Hard to believe there are people out there who don’t appreciate a beautiful grey sky.
These two shots were taken from an almost identical location one year apart during return visits to my home town of Belfast in Northern Ireland. I like the similarities – lone man crossing bridge shot from below – but I’m also struck by how different they are and how small changes can change the look of a picture.
The second shot is taken from a few feet to the right of the first which changes the angle of view, as does the use of a different focal length. The first was shot with a 69mm equivalent focal length, the second I no longer know since it was shot on film and I appear to have misplaced the notebook with that information but I think it may have been 24mm. That’s another difference right there – one on digital and one on film. The final and most significant difference is in the light partly a result of the time of day and partly of the weather. I like them both. On my next trip, whenever that may be I’ll be back in the same spot.
What’s the difference between a bad photo and a boring photo? I was wondering about this as I trawled through pictures from ten years ago and found some that I had kept despite repeated culling over the years. I think ‘boring’ is a quality that a picture can have that makes it something more than merely bad. Bad pictures on the other hand don’t even rise to the height of being boring. Below is one of my favourite ‘boring’ photos. This is an exit from an underground car park at the Allianz arena in the suburbs of Munich.
I like the subdued colour palette with just that splash of red, and the lines and angles, but there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a lot of tarmac and concrete here. Still, much of the urban world is like this – functional, unremarkable, to the point where we don’t even notice it. Perhaps the ‘boringness’ of a picture can tell us something more, whereas the only thing a bad picture tells us is that its a bad picture.