Images Made: Woolsey
Images Made #1: Woolsey
I think the blog here is aptly named, though hopefully no non-meat eaters have been driven away. In the spirit of how things are made I’ve largely posted either behind the scenes views of some projects or called out other projects to showcase what I do. I’ve added a Projects page that largely takes care of the latter visually for larger projects, but I will still post mentions here too. With this post I want to start a series that shows more of how specific images are made. This is a simple one, but I think important in showing how an otherwise simple image is MADE, not captured. This is a distinction in understanding images – the images I make.
I see myself as an image maker and this is important in that I don’t see images “taken” or “captured”, instead MADE. Sometimes this is less artistically subjective in the photography of art (aka museum photography) where the making might be more about technical making (assembly) or in this case a more subjective, but not excessively produced image that uses a little foresight and an ounce of assembly.
This exterior image of Woolsey Hall in New Haven, CT was made to accompany interior images I made of the Civil War Memorial that lists both fallen Union and Confederate soldiers of Yale (look for an upcoming mention on those).
First, if there is time I want a scouting image. Camera phones are awesome for this and I’ve used a pano app to approximate the wider view I’ll make later.
Next is actual photography. In this case all images are made from the same view (what I most often do) as samples out of time or varied by some other parameter like exposure (a parameter could be depth of focus to give you another idea). The first image is my base plate, a clean scene with an accurate overall exposure.
This Woolsey Hall image is effectively an “editorial” image where the goal is to make a natural looking view of the building (not a more stylized or lush “beautiful building” image). While I want all of the building facade, I also want some context to place the building. Unfortunately the available context is essentially the intersection in front. That is not so much a problem as this building is an intersection of sorts itself, as a gateway to Yale’s campus. So that leads me to filling the contextual intersection space with traffic, and not car traffic, so I want pedestrian traffic. The majority of additional plates are then sampling out a good crop of human traffic.
2. Tree Branch
The branch hanging down as seen in the base plate is providing an affect I want, keeping the view contained lower in the image than floating up to the dome. It looks too heavy though and projects too far down into the frame. I want it more at the edge. Here are the plates that get the leaf parts I want (I’m just on a 4 step ladder pushing up the same branch seen in the base plate). A bonus has been that I like the wispy clouds that have appeared and given me something other than a blank blue sky.
Finishing an Image
All the above images are laid together. The finished image of the building is made up of all these additional elements on top of the base plate. Of course I could have closed the intersection, hired models, and had assistants hold the branches – and maybe had it all in one exposure. That is a valid approach and vary well could have produced an identical image. On the other hand the cost to create the image would be much, much more. As well there is something I think composed, not contrived about the image. Here again is the Final image.
Category: Architecture, Editorial, Images Made