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Photo a Day Challenge: Day 4

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 4 - Chair in Room on Ilford Delta 100 FilmChair and Room - Irvine Ranch Historic Park
Friday, August 16, 2013 at 5:15pm
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For day 4 of my photo a day challenge I decided to return to the Irvine Ranch Historic Park near my home and photograph something I'd seen a few days earlier. Towards the back of the park is a cluster of old homes that have fallen in to disrepair. Being the kind of guy I am, I find the disrepair to be absolutely beautiful. Tattered drapes, peeling paint, buckling floors...these are the things that make great photographs. But unfortunately, it looks as though the city is working on restoring all of these buildings to their original state. Bummer.

In one of the homes I found a room just off the kitchen where plywood and old screens are piled up along the walls. In the center of this small entry hall is a patio chair. Having scouted the area a few days prior, I knew that around 5:00 in the afternoon the sun would be low enough in the sky to shine some light through the southern windows.

The light did pretty much what I expected, creating some great dramatic light in this dingy room. I tried several compositions on this subject using all 4 of my allotted frames for the day. I couldn't actually get in to the room so I had to shoot through a dirty window. At first I tried wiping away a clear spot in the glass, holding my lens right up tight to it, hoping that I could eliminate any reflections and evidence of dirt. I did a couple frames this way, but then I decided that rather than fight these conditions, I'll try to make lemonade out of lemons. So I stepped away from the glass a bit so the reflections of the road behind me would creep in to the frame and partly occlude the room inside. I positioned myself carefully so that the reflections would serve to enhance the photo by adding interest to the edges of the composition without actually blocking the chair.

I used my wide angle lens to enhance the sense of solitude in this room. Plus, the natural light falloff at the corners of this lens would add a slight vignette to the photo, further drawing the viewer towards the chair. My exposure was f/6.3 at 1/250.

Read the backstory on this Photo A Day Challenge here. See previous days here.