There are a lot of ways to take a picture of a building and most them are not very exciting. Seriously, do an image search on “building” and see what you get. Oh sure, some of the buildings have interesting designs but the images, themselves, are pretty blah. But every once in awhile, we see a new, exciting perspective that helps us view the familiar in a new way. I think Kevin Wolf’s photo does that.
I’ve never really been that interested/good at shooting architectural photos, which is why I really admire people who have an eye for that sort of thing. Kevin made a couple artistic decisions here that I like. Two of those decisions were made when he was taking the picture: Obviously, he stood close to the building and shot directly up, using the long, leading lines in the building to draw our attention across the frame and he used a long exposure (15 seconds) to give the clouds a surreal appearance. That happens because while the shutter is open, the clouds are moving, creating that streaky effect. This also tells us he likely used a tripod to prevent camera shake that can happen during long exposures and a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light getting through to the camera’s sensor. Otherwise, the amount of light hitting the sensor during a 15 second exposure at 8:30 a.m. would have completely blown out the image.
The other decisions he made occurred when he processed this photo with his editing software. He converted the image to black and white (though a lot of new cameras have a mode that allows you to actually shoot in monochrome). That decision allowed him to create some rich contrast between the windows and the rest of the building. He also darkened the sides of the frame, a “vignetting” effect that pushes our focus towards the center of the picture where our eyes then catch a ride on the leading lines to the top right corner. You can see the larger version of this photo on Kevin’s flickr page.