Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

July 12, 2011

Summer Substitute Subjects

Filed under: entropy, Non Birds — richditch @ 1:45 pm
Derelict house

Derelict house

Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-300 AF-S VR @ 140mm, ISO 200, 1/30th second at f/11.

With summer temperatures firmly established in Phoenix and the rest of central AZ I’m not doing much photography of birds or of anything else that requires going outside. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the need to be making images!

A couple weeks ago I noticed an old house in serious decline trapped between a popular mall and an expanse of condos. It looked like the house was scheduled for demolition to make room for more condos but the Bush economy collapse caught up with the developers. I made a mental note to see what photographic potential was contained here, so on the past weekend I made a mid morning visit. I was able to park close to the building and check it out from all sides and angles. I’d planned ahead by mounting my 18-70 “kit” lens on my D300 body and a 70-300 VR lens on the D200 body to give wide optical coverage and minimize the time I spent exposed tot he sun and heat. I set both cameras to ISO 200 as I didn’t foresee any moving subjects. I planned on using the Gitzo tripod with REally Right Stuff ball head to deal with slow shutter speeds and make composition more controlled.

I shot more with the D300 and wide angle zoom than I did with the longer lens, but found my compositions stronger with the 70-300. I’ve always liked longer lenses to isolate interesting detail, and macro lenses for the same reason, so I wasn’t surprised by the results.

What struck me immediately about the first image when I opened it on my Mac was the way the shape of the broken glass reminded me of a Raven. I don’t recall thinking that at the time I made the image, but it jumped out at me as soon as I same the thumbnail on my Mac screen.

Here’s a second version showing more of the wood frame with all that wonderful texture.

Derelict house

Derelict house

I like the framing and texture that it adds, but I think it diminishes the raven impression this way.

Derelict house

Derelict house

Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-300 AF-S VR at 300mm, ISO 200, 1/200th second at f/11.

This seems a bit more “formal” than the previous images; I suppose that is due to the larger number of straight lines here and less color. IT is the sort of i subject I would have relished 40 years ago when I started photography and had an active wet darkroom for B&W film and printing. In fact I envisioned converting all the images from this old house to monochrome, but I was surprised that I find all of them more pleasing as color images.

Derelict house

Derelict house

 Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-300 AF-S VR at 300mm, ISO 200, 1/180th second at f/11.

My final “window” shot that I’ve processed from this session.

All of these images fit into a category I’ve labeled as “entropy,” from the “gradual decline into disorder.” I can’t explain my fascination with this theme, but I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.


1 Comment »

  1. Nice abstract on the first broken window image, my first thought upon viewing the image was that is looked like some type of bird. Glad to see that you like your D300 and that you and Ernie and Burt are staying cool. Not my favorite time of year either.

    Comment by Jim — July 13, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

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