Monday, June 17, 2013


The other day I found myself back at the Pabst Brewery campus looking for more photo opportunities.  With all of the old, deteriorating buildings to choose among, this time I found myself taking shots of painted walls, more precisely, peeling and chipping paint.

This first photo, of a vertical pipe, is actually the last that I took.  Not much of a shot, I'm afraid.

I didn't want the background to be a distraction, so I positioned the camera close to the pipe, which kept the background pretty much blurred out, even though the aperture was set at f/8.  Not much to it, really, though I did like the texture.

The following shot is pretty common, but I did like the different colors of paint, also deteriorating, underneath.

Here's brick wall that had been painted a few times, once upon a time.

Here is another section of the same wall.  I liked this shot for the fact that the blue paint had largely worn off, except in the grout lines.

OK, pretty simplistic.

In the next couple of shots there really isn't much paint left and much of my interest was in the lines in the underlying wall.

I liked the colors and textures in the following shot, but there is a "balance" problem, as the bright yellow paint predominates on only one side of the image.

And here's another shot with compositional issues.

I especially liked the small patch of brighter yellow paint in the upper center of the image.  However, the original photo, which was rotated 90 degrees clockwise from the above, included the entire whitish blotch, surrounded by the dull yellow.  I didn't think that made for a pleasing image, so I cropped the shot to cut off part of the white blotch and rotated the image counterclockwise to create some symmetry with the white spot.  This is better, I think, but there is another issue.  The right side of the image has more complexity than the left.  Still, I like this shot quite a lot.

Here is one more photo.

I took this shot because of the faint pink color in the upper portion of the image.  Paint, but maybe just because something red had bumped into or rubbed against the wall.  This shot, my favorite of the bunch, seems to combine compositional balance with a subtle color and textural complexity.

Even though I took these shots in the evening, as daylight was starting to decline, there was still enough light that I was able to take these shots handheld and still get very good sharpness.  One of the advantages I had was that the walls were essentially flat, so I could get by with a shallower depth of field, opening up the lens's aperture so that I could use a shorter exposure in gathering the same amount of light.

I had fun taking (and working on) these shots, so I think I may find myself doing more of this in the future.


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