Photo of the day: The Library in the Lilacs

by DaniGirl on May 27, 2015 · 2 comments

in Photo of the Day

You might have seen an earlier version of this photo if you follow me on Instagram. I’ve been meaning to bring my camera downtown for a while, but sort of missed the tulip festival this year. The lilacs are just a wee bit past their prime, but I do love how they frame the back of the Library of Parliament from this perspective. As soon as I saw the lilacs, I poked around until I found a composition that would let them frame the gorgeous Library building, and conveniently block out some of the cranes and other construction equipment around the Parliament Buildings.

Library in the lilacs

I took the photo above with an 85mm lens, which is a little on the telephoto side, meaning it magnifies the image a bit and has a narrower field of view. Telephoto lenses also have the effect of compressing elements in the frame, so it looks like the lilacs are fairly close to the Parliament Buildings where in fact, they are on opposite banks of the canal and probably half a kilometer or so apart.

The photo below was taken from the same spot (crouched, as it happens, with my lens pressed between the bars of a black wrought iron fence to get the best perspective) but with a wide-angle 24 mm lens. The shorter focal length (24 mm vs 85 mm) means a wider field of view but things seem smaller and further away, and elements in the composition also seem further away from each other.

Library in the lilacs - wide

You can see much more of the environment, but to me the Library almost gets lost in this composition. I like that you can see more of the sky and the water, but you can also see that unfortunate dead tree to camera right and some of the ugly scaffolding on the Parliament Buildings. I could, of course, remove some of those in Photoshop, but I’m not invested enough in this particular image to take the time to do it.

Which one do you like better? And do you like these types of posts? Are they interesting/helpful to you? Because I could talk about this stuff all day long!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie May 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

I like the second shot, and actually like the dead tree. I’d be happier if you took out the library (and the scaffolding) altogether, then I’d feel like I’m deep in nature with the city way in the distance.

I never noticed before, that tower on the near side of the library looks out of place and rather phallic, don’t you think? Just me? oh well. 😉

2 Lynn May 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

Love these types of posts! I would love to be better at taking pictures, and your little tips and explanations are PERFECT – enough to get me thinking about perspectives and a little inside info on tech as a bonus. Keep them coming.

As for the shots, I definitely prefer the first one. The flowers are such a pretty frame for the library and it makes the architecture seem almost organic, like they are part of the same world. Lovely!

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