Early morning sun illuminates the facade of Riverside’s Municipal Museum.
A Photowalk can be just the thing to energize your tired eyes. It’s a nice break from the kind of photography I do for paying clients.
Downtown Riverside has some visually interesting buildings.
The trick is to get there at the right time.
For these two pictures of the steps with strong graphical elements, I intentionally underexposed the image so that details in the shadow area wouldn’t be visible and distract from the design of the steps. I also adjusted by aperture to give me the maximum depth-of-field. So in this instance, underexposing was just a matter of raising the shutter speed 2-stops. So if my exposure was iso 100 1/60 sec @ f16, all I needed to do was set a shutter speed of 1/250 sec @f16. Canon 40D with a 50 mm lens.
Overcast days and foggy mornings may beÂ alright for some landscape type pictures,Â but not for this exercise.
If you’re just looking for some exercise in composition, I’m sure you’ve read and heard this a million times–early morning or late afternoon is the best time.
That’s the time you will get the best modeling from the sun since it’s just above the horizon. It’s also when the light has warmer tones. Just keep an open mind and study your subject in your viewfinder.
Most mornings after dropping off my kids, I grab my camera and my favorite lenses,Â the 50 mm and 17-35 mm wide angle zoom.
Traveling light is important when just exploring the downtown.
If you get so bogged down with gear, you won’t be able to enjoy yourself as much.
The Municipal Museum has a strange enough facade.
There is a round cement orange just to the right of the stairs leading up to its entrance.
The edges of the steps are painted in white. When you move in on the steps you can find interesting graphical elements. Intentionally underexposing makes the white paint pop even more.
If you time your arrival right, the statue that is upfront can be rim lit by the sunlight while the rest of the building is in shadow.
Don’t forget to turn around and study the statue. With the blue sky as a backdrop, and the statue lit with strong side-lighting, this can be different view from what you usually see.
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Try to come up with a different view of the mundane. Study the backgrounds. What’s not adding will take away from your main subject.
Depending, again on the time of the day and the time of the year, the blooms from that plant is lit exquisitely from the early morning sun.
Anyone driving by downtown won’t help but notice it.
In the case of those steps, I could see a foot with just the right shoe might make it stronger.
And in the shot of the bougainvillea plant, maybe a mysterious hand watering the plant?
Something more obvious now that I look at the picture is what I said about backgrounds, the reflections in the window bother me.
If I had to do this over, I would try a different angle so that the reflections don’t show.
That means I have to stand in the middle of the street to take this picture.
In the city, sometimes it just takes some patience. Wait for a big dark truck to pass in front of the storefronts across the street. It will block out the reflection.
Do you have any thoughts on this?