TOP TIPS

A round-up of ideas and ad­vice to help you pro­duce per­fect pat­tern pics ev­ery time

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

1

TEN TOP BUILD­INGS FOR PAT­TERNS If you hap­pen to be in the vicin­ity of any of these amaz­ing ex­am­ples of modern ar­chi­tec­ture, don’t for­get your cam­era!

• THE OCU­LUS, NEW YORK CITY

• THE GHERKIN, LON­DON

• CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, VA­LEN­CIA • THE GUGGEN­HEIM MU­SEUM, BIL­BAO AND

NEW YORK CITY

• THE WALT DIS­NEY CEN­TRE, LOS AN­GE­LES • THE LOU­VRE, PARIS

• THE DANC­ING BUILD­ING, PRAGUE

• HARPA CON­CERT HALL, REYKJAVIK • SEL­FRIDGES, BIRM­ING­HAM

• PWC, FRANK­FURT

2

SEARCH THE CITY Ur­ban ar­eas are ideal places to find pat­terns – look closely at of­fice blocks, win­dows, doors, street fur­ni­ture, road mark­ings, the de­signs painted on cars, vans, buses and lor­ries, fancy brick­work and paving, dis­plays in shop win­dows and on mar­ket stalls.

3

EX­PLORE BUILD­ING SITES Builders’ yards and build­ing sites are well worth seek­ing out. Piles of bricks, con­crete blocks, tim­ber, drain­pipes, roofing slates, gravel, paving slabs, buck­ets, re­in­force­ment bars, scaf­fold tubes and lad­ders are just some of the sub­jects you’re likely to find that cre­ate pat­terns.

4

CON­VERT TO BLACK AND WHITE Sim­plify your pat­tern im­ages by con­vert­ing them to black and white. Use an ap­pli­ca­tion such as Sil­ver Efex Pro (nikcol­lec­tion.dxo.com)

– the High Struc­ture presets are great for em­pha­sis­ing pat­terns and the Colour Fil­ter presets can to­tally trans­form the ap­pear­ance of an im­age.

5

CAP­TURE RE­FLEC­TIONS Re­flec­tions mir­ror the world around them, and this rep­e­ti­tion can pro­duce in­ter­est­ing pat­terns. You’re more likely to see it in modern ar­chi­tec­ture, as there’s of­ten rep­e­ti­tion in the de­sign any­way. Other fea­tures such as spiral stair­cases, fire es­capes and ex­ter­nal lifts can also make great pat­tern shots when re­flected in the build­ing be­hind.

6

SENSE OF SCALE Whether you try to cap­ture a sense of scale is up to you. Of­ten, pat­tern im­ages work bet­ter when there’s no scale, be­cause it makes the viewer take a closer look and try to fig­ure out what they’re see­ing. Rip­ples on a beach could be tow­er­ing desert dunes shot from the air, for ex­am­ple.

7

USE THE RIGHT LENS A tele­zoom lens al­lows you to mag­nify and iso­late part of a scene and ex­clude any un­wanted de­tail. They can make the el­e­ments in a scene ap­pear crowded to­gether – if those el­e­ments are the same or sim­i­lar, the pat­tern they cre­ate is more ob­vi­ous.

8

MAKE YOUR OWN PAT­TERNS If you’re strug­gling to find pat­terns, head to your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, buy a range of fruits and veg­eta­bles, and shoot some nat­u­ral pat­terns in close-up – or­anges, onions, pomegranates, ar­ti­chokes, ro­manesco broc­coli and kiwi fruit are a few good ex­am­ples.

9

FIND SUB­JECTS IN YOUR OWN HOME Stack­ing books, records and plant pots, or play­ing around with things like colour­ful plas­tic party cut­lery can cre­ate eye-catch­ing pat­terns. Any­thing that sug­gests rep­e­ti­tion through shape, line or colour will make a great pat­tern pic­ture.

10

ROOM FOR IM­PROVE­MENT Pat­tern im­ages can of­ten be im­proved dur­ing post-pro­duc­tion. You may find that by crop­ping dif­fer­ently to how you com­posed, the im­age will ac­tu­ally work bet­ter. In­creas­ing con­trast and boost­ing colour vi­brance is also worth try­ing too.

AboveBUB­BLE BATH This pat­tern im­age was cre­ated by mix­ing wash­ing-up liq­uid with wa­ter, giv­ing it a quick whisk to cre­ate thou­sands of bub­bles, then mov­ing in close with a macro lens

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