Sculpture Photography

Monuments, statues, all sort of sculptures, are all around us in urban settings, parks, and many other places. The are fun to photograph. Here are some thoughts on how to go about it and what you might do to make your images expressive and unique.

Photographing Sculptures

When you photograph a sculpture you are working with another artist’s creation. You can document it like for a catalog, but that might not provide the most exiting image. You can interpret it in your own style and come up with a photo that does justice to the sculptor and yet allows you to express yourself.

You might consider showing how the sculpture “lives” in its environment. Here are a couple examples.

Johnny Mercer Statue, Ellis Square, Savannah, Georgia

The Waving Girl – Savannah, Georgia

The two photos above tell their stories almost completely by themselves. These sculptures work in their environment and are enhanced by their setting.

Sometimes showing the surroundings is less effective like here with the African American Family Monument also in Savannah, Georgia.

African American Family Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Now the nice thing about sculptures is that they hold still. You can take your time to wait for better light, even a better season. Here are three more views of this statue.

Here we have the typical tourist snapshot on the left. The light is blah, the background is distracting, the processing does nothing to enhance the image. The center image has the trees in the background leaved out covering up the building and bringing the viewers attention more to the sculpture. It is also more contrasty to bring out the details. You will agree that the the image on the right is better photograph in this group.

The first one was taken in late afternoon with an overcast sky. The one on the right was taken the next morning, about 8 am, with the morning sun bringing life to the sculpture. The side view and side light bring out the individuals, giving volume to the figures. Take your time, come back when you can find better light, maybe fewer visitors that might block just the angle you like, and even better foliage as shown here. That is the charm of statues. They wait for you.

Approach sculpture as you would a portrait shoot. Move around, find the perspective, the view, that works best for you.

Some angles work better than others. Experiment. Take you time, the subject isn’t getting impatient.

Monuments are meant to be seen in totality to convey their story, but you need not feel that you must tell their story. It is fine to get close, to show just part of the subject.

Haitian Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Close-Up – Haitian Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Hey, photographers, look at me!

.:.

© 2018 Ludwig Keck

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Sharing large images with Photosynth and Zoom.it

Panoramas and other large images can look puny in online photo sharing sites, blogs, and social websites. Two services can provide impressive views even of the largest images.

Photosynth provides a three dimensional simulation, and Zoom.it a flat presentation that can be zoomed. Here is a demonstration of a vertical panorama in both services.

LJK_6854-62-P-stitch

Sweetgum Tree Awaiting Spring

Click the images to see the expanded photo in Photosynth and Zoom.it.

Now for a quick review on how to generate a panorama for sharing in Photosynth.

There are two was of creating a Photosynth. For a smooth, three-dimensional appearing version the image is first prepared in ICE – Microsoft Image Composite Editor.

Overlapping images of the scene are loaded into ICE. The photos should overlap about a quarter or more, they can be made hand-held, ICE is pretty smart at stitching them together.   The photos must be taken from the same position in a rotating motion.

ICE assembles them and offers two “export” options. For Photosynth select “Publish to Web…” This will call the Photosynth program which then takes over and completes the task.

image

The second method produces a “classic” Photosynth and the overlapping photos are sent directly to the Photosynth program.

Both the Photosynth and the ICE program imagecan be called directly from Photo Gallery. Just select the thumbnails, click the Create tab, click More Tools… and select the program. Oh, yeah, of course, you have to have these programs installed on your PC. They are free and easy to get – from the same menu in Photo Gallery, see the illustration here.

Photosynth-01

For the Zoom.it version the image is exported from ICE to the PC by selecting “Export to disk…” Note the cropping outline in ICE. The image can be cropped before exporting to the PC. That is what I have done for the demonstration image here.

Zoom.it needs an online image to work with, so just upload the large panorama to you SkyDrive and get the image URL from there for use in Zoom.it. Make sure that the upload resizing option is not set to resize the photo.

Once you have the image URL (from the address bar when View original is selected), go to zoom.it and load the URL into the entry field there.

image

Click the image to see the “classic” Photosynth way of showing overlapping photos.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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Photography makes news

photokina-logoThe great photo equipment show, Photokina, once again has introduced a lot of new photo gear.

C/net has a nice overview article about what is happening:

How camera makers are getting their design groove on

Pop Photo has a gallery of innovations at:

Photokina 2012: The Best New Gear

20120919_Leica_S_001_610x526Samsung-NX

 

Sony-RX1

Enjoy the articles and start saving your pennies!

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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