wandering around… trinity college, dublin

by julie posted April 27, 2007

Since I’ve just populated the new blog with a couple of nice long winded posts, I’ll change tack and go for a bit of visual interest…

A couple of weekends ago, it was fabulous weather, so I took the opportunity to go for a wander round the grounds of Trinity which I had only visited once before, almost a year ago when I first got my digital camera. I’m not sure if it was because the weather was better, I’m more experienced with the camera, more experienced as a photographer in general or that I’ve learned to ‘see’ in a different way since then, but I found so many more pictures than I did last year. And that was even without my beloved 50mm f1.8, which is usually my walkaround lens – instead I had my old Sigma 28-80mm which I have to use wide open because it hasn’t been chipped for the digital body. I wanted to use it at the wide end, but looking at my keepers for the day, I think they were all taken at 80mm…

next door
(click for flickr photo page)

I was immediately drawn to this wall of windows, and in particular to this area of shadow. I really liked how one of them was curtained off, empty and forgotten looking at the other, full of bits and pieces and enjoying the direct sunlight. Obviously I pushed up the contrast in photoshop, using a combination of blending modes and local contrast using the unsharp mask at 20/50/0, and I also used the shadows/highlights tool to bring back some detail in the woodwork around the windows.


This was my attempt to capture something more than just a slice of wall, or a door, or a detail of the building. Something about the geometry seemed to work for me, that’s why I went with a half and half composition, very centred and balanced – and yet the trees and clouds insist, inconsiderately, on being untidy and uneven…

wonky shadows

One definite advantage of the sunshine was the heavy, solid shadows. I liked how this one broke its pattern before reaching the bottom of the steps. There was some burning in on the stairs there to bring out the texture in the stone a bit more.

magical leaves

Even when I’m surrounded with amazing architecture in the middle of the city, I still pick out details in the trees. I think the glow you get when sunshine filters through fresh leaves is just magical. No other word for it. This picture is what I thought of when I read Andy’s blog entry about ‘Re-enchantment’ and it’s what I love about photography, when it makes me stop and wonder at the world around me. Awww…

robot door

The standard architectural detail shot. It was only after cropping and posting that I realised there’s a sort of robot face in there – or maybe that’s just me? I desaturated this almost completely, the brown of the door was too overpowering but I like it being not quite black & white, there’s still a bit of warmth in there. I thought it added to the aged look, too.

a gentleman's game

I was entranced, almost, watching these guys play croquet round the back of the halls. Especially the ones who were kind enough to dress in nice cream trousers, white shirts and the obligatory hat! Such characters. As usual, I felt awkward taking their picture since I sensed some awkwardness from them. Unfortunately, I had left the 70-200mm lens at home and the one I had just couldn’t quite reach. But I liked this shot, including some of the green, with the flag in the foreground and the areas of shadow and highlight, which I thought helped to bring the eye to the players. Maybe the black & white was a poor choice, maybe there isn’t enough separation of tones in the grass and balls/lines to give it interest with the players being quite so far away. I may attempt a reworking of this and even crop it differently to give me the reach I couldn’t get with the lens, although in that case I can say ‘bye bye’ to a print…

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