A Study in Stone

Qutb Minar, Delhi

A photograph from the historic Qutb Minar complex in Delhi, India. I’ve entitled this one “A Study in Stone” and given the historic nature of the subject, I decided to go with the monochrome treatment. A couple of things to note, the small aperture ensures a great depth of field, and the shutter speed was reasonably slow but manageable with image stabilization and a steady hand (no tripod used).

Image processing

As with some earlier posted images, I’ve given the image a subtle split toning, a vignette, a lens correction to straighten the linear distortion that can occur with wide-angle lenses and I’ve increased contrast in the top right corner to compensate for a bit of glare that occurred in that part of the frame.  If you were to look closely at the original file, you’d see that I cloned out a discarded cigarette butt that was on the ground too, that being the only change I made to the actual content.   Some people get a bit precious about that stuff, my attitude is that I’ll clone, spot heal, etc where I think it helps but I’m open about the process used.

A Study in Stone. Canon 5D Mark 2 with 24-105mm zoom at 24mm F11, Shutter speed 1/40 second at ISO 800.

Scary Television

….ouch,  I think something just bit me!

When talking about photography,  we often discuss perspective.    Perspective is important in other areas too,  today I’m thinking about documentary making and how things can be depicted completely out of perspective.   There is a whole genre of television that aims to grab the attention of an audience by presenting subjects in an “over the top” sensationalist way.   I’m prompted to type this having stumbled upon a promotional clip for an upcoming television show about supposed wildlife dangers in Australia.

    In the show, “Australia’s-backyard-killers”, you can learn that Australia is crawling with dangerous critters,  snakes, spiders, crocodiles, etc that lie in wait ready to strike at any poor unfortunate that ambles by!     I’ve only watched the first couple of minutes, just enough to know I’m watching a truly “B” grade production.    When I meet people overseas,  it’s always interesting to hear what their perceptions of Australia are.  I’m often amazed by the misconceptions that people have.    Some people are astonished when I tell them that the city I live in has a population of over 4 million,  and I think they imagine there are kangaroos hopping past my door.

In this “documentary” you can almost hear the director’s voice as he/she sets up the horror scenario.    “Baby playing innocently,  check”.   ”Mother distracted hanging out laundry,  check”.   And then the instruction to the wildlife wrangler,  “Release the spider” or was it the snake,  or the crocodile in the suburban swimming pool?     The clip is so silly,  contrived, and alarmist that it’s unintentionally funny.   For those that might consider visiting Australia and don’t know any better,  don’t agonize about creepy crawlies,  your greatest danger is likely to be sunburn so wear sunscreen and a hat!    KD.