A couple of weeks ago, I spent a miserable Saturday morning taking pictures for the Perspective module of my course. The weather conditions were not ideal – strong winds and dark rain clouds over Plymouth’s seafront. My subject was Smeaton’s Tower on Plymouth Hoe – an old, reconstructed lighthouse overlooking the coast.
I had to take three pictures of my chosen subject from different perspectives. The subject had to fill the frame, meaning that I had to adjust the focal length of the lens as I moved towards or backwards away from the lighthouse. This had it’s complications – the first time I tried this, I almost ended up walking backwards into a large group of German schoolchildren who were being given a tour of the monuments on the Hoe, some of whom were already staring at the guy walking backwards across the Hoe.
There was also the strong, coastal winds. Keeping my hands still could be difficult, but I think I managed it well.
I think this subject is probably best shot in sunny weather conditions. I have certainly taken better pictures of Smeaton’s Tower in the past. If the clouds were darker and stormier, then this could have had potential for a more dramatic scene. Unfortunately, they were mostly overcast, grey and dull, which did not help at all.
This picture was taken at it’s longest focal length, which has compressed the perspective by bringing background and foreground elements closer together. This perspective seems to place the subject firmly within the context of it’s background.
This picture was taken at the shortest focal length. At this wide-angle perspective, you get a better sense of it’s height, but the perspective is distorted so that the base is huge and you can hardly see the top. I would say this image is the most striking of the three because of the way the subject towers up into the dark clouds overhead.
This picture depicts the subject at what I feel to be it’s most natural perspective. It is close enough to get a sense of it’s height without being too distorted or losing sight of the top of the lighthouse.
My next module is the final module, where I have to create an image and show all the steps I took in composing it. It will be the final post in my learning log for now. Hopefully I will be able to post about some more interesting personal projects from then on.