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Stuart Carver's picture

A touch of Escher

Hi all, not sure if this is the right group to post a shot like this but here goes. Im normally a Landscape photographer but i do like trying my hand at other areas. This shot was me trying to capture the inside of a building correctly, this grand staircase looks stunning in person so i was trying to capture that. Taken at the Bowes Museum in Durham, UK, i was shooting handheld with an ultra wide lens, single exposure 10mm at f6.4 ISO2000 with the Fujifilm X-M1, cropped for the dreaded Instagram 4:5.

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David Perman's picture

I suggest using a monopod for this sort of thing. There are some smaller ones that can collapse into a small package. That might help you lower your ISO.

Stuart Carver's picture

To be honest I wasn’t specifically there to take photos, I went to see an exhibition. I stuck the smallest Fuji body I own and 2 lenses in a bag and simply grabbed this shot on my way around.

ISO doesn’t bother me really I’m not averse to having it bumped up to get the shot. I’m planning on going back soon though so will probably pack my larger body, not sure the museum allows monopods however.

Thank you for the feedback though, it’s all welcome :)

Chris Mai's picture

Looks like Hogwarts! And the colors, especially the ceiling in the gallery in the background and the columns, look a bit artificial, like a computer graphic, but I guess that is from lifting the shadows too much.

I would probably have chosen a different spot for the shot, more in the middle, so that the staircase leading down is more in the picture. Shooting ultra-wide, nothing is gained by shooting from an angle as in the picture, especially since the left side of the image is cropped out.

Also there seems to be happening what Mike Kelly mentions a few times in the ctc videos, the shifting between a 1-point and a 2-point perspective.

Stuart Carver's picture

Thanks for the feedback Chris:)

I have some shots from the middle but unfortunately there is a large banner advertising a Lego exhibition blocking most of the entrance hall below (you can see it overhanging the stairs)

My aim was to try and have the staircase leading up to the top of the picture and into the top corner of the frame, I’m not sure if this is compositionally correct or not.

I haven’t lifted the shadows much at all as it was fairly evenly lit, the columns are however like a smooth marble material as opposed to the rest of the material which is stone, plus my editing skills, or lack of have contributed to it looking artificial.

Chris Mai's picture

oh ok. what a ghastly atrocity to disfigure such a beautiful place with a lego banner! I can see it now that you mention it.

Stuart Carver's picture

Haha yeah although it was a Lego exhibition that’s in place at the moment, they had a large scale model of the whole building which was pretty impressive. They had also set up a treasure hunt where kids could search the museum for the Lego versions of various artefacts. There is a David Hockney and Chris Moore photography exhibition on show too, was interesting.

I think there is an outside shot of the building on my profile pictures that I shot a few months ago, it’s an impressive place.

Stuart Carver's picture

Scratch that, I haven’t posted that shot on here yet, I’ll need to sort that out tomorrow.

James Zuffoletto's picture

I don't often critique others so this is really more of a comment. This image immediately caught my eye as I was leafing through the outstanding pics submitted by this austere group. That, in itself, was enough to tell me it was worth a compliment to the artist. First, you had the presence of mind to grab a camera on the way to the exhibit. Second, your observation of the innate beauty of this structure is a tribute to your artistic eye. My point, of course, is that I learned long ago to stick with first impressions. Being a landscape photographer I'm sure you realize its important not to miss the forest thru the trees. Nice job.