anyone interested, at time of writing all of the pictures here were
shot using my Nikon N90, with one of several lenses which include a
Nikon 80-200mm 2.8AFD and a Sigma 170-500mm as well as some shorter primes
and a Tamron 90mm macro.
invariably use a tripod for this work and rely almost entirely on the
camera's excellent metering capability, with an occasional decision to
switch between spot, centre-weighted or matrix metering according to what
is in the frame.
traditional technique would involve trying to get the camera as near parallel
with the window as possible in order to avoid paralax
distortion and this would often entail the use of ladders and perhaps
even scaffolding. True professionals might even take steps to hang
material outside the building in order to diffuse the light and in
addition might seek to remove any wire meshes which have been installed
on the outside to protect the windows.
have not had the time or resources to work in this way and therefore have
sought to use equipment and technology to compensate for the lack of time,
assistance and peripheral equipment. The
long lenses enable me to shoot from further back which at least partially
reduces the distortion.They also, more importantly, enable me to isolate
panels and details which results in vastly superior results than if one
tries to capture an entire window. By always using a heavy tripod I am
able to shoot at very slow shutter speed, sometimes many seconds, and
this enables me to use slow, fine-grain film and small apertures to obtain
maximum depth of field.
a shoot there are additional opportunities to make adjustments and improvements
to the work digitally. One example is the ability to create finely-detailed
composites of entire windows or groups of windows which yield far more
detail than one negative or slide can contain. Another is the chance to
'clean up' images and brush out unsightly wire meshes. Some of the work
posted here has been digitally improved in this way but by no means all
importance of the film used is not to be underestimated. I have
already indicated that I prefer slow, fine-grain, film but there are
several makes to chose from and each has its own individual
characteristics. I used to quite like Agfa Ultra (now discontinued) but
with hindsight it is probably a little too saturated. Velvia produces
nice results - the Saugerties shots were on Velvia and they look great,
perhaps even a little greater than the actual window. Fuji Sensia saved
the day on one shoot where Kodachrome produced very disappointing results
with poor shadow-detail. My favourite slide film at present is Agfa RSX
and for prints I go back and forth between Reala and Agfa Optima.
do not regard myself as being anywhere near sufficiently well
qualified to talk authoritatively about these technicalities so I will
keep this section short but I just wanted to share some of the details
and blow away any myths that this is some kind of rocket-science.
I believe I have been able to establish over the last couple of
years is that there are not too many examples of this kind of work
readily available and very few indeed online. While I have no concrete
proof I honestly believe that this website will very soon, if it is not
indeed already, be the largest online source of this type of artwork.
Unfortunately the content is limited to where I have been and what I have
been able to shoot but nevertheless it represents some very fine examples
of the art-form.