Exercise 4.5 – leaves in the foreground

This set of images represents an almost complete reversal of my intentions but, hey, that’s what experimentation is about. I started with the idea of using parts of trees as foreground elements to architectural details. The organic and the inorganic would contrast and, I hoped, complement each other.

In the large view, with the Kings College Chapel window, both elements are equally sharp, both being at somewhere near effective infinity. This is the kind of thing I was initially looking for. The smaller view, of a wall at St John’s, has the elements more widely separated and I was able to throw the wall slightly out of focus, which gave me the germ of an idea.


It was as I took this shot, with bicycles chained to railings, and the stone walls behind, that I realised I could evoke Cambridge with a series of images having tree leaves as a sharp foreground element and the background defocused but still ‘readable’. Effectively, I would be doing the same kind of thing as Gianluca Cosci or Kim Kirkpatrick, as described in an earlier posting.

This is something that I managed with varying degrees of success in the images above. The cyclist on the towpath is too soft, and the pedestrians in the street perhaps a little too sharp. I was particularly pleased with the kayakers and the punting scene with the swan (which would have been my ‘final pick’ if only the background buildings had been sandstone.

Instead, my final pick (and the final pick image for the whole of Exercise 4.5) uses punts in a different way, as a purely graphic element.



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