It was bound to happen. I have been pushing this little project for the better part of a year. Later, later, I thought. Always later. It’s funny how we often take what we have for granted. So yesterday, I “latered” no more. I packed my gear and headed for the Museum of Civilisation in nearby Hull, just across the river from Ottawa. This is one beautiful piece of architecture, it has curves that would make Monica Bellucci envious.
I mean, seriously, I don’t know why I kept pushing this aside. This has been the most fun I’ve had photographing anything in a long time. I arrived just a tad before sunset and just waited it out. I knew that those golden pot lights scattered across the structure would be just the perfect compliment for the twilight sky. Compose…shoot. No metering nightmare, no contrast debacle. Just pure curvaceous delight.
When shooting buildings I always give the same advice: go beyond the building. Don’t think in terms of the entire structure. Rather, concentrate on the building blocks: the straight lines, the curves, the patterns. Use them to lead the eye, use them as abstract patterns. Just don’t limit your options. Also, as I pointed out in a recent post, don’t limit yourself to horizontal or vertical shot. Explore the freedom of the diagonal. Can’t fit your lines horizontally or vertically, try shooting at an angle, you’ll be amazed.
All these shots were made using a Nikon D700, Nikkor 14-24, no filters, no HDR, single exposures. As far as lighting as exposure, this is pretty much as easy as it comes: the lights comes from the building and neighbouring street lampposts. When shooting at twilight, all you need for perfect exposure is to meter off the sky. That said with the new cameras (i.e. D700 here), just trust your matrix metering. Spot on! I chose a cloudy white balance to really showcase the glow from the street lamps without taking away from the deep blues in the sky.