The Underground

Photographing buildings, architectural detail and the interplay between man-made structures and nature is a favorite pastime of mine. Sometimes, as in this photograph shot while I was in transit on the London Underground, it is more interesting to zero in on a mood or emotion, than to stick with pure representation.  Here, in a post-modern view, tiny commuters are just visible between the out-sized struts and tubes.

When I was invited to submit a photograph for consideration in the Goodman Business Park architectural photography competition, I did a bit of a scramble through the archive. How to choose just one image for a topic as broad as “architecture”? In the end, I sent in a photo that I felt captured the gritty mechanics of interior structures at the Westminster Tube Station. The competition’s professional judge agreed and I took home the prize: a Sony NEX-5R with a 16 to 50 mm lens.

Architecture
Rounded vertical elements frame the window of a building near Basel’s main train station. The look is sober and solid, its depth accentuated in black and white.

All of my professional work is done with a hefty, hardy member of the Nikon family of Big Cameras. Now, for those times when a big Nikon is overkill, or when I need to pull a camera from my bag on short notice, there is an alternative.

I have experimented with the new camera over the past several days, and so far, am pleased indeed. Three things get my vote:

  • I can still shoot in RAW, giving me more flexibility for post-processing.
  • The LCD screen has a touch shutter function that allows me to simply touch the screen to focus and snap the photo, and
  • The ability to easily change the exposure bias.

Here are a few more architectural shots made with the Sony.

 

Architecture
Classical lines of this many-windowed building, with its prominent centerpiece of ornamented double-height windows and dark doors. The texture of the image complements the façade’s symmetry.
Architecture
The Gallus portal on the western façade of Basel’s Munster (cathedral) dates from about 1180, and is considered the most important Romanesque sculptural work in Switzerland. The portal stands out against the granite blocks of the wall, both flecked with the afternoon shadows of still-barren limbs of nearby chestnut trees.
Architecture
Zooming in on the Gallus Portal, it is possible to make out details on the tympanum above the doorway: Christ enthroned in the top centre, flanked by Peter and Paul, with the Wise and Foolish Virgins below.
Architecture
Clouds scuttling overhead are reflected in the glass wall of windows of a bank in Basel, Switzerland. The clouds seem to be floating out of the glass.

In general, I think these images do a fine job of illustrating some important attributes of structures in this architecture-obsessed city. Although I have no plans to abandon the Nikons, I am happy to add the Sony NEX-5R to my travel kit.

For more photographs like these, visit the Cityscapes gallery on my photographic website.

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My thanks to Goodman Business Park and to David for a great new tool for my camera kit bag !

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