Perhaps the most photographed structures around the world are prominent architectural buildings and monuments. Tourism takes people around globe to interesting and attractive places and exhibits ancient to modern history in several forms like buildings, paintings, artwork etc. Taking pictures of architectural buildings requires some skill and effort. Trying to compose entire structure into one frame is most common attempt made by several tourists. Experts and photography lovers will go a step ahead and try to capture the minute details of architecture in their cameras with their creative ideas and skills. Advantage with these architectural structures is they remained in same place for years and will allow you to re-visit for better exposures if you are not satisfied with the results at your lab. Beauty of architecture is every component in structure looks beautiful and attractive. Visitor will try to cover as much details as possible in different angles with his camera to his knowledge. Some go lucky and some get to learn.

This picture was clicked at Qutub Minar in Delhi, India. It is a tall structure engraved with verses from Koran and resulting in Indo-Arabic architecture of 12th century. Entire structure is built in 5 phases of tall pillar which is approx. 72 meters in height. I liked the angled columns mixed with circular columns in architecture which is unique and is hard to differentiate on entire pillar when looked from ground. The trellis carvings on window panes at top add beauty to this section of pillar. Details of verses are captured using Canon 55-250 mm zoom lens with f-stop at 5.6 and ISO on 200. 

This photo shows the details of Inner Dome at Humayun Tomb in Delhi, India. It is declared as World Heritage Center by UNESCO in 1993 and is being preserved by Archaeological Survey of India. It is good example of Indo-Persian Architecture and is built by orders of Humayuns wife Hamida begum in 1562. The central dome inner view is made up of red and yellow sandstone with white and black marble mix. The dome inner view height stands as 47 meters. Inner dome is beautifully carved reflecting the "Chattri" (umbrella) shape. Picture was taken using external flash with 55 degree angle and fixing focal length at 18 mm with 3.5 f-stop.

This photo shows top dome portion of  great Taj Mahal, one of the modern seven wonders of the world in Agra, India.  Built with white Rajastahn Makhrana Marble stone this monument is stunning beauty for tourists around the globe. When it is common to picture entire Taj mahal by several photography lovers I concentrated on top dome of Taj in this particular shot. With tele lens I could grab the details of structure rarely seen by normal eyes from ground. It was early morning after sunrise and covered by fog around this monument.  Note the hooks on dome and Inverted petal structures on top of dome. Hooks are used for climbing to the top for cleaning and shining the marble and top brass structure.

Photo shows central pillar of Diwan-i-khas, part of Fatehpur Sikri another World Heritage center near Agra, India. The central pillar has octagonal shaft carved with bands of floral designs. Four corners of building are connected to this central pillar on first floor which are seen with walkways on top portion of this photograph. The central pillar platform was used by Emperor Akbar to address the audience on several religious topics. Light passing through windows of first floor and reflecting on central pillar gave silver lining to this picture. Emphasis was laid more on central floral carvings to show in close-up.  

This picture shows the details of ceiling in a walk way of  Jai Mandir (Sheesh Mahal), part of  Amer Fort in Rajasthan, India. This building is beautifully decorated with glass panels and multi-mirrored ceilings. Also known as Seesh Mahal, this building ceilings are designed with convex shaped mirrors and silver paints to glitter during day and at night in candle lights. This picture is another example of projected exposure which gives depth in appearance. Symmetrical design adds value to depth and reflects the pattern sticking to subject more strikingly. Used 18-55 mm lens, f-stop: 5 Exposure time: 1/60, ISO 200. 

In this photo I tried to capture the glory of Red Sandstone used in Architecture during reign of Moghul rulers in India. Panch Mahal is extraordinary 5 levels structure supported by 176 columns. Most of the forts in Northern India were built using Red and Yellow sandstone during 15th century. Evening Sunlight falling from behind the structure reflecting bright red tone gave good contrast against dull blue sky on top. Only external details with entire structure to capture in one frame was focused in this picture.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Theme and Pattern

Apart from bright colors in nature and people surrounding us, we see several shapes and patterns embedded in living and non-living forms. Good examples to catch these into frames are buildings, cross-streets, markets, textile prints, farm lands etc. Of all the features I like taking shots of pattern since they give unique appearances when we see through lens and capture them to pictures. Patterned subjects are fixed many times and movable sometimes.  During one of my visits to Air Force Academy at Colorado SpringsColorado, I happened to visit the Cadet Chapel at academy. It’s unique modern architecture built by Skidmore Owings & Merrill architect Walter Netsch (1920-2008) and his colleague’s.  It blends with several angles & shapes and forms definite pattern in each direction. Thanks to this academy for showing this beautiful chapel for my study on pattern in photography. I chose this as Theme and covered some aspects of this structure for my Pattern observations.

Within Air Force Academy campus is this chapel, which is completed in 1963. It is Colorado's most visited man-made tourist destination, and received the American Institute of Architects' 25 Year Award in 1996.  It serves all the faiths and is a place of worship for Protestants, Catholics and Jews within same building and recently having fourth chapel for Buddhists.  It has 17 spires in Tetrahedron shape on top framing a pattern from all sides when viewed.

In this picture we can see the altar, backdrop of Protestant chapel (which is largest section of Air Force Academy Chapel) and ceiling showing the details of horizontal, vertical and slanted patterns existing together as complex geometric pattern. Emitting light behind the glass wall and glass ribbons on ceiling made perfect setting for viewers to see the pattern clearly. Lens: 18mm, Exposure setting: 1/60 and f-stop: 4.

17 spires of Chapel seen at top of the structure showing pattern.


Inside the Protestant chapel, the ceiling of chapel forms triangle enclosures rising to height of 99 ft. These 17 tetrahedron spires (when viewed from outside) are separated with stained glass ribbon like structures on ceiling. Importance is given to these spires in exposure to highlight the pattern and ribbon like glass pieces seen on ceiling.

Adding icing to existing pattern on ceiling, the chimes present at other end of altar (in opposite direction of chapel) showed vertical tubes in a coordinated pattern. Environment was very dark and I had to use P mode to abstract clear details with external flash unit. The purple color seen in picture is all around chapel due to light passing through colorful glass pieces on ceiling and tungsten lights within chapel.

These diamond shaped carvings on marble stone along the sides of chapel are attractive and are blending with several patterns existing within the chapel structure. To project the angle at 45°, I made my son Deepesh to slide as Spiderman fading out his details to highlight the pattern on slabs. Lens at 30mm, Exposure setting: 1/30, f-stop: 5.6 and ISO: 100.

This is an excellent example for Illusion effect in photograph. The support pillars angled at 120° to the main structure of chapel are creating a composed pattern when viewed from side corridor of chapel. The opening at the end of structure is showing the background details of landscape far beyond. This picture in black and white gave more realistic look for the depth and effect. Vertical lines, Horizontal lines and Angled pillars are showing the cumulative impact of structure for a pattern photo. Lens: 18-55 at 30mm, f-stop: 5.6, Exposure: 1/30 and ISO: 200.

This picture is good example for a pattern with vertical lines. These glass mosaic murals in blue, turquoise, rose and gray squares portray the heavens a symbolic representation, which are seen in Catholic chapel down stairs. Clicked this picture within the chapel and exposed at an angle to highlight the columns of glass and light passing through them. Bright colors show good contrast in picture.

The steps at chapel exposed from bottom to show horizontal pattern and final horizon on top of picture. Good symmetry and pattern for a beginner to start in basics of photography. Camera was tilted to get good exposure of steps.