Scott Davenport Photography
Photography – Education – Fun

Every Shoot Is A Learning Experience

 

Not every shoot is a resounding success.

After years of shooting landscapes week in and week out in your hometown, you start to get that itch for something new. I'd been feeling that way about Balboa Park lately. I hadn't shot in the park for a while, and when I had there's several spots I gravitate toward. I wanted something new. A new take on a familiar subject. And a couple of weeks ago, I set out to shoot the Museum of Man in a way new to me.

Concept: Apple Maps 3d view

The concept – before sunrise, I'd setup just west and south of the museum when the building is still artificially lit, usually with a cool blue light, the arches supporting El Prado leading your eye to the museum. Then, as the sun rises, the tower of the museum is bathed in warm orange sunlight. I'd take shots before and after sunrise, giving me options in post processing for a richer blue hour sky and a sunlit building.

REality: Best angle of a poor lot. Groan.

It didn't work out that way.

Using 3D maps, I'd found my best option for the angle I wanted in a park on the west end of El Prado. Accessibility was not an issue. Elevation and visibility were the obstacles. I wanted a certain angle of El Prado leading into the frame with the Museum of Man rising tall into the sky. I knew the 3D maps presents a more elevated point of view. I went on the shoot with optimism – the shot could work even if closer to ground level, shooting the undersides of the arches, so long as I could keep the museum prominent in the frame

Reality trumped optimism. I couldn't find a good spot to shoot from. At an elevation that gave me the lines I could work with, trees blocked the view of just about the entire scene. Getting in front of the trees brought me further down the hillsides, changing the point of view and obscuring the museum.

I bailed on my planned shot and drove across El Prado into the center of the park, a little disappointed. I regrouped, revisited a few places I've shot before. I spent more time in the Alcazar Garden then I had in the past, which afforded a different view of the museum.

fter the light was gone, I found two other angles for the Museum Of Man that are new for me. I have new concepts, new energy, new hope for the next visit.

Not every shoot is a resounding success. Every shoot is a learning experience.