I had a couple of hours before I met a friend for lunch in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It was perfect conditions for black-and-white architecture photography – overcast. So, I grabbed my rig and went to a planned development in Atlanta called Atlantic Station. You can visit their website here. Atlantic Stations has a nice mix of modern residential and commercial high rises surrounding the retail and restaurant buildings. I have been doing a lot of nature and landscape photography lately, so it was nice to work on something else for a change. Here are the best seven photos of the shoot, and here are my medium quality photos.
I parked in A.S.’s massive parking deck, which is free to park within the first two hours. I took an escalator to the topside and walked down to 17th Street. I know that there was a neat arch and some fountains that I wanted to shoot, but I wanted the strong vertical shots. The two buildings on which I focused were the The Atlantic and 12 Atlantic Station. The former is a business high rise, and the later is residential. With the first shots, I overlapped The Atlantic with 12 Atlantic Station. Lately, Metro Atlanta has experienced days of significant fogging, so there was a light fog between the buildings. I decided to set my ISO to 400 to get get sharper images and shot in manual mode. I chose a simply kit lens – Canon 18-55mm. I shot in manual with a circular polarizer. I edited in Adobe Lightroom.
As I moved south toward 17th Street, I aligned myself with the eastern side of 12 Atlantic Station and shot straight up. In past photos, I noticed in post-processing that I had to adjust the angle significantly because I was in too much of a hurry while composing the shot. With these photos, I forced myself to slow down to compose the image better. I took the time before shooting to make sure that there was as much symmetry as possible the angles were tight. Also, I gave the shot below some sky because I wanted the sculptures at the top in the frame, but they did not show up liked I had hoped.
The shot that turned out to by my favorite was a vertical shot of 12 Atlantic Station in which I intentionally left the sky out of and emphasized the patterns of the patios on the southern side of 12 Atlantic Station. While editing, I emphasized the high contrast. You can see that photo here. Again, I forced myself to slow down and compose the shot in the view-finder. I have been making the mistake of convincing myself that good composition in the camera can easily be fixed while editing. The reason this is as mistake is that while adjusting the angles will editing will many times mean cropping out parts of an image that are important. I tend to be a fast-paced person. Good composition means forcing myself to slow down and take a good picture in the camera.
Just west of 12 Atlantic Station, 17th Street splits and a wide median opens. The designers included an arch in the median, which is named the Millennial Gate. Under the gate is a history museum, and further to the west is a pond with two fountains and an iron and wooden bridge. I was looking forward to shooting some long-exposure shots of the fountains. While setting up that shot, I almost broke an important photography rule – turn around! When I turned around, I took a cool shot of 12 Atlantic Station being framed by the Millennium Gate. It liked the contrast of the modern architecture with the classical Greek.
I was disappointing in my HDR/long-exposure shots of the fountains and the bridge. The light was not right for this type of shot. I needed “golden hour” light to pull that one off.
Overall, I was pleased with the high-contrast, black-and-white architecture photos I captured because I was able to force myself to slow down and get the composition right in the camera, not in editing. I am always open to helpful critique and suggestions!
If you stop by my blog, don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment and let me know you were here!