Look up and down and round about you!John Muir
I wonder which way you usually point your camera? I’m guessing that most of the time, like me, you point it forwards. Maybe you tilt up for a tall building or tree, or downwards to capture a plant or small animal.
But what if we were to point it directly upwards or downwards? What would we see?
I have found that for me the best/easiest way to capture a reasonable photo of a ceiling is as follows. I set the delayed release on my camera, usually to ten seconds. Next I choose my exposure and aperture settings, or rely on the automatic function, depending on lighting conditions. I set the widest angle possible and focus on the ceiling. I then lie the camera flat on its back on the floor, as parallel to the walls as I can manage (to avoid a wonky image). Lastly I press the shutter release and retreat a short distance; far enough that I am out of shot, but not so far that someone could easily snatch and run off with my camera! I usually repeat the exercise a couple of times, moving the camera slightly, to give me a selection of shots.
A number of the photos below were taken with this technique, while others simply necessitated getting a crick in my neck!
The ceiling of the Nicholaikirche in Leipzig
The ceiling of the Cattedrale di San Martino in Lucca
My featured photo was also taken in Lucca; it’s is the ceiling of the Palazzo Santini, one of the city’s grand old houses.
A chandelier and dome in the Grand Mosque in Muscat
Two from Greenwich in London: the ceiling of the Painted Hall on the left and that of the Royal Chapel on the right
The dome of the Tillya Kari Mosque in Samarkand’s Registan complex
In the Royal Palace in Sintra
The dome above the lobby of the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi (no, I didn’t stay there!)
Of course looking straight down is much easier, so I was surprised to find when searching my archives that I had fewer interesting downward shots to choose from. I must try to seek them out in future, although of course my recent post about the Chewing Gum artist Ben Wilson is proof that I do notice what is under my feet some of the time at least.
Seaweed on a Kent beach
Footstep in the White Sands, NM
A feather on the ground in Leipzig
Feather among fallen leaves, Paris
Autumn leaves in the rain in Lucca
Fall leaf, Washington Crossing, PA
Roman mosaic floor beneath the church of Saint Sofia in Sofia
Looking down from the Monument to the Discoveries in Belem, near Lisbon
On a road in the Beaubourg district of Paris
Looking straight down to the ground through a glass panel in the floor of the TV tower in Tallinn
A London pavement: on Great Marlborough Street
‘I don’t think that it is Covid that separates us’: in the Belleville district of Paris
I’m just back from a short trip to Paris (finally getting to travel abroad for the first time since early 2020, hurrah!) So this is a somewhat belated offering for Sofia’s stimulating choice of Lens Artist Challenge theme, Looking Up / Down. You’ll see that a few photos from that trip have found their way into this gallery and no doubt many more will feature in future blog entries. It’s wonderful to have a new set of travel images to sort, edit and share!