paper (simulating a crop) and what I saw makes me feel uneasy: the cropping makes the picture looking overall darker and unbalanced.. May be if the 2nd tunnel a little bit darker, it will less compete with the main one.

    Also, the height of the left wall and the position of the one on the right (high in the picture, relatively speaking) gives the picture a feeling of tilt to the left.

    Correct me if my comments are wrong, so I can learn too.

    My regards.
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