Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Lesson Is: Never Try

I’ll have to admit that I’ll probably never understand what makes for a popular photo. Take this one:

Chicago Plate 027

This is the most popular thing I’ve posted on flickr in a while – and yet I think it’s a cliché. As I mention in the description on flickr, this is most likely my last tilt-shift fake - I guess I’ve just grown tired of them (making them at least) and I’m not so sure I’ve ever really been all that good at them to begin with although that’s probably as much a result of not really putting the same effort in to these as I do in my HDR (or even regular) stuff.

Anyway, there’s a story about this photo too, albeit a short one. As it happened, I was riding the Brown Line north and happened to have a window seat with a clean window and so I figured I’d try to get some shots of the City and skyline while shooting straight down the cross streets. As I was shooting from a moving train, there were a lot of misses – in fact I really only hit on two with this being the better of them. Having said that, I think it was a pretty good hit – straight down the street without any cars cut off at the bottom of the frame. Even better was the great location of the cab in the middle. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to process this and was originally just going to process it normally, but the cars in the scene did sort of lend themselves to the tilt shift treatment.

I don’t think I made the wrong choice here (I think it basically works either way) but I guess that’s also why I’m done with the tilt-shift thing – it just feels like a gimmick. Even though I feel like this was well composed, the tilt-shift just doesn’t feel like it depends on proper composition for success.

So enjoy it while you can. You won’t have these to kick around anymore because this, sports fans, is my last tilt-shift fake.

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