Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting the Shot I

I only name shots after I’ve worked on them and the name has presented itself – never in advance. This is because what I intend the shot to be when I take it may not be how it turns out – so it was with this shot.

I was back in the city over the holidays and was having a great time shooting downtown. Lots of snow, was getting good night shots and I like the fact that it was cold – I tend to get bothered less. Still, the cold has its own problems and I’m always looking out for gloves that will both let me work my camera and keep my fingers from freezing off. On this evening, the fingers were freezing, and I was ready to hop on the el for a ride around the loop to warm up.

Now, I don’t always remember the specific reasons that lead me to take a shot or what exactly captures my eye, but in this case I think was the bulk of the Trump Tower being framed by the buildings along Clark St. with the el tracks providing a leading line. Just one problem – it was night and you’re not supposed to use tripods on el platforms. Well, no worries – I simply walked to the end of the platform and braced my camera on the railing at the end of the platform.  I do this sort of ‘found tripod’ thing all the time in the City and while it can occasionally be limiting in composition, more often I find it leads to something interesting. There was one slight problem with this makeshift tripod however – the railing was at a slight angle. No problem I thought, I’ll just straighten it in photoshop. However, when I brought it into photoshop, something interesting occurred – it looked far more dramatic if I INCREASED the angle of the shot. I actually would have liked to rotate this a few more degrees but I was simply losing too much detail in the corners to go much further than this.

Now, like I said, I don’t name shots until they’re done – really not until I’m getting ready to post them to flickr and I have to come with something better than DHARMA_123456_1234 which is basically what my shots are all named on my computer. Well, as I looked at this one, it was actually pretty easy; the image looked pretty cinematic but to me it went even further and had a sort of comic book quality to it – and as someone who was raised on Marvel Comics in the eighties, that’s not a bad thing.

My initial thought was to name it ‘Excelsior’ but the more I thought of it, the shot really reminded me more of one comic in particular – and so the title turned out to be pretty obvious:
“Ditko and Lee, Call Your Office."

Ditko and Lee, Call Your Office

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