#627. Things we shoot lots of

By Dallas Thomas | Opinion

Aug 03

Just a short piece from me.

I gravitate to and shoot the same type of objects/subjects when I’m out wandering around. Do you do this too?

Street Lights
















Is this my style?

If so what is it?

What really is the fascination?

Philippe from his recent post # 619 Monday-Post-gone-over-to-Tuesday (17-18 July 2017) Is it Likeable, or Leicable clearly loves to shoot bicycles and I know motor scooters, flowers also. (these are not his shots)





Another of my friends, Ken, from Sydney, is a street shooter. He loves to get up close and personal, this isn’t for me. I’m more a stand-off observer and shooter of people. (again these shots are mine)


I favour several architectural objects: street lights, clocks, doors and of late I’ve become what Philippe describes as a “bokeh” slut. I must admit, that an excellent fast lens does makes you want to shoot it wide open to show off its capabilities.






For those of you with eagle eyes, can you pick out the shots taken by the Otus, Milvus and Nikon??? I’m sure Philippe, Pascal and Pete will, can you??

What is it that draws our individual eye and lens to specific objects?

To be totally honest I have no idea, other than there is something, that these innate objects/subjects inspire me and others to keep capturing.

Your thoughts???


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  • philberphoto says:

    Wow! Another collection of superb shots, Dallas! Some of them bring back fond memories, some trigger raw jealousy. I am sure you know wich, too…:-)

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    The last 5 with the Otus, Dallas? When you hit the target with one of those lenses, the results are simply awesome.

    Fascinating article – making me stare at you doing that, leaves me staring at the fact I have a strong tendency to do something similar – not all at once, but looking through the shots I take over a few weeks, there’s strong evidence of obsessive tendencies to keep shooting particular subjects. One favourite is art nouveau architectural features in Paris – have you found 29 Avenue Rapp yet? Another is door knockers – France and Italy have amazing door knockers! Dogs (they call me “the dog man”, around here). I seem to obsess over bridges, too. And Philippe will agree on this one – macro is totally addictive and flowers make a brilliant subject for macro work.

    Street lights, doors, clocks and bokeh will also do it for me. The lighting effects of sunsets – not just the setting sun, but everything else, around you, taken under those conditions, takes on a magical quality which makes for great photos.

    And in my case, I sort of have an explanation – by choosing different projects and concentrating on them, I learn – I’ve always been very bad at being “taught”, I learn much better by “doing” – by trying things out, for myself – with age, I’ve made the time available to read a lot and to see what others are doing, which helps speed up the process, but in the end I learn by a “hands on” approach and these projects give the process a great boost.

    Reinforced by PRINTING 🙂 Sorry to bore everyone, but I really believe in the value of printing our photos, to complete the learning process.

    • Pete, sorry to disappoint in order from the top Nikon 1.8/50 x 3, Zeiss Milvis 1.4/50 the last 2, no Otus. What does that tell us, its very hard to differentiate between lenses on relatively low res files on the net. I’m sure if they were printed there would be a diference. Agree priting is great habit to get in to really appreciate your efforts with the camera and lens.


  • Adrian says:

    Hi Dallas, I think we all probably have our “pet” (favourite) things that we tend to photograph again and again. In Pascal’s recent article about cars in their environment, I mentioned occasionally taking pictures of Rolls Royce cars (old ones, not the new models) or supercars in shopping malls, for example.

    I really like the final street light photo, because of the symmetry and the graphic nature because of the lighting and contrast. The doors I like as an idea – an old colleague used to photograph doorways of houses in Italian villages when he went on holiday, much to the apparent frustration of his wife! To be honest, I’m not sure about some of your doors, primarily because I always look for symmetry and balance in those type of subjects, so it creates some tension in me that some are not symmetric and central in the frame.

    I think bicycles as a subject is perhaps a little over-done, and one of the challenges with things like bicycles are that they aren’t solid, and so can tend to get lost in their environment, particularly where the background is busy. Personally, I tend to think that perhaps they work better in simple graphic compositions and backgrounds. I occasionally photograph motorbikes – mostly “choppers” – and they offer the same challenge. If the background is complimentary then I treat them as an “environmental portrait”, but if the background isn’t complimentary or is busy or distracting, I tend to focus on details. One of the big problems of bicycle ownership in London is having it stolen, as it’s common to see wheels or stripped frames left anchored to railings with a lock – that would make an interesting series!

    If I may be so bold, I am really not sure about the final set of street furniture. The black and white curved hand rail works for me, but the others leave me unsure about their focal point and what I’m supposed to be looking at – the first and last particularly have this effect on me. For example, in the final image, the railings aren’t quite central in the frame, I’m not sure where the focus is, and the blurred city in the top of the frame tends to draw the eye because it’s very bright (there are theories that suggest that the brightest thing in a scene tends to draw the human eye). Perhaps eliminating the top of the frame and making a more graphic composition of the railings and the stairs would make the composition stronger? Of course, I may have completely mis-understood or not seen your intent, in which case ignore these comments.

    I hope to see more in the future and see where you go with these subjects.

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