Tag Archives: Argentina

Boca Still Life

 Every now and again I shoot an abstract or still life. Not with any kind of premeditation; sometimes the opportunity is just there.

This still life was taken in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires. It is a popular tourist attraction because of the Bohemian atmosphere, arts and crafts, outdoor lunch with  tango shows and the over-the-top brightly coloured buildings. I’m certain the distinctive look of the place started as a deliberate cultural statement by the local inhabitants, but it is now locked into that look, more as a museum to keep the tourists coming.


I’m not certain whether this counts as a great work of still life, probably not, but I do have a certain fondness for it. For a still life to be successful, it needs to keep things simple: don’t have too many shapes or colours, avoid confusing or distracting backgrounds, look for a composition which makes some kind of bold statement with a few simple shapes while creating a sense of balance. I think I managed to do that, bearing in mind that I had to take the subject matter as I found it. The bag (which belongs to my wife and was the only item we added into the scene) is neutral, everything else is red or green and the colours are reasonably well balanced. Background is half block of red, half block of green. The main shapes are either rectangles or triangles, from the spiral staircase. The foliage provides a diagonal to draw the eye towards the bag in the lower right foreground. It all seems to work and balance out. What a shame though I didn’t spot and remove that confounded empty plastic bottle!



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Unnatural Ushuaia

 Hard on the heels of Ollantaytambo Woman, this is another post showcasing my new-found sense of photographic liberation. Peter Krogh’s imaginative use of post-processing has left me far more open than before to the idea of letting rip with Lightroom to lift or rescue otherwise run of the mill or dull pictures. I wasn’t exactly shy with my use of Lightroom sliders before but I was previously always targeting a naturalistic looking picture.  In the main I will continue to do that, but will now be that tiny bit more open minded about more creative post-processing when the opportunity arises.  Certainly I will feel more at liberty to experiment, without going too mad.

This photo was taken in Ushuaia, Argentina. I haven’t changed the colours, other than dialling up the saturation slightly. Mostly, the look comes from boosting the shadows way beyond the normal limits.  It is not an HDR image.

I may have to revisit my previous statement about my style of photography. Not change it much, just extend to include the occasional indulgence in the post-processing phase.


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