Archive for Sunday, February 15, 2004

Visual vocabulary’ informs technique for photographer

February 15, 2004

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Photographer: Thad Allender

Camera: Nikon D1H

A layer of ice obscures the view of Sandra Petruska, Lawrence, as
she writes on the inside of a bus shelter near Ninth and
Massachusetts streets.

A layer of ice obscures the view of Sandra Petruska, Lawrence, as she writes on the inside of a bus shelter near Ninth and Massachusetts streets.

Lens: 165mm

ISO: 200

Aperture: 4.0

Shutter: 1/640

Building what some photographers refer to as a "visual vocabulary" helps to diversify the angles and techniques employed in creating a photograph. Each time I see an image I haven't seen before, I make a mental note and file it away in the hard-drive between my ears.

Last week, as I passed a frozen bus stop near Ninth and Massachusetts streets, I was instantly reminded of a photograph I once shot through a church window. As I approached the scene, I realized that in order for the image to translate well, I needed to render some part of it in sharp focus. I waited for one of the people inside to touch or move closer to the frozen glass stall.

Five minutes later, a woman started writing on the glass, and I began shooting photos, implementing various camera settings in order to expose the scene correctly.

The photograph ran on the front page of the Lawrence & State section the day after an ice storm passed through Lawrence.

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