The reason I visited Snibston was to see if I could make some photographs for my ongoing typology project. As I mentioned in my previous post, I feared that as the site had closed, I would either have to jump a fence or shoot from the road. However, the site reopened in 2020, thus eliminating that particular problem.
Composition is always a problem though, which is surprising when you consider the simplicity of the finished result. The objective of the typology is to present a view of what’s left, rather than a Becher-esque display of similar structures, mainly because there are not enough left that are similar. So in the spirit of the times, this is all about celebrating the diversity of what is there. That said, it still has to have a semblance of visual cohesion, and to that end I try to present photographs that share a roughly similar composition.
To achieve this, I tend to crop in Lightroom rather than in camera, using previous images as a point of reference. And this is where having a 36 megapixel camera comes in to it’s own, as I have plenty of area to play with so that I can crop as required. I also find it easier to crop on a large monitor than a small viewfinder, and as I don’t intend printing these photographs any larger than A3 (I’d need an enormous wall to hang A2 or 30×20″ prints in a typology) cropping off large areas doesn’t really make a difference to the output.
Sometimes its the little nuances that make the difference. Take the top two photographs, they are almost identical except for the fact that I cropped off the top of the protruding pole in the first photograph, and that in my eyes doesn’t look right. So here is the uncropped image:
Photographing the tandem headstocks presented a different challenge. By virtue of its shape, it doesn’t lend itself to a portrait composition, and works much better in landscape (see previous post). However, in doing so, it loses the uniformity of the rest of the photographs in the typology, and while this typology is all about diversity, this is a step too far at the moment. However, I might yet include it in the future if / when I have some more landscape format compositions. As it stands, the portrait version works OK as a standalone picture, the headstocks becomes too small a part of the overall composition to work, and the point of this type of photograph is to exclude anything extraneous, which it’s not possible to do without cropping square.
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