#5 Crop to com­pose

Practical Photography (UK) - - 10clicks -

The term ‘ar­chi­tec­tural pho­tog­ra­phy’ brings to mind graphic im­ages of the curves and cor­ners of epic struc­tures loom­ing over cityscapes. How­ever, when cap­tured the right way, vast ex­panses of space can be just as ar­rest­ing as over­pow­er­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. Javier Ser­rano (500px.com/javierser­rano) shot this im­age of a large ship when wan­der­ing around a busy port with his cam­era.

“I’ve been work­ing in Kobe, Ja­pan, as a Span­ish and pho­tog­ra­phy teacher since 2004. I love go­ing out around the city to ex­plore, as it’s such a friendly place. Eight years ago I was look­ing around the port and came across a ship from the Kawasaki Ship­build­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. The com­pany’s em­ploy­ees were paint­ing the hull of a 55,100-ton Panama-reg­is­tered ves­sel called Navios Ar­mo­nia (hence the big ‘V’ and ‘I’ in the im­age).

“I im­me­di­ately knew that I wanted to cap­ture the colour and vast scale of the scene be­fore me, so I fired off a shot. How­ever, when I got home and started edit­ing the im­age I re­alised that the pres­ence of water in the im­age wasn’t giv­ing me the re­sult I wanted. This fi­nal pho­to­graph was the re­sult of crop­ping the orig­i­nal file, so the water in the lower part of the im­age was taken out. This gave a greater promi­nence to the red hull. I also found that the dif­fer­ence of colour tone along the ship’s wa­ter­line em­pha­sised the com­po­si­tion I’d cho­sen.

“One of the most in­ter­est­ing things about this shot for me is the work­ers. They pro­vide es­sen­tial in­for­ma­tion about the scale of the im­age. Those two men look so small when com­pared to the mas­sive vast­ness of the hull, which gen­er­ates sig­nif­i­cant vis­ual im­pact for the viewer.”

Above Use a com­bi­na­tion of a tele­photo lens and Pho­to­shop’s Crop Tool to per­fect your com­po­si­tion.

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