<<< o >>>encroached upon 19 comments + add yours

I was going to put up another reflection shot today, taken on the beach last week, but I thought I'd go for this one instead. I'm not convinced it's a particularly great photograph, but recently I've been drawn to documenting some of Blackpool's architecture, particularly the contrast between the faded and crumbling Victorian buildings and the more modern, pubs, clubs, car-parks and so on.

And I have to confess that I cheated a bit with this shot and added some blur to the background. The G5 has a totally massive DoF at anything other than the largest apertures, and it really didn't suit this shot to have the background in focus too.

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
Canon G5
6.34pm on 5/9/04
aperture priority
perspective corrected
4x3 + fylde coast
comment by zimny at 09:59 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

artificial desaturation again? :/ (the background?)
anyway - a nice one, well, railway station ;-)

comment by djn1 at 10:04 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

zimny: the background was marginally desaturated, but only to drop the obviousness of the red square in the top-left corner. The Synicate is almost entirely black and white anyway. And I forgot to say, this isn't a railway station, it's a row of shops - I have no idea what the 'railway station' sign is about.

comment by Jon at 10:54 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

Hey Dave. The short dof combined with the muted background gives this a bit of a scale-model feel -- it almost looks (to me) like a macro shot of a toy train set rather than a real-life train station. I like the effect.

Is the big dipper still on the pleasure beach?

comment by djn1 at 10:59 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

Jon: yes, I can see what you mean. As for the rollercoaster: yes it's still there ;-)

comment by Mark at 11:28 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

Well, since you mentioned the background in your comments- it seems to become the center of my attention. Before I read the comment, I found the composition to be very pleasing and interesting, with only a slight notice to the background. In retrospect, I believe I would prefer (and find it more natural) if the background had been blurred with a bit more gaussian blur added but retain the original saturated color. That way, it would have simulated the DSLR-look, which everyone has accepted as "normal" although it's not. Very good photograph and one to be proud of (and after all of these words, I might add that just maybe the background makes it a bit "different" than the other sign-pictures).

comment by djn1 at 11:37 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

I've posted another version of this shot without the desaturated background:


As you can see, it really wasn't much of a change at all.

comment by miklos at 11:44 PM (GMT) on 5 September, 2004

I've got to be honest.. I don't see the 'wow' in this photo at all.. I've come to love this photoblog because it makes me strive to be better. Always. Your last 10 photos (before this one) for example. The kids on the beach, the submerged bicycle, the bicycle after that which the white-walls on the tires.. those are my favourites. Absolutely gorgeous photographs .. I clicked on your site 10 minutes ago, and I thought I wasn't at the right place. Maybe someone can explain to me what I should be looking for in this picture.
I hope I didn't bring down the spirit of the situation, but "very good photograh.. one to be proud of" .. I'm not too sure.

comment by Mark at 12:52 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

Miklos, my "wow" comes from the love of sign-photography, when they are found in a visually pleasing composition and when the signs themselves have some inherent meaning to the neighborhood or perhaps are in a paradoxical situation. In this picture, the colors/textures/style of the brick and roof, along with the colors of the sign sets up the visual interest. The combination of the signs tells me a bit about the area. Lap Dancing/a nursing service/Smooch fashions/Mamma's restaurant/and the railway station is a combination much like an old man holding a baby. Before I had read the comments, I had admired the old architecture and noticed the difference between the old and new businesses. And that was the photographer's intention. Hope this helps and makes some sense.

comment by joe holmes at 02:14 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

"particularly the contrast between the faded and crumbling Victorian buildings and the more modern, pubs, clubs, car-parks and so on." -- Ah, a man after my own heart! More of this stuff, Dave. Fascinating. -=-Joe

comment by Frank at 05:47 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

Yeah, well, since you're into Blackpool, you need to rent "FunnyBones." That's all Ihave to say.

comment by east3rd at 07:09 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

I love the foreground. Something about having a sign for a strip club right above a sign for nursing just really cracks me up. However, I find the background a bit distracting... it was the first thing that caught my eye when loading the photograph, which probably shouldn't be the case. Maybe the blur is unnatural looking? I can't put my finger on it, but something doesn't seem right. Otherwise, it's absolutely a beautiful photograph. Great colors, and great subject.

comment by John Washington at 08:39 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

I really like this shot, mainly because it does just what djn says. It documents the architecture of Blackpool in a pleasing way. For me, it doesn't have to have a wow factor. I think djn forgot to say that the SYNDICATE in the background, is I believe the largest and most high tech night club in England, and as such provides the ultimate contrast between the old railway station in the foreground. It also makes me think about the small struggling businesses with cheap signage that may or may not still exist.

So David, I am personally a fan of this kind of picture. I like it just as much as most of the others


comment by Mr Qwerty at 10:30 AM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

As somebody not unfamiliar with the Blackpool locale, I can tell you that the sign originally would have said "To the Railway Station". If you look carefully, you can see a stray 'O' to the left of the 'Railway Station' legend.

'Topping Street' (the actual road sign itself can be see below the Smooch Fashions announcement) originally led to the BR Railway Station 'Blackpool North'. Many years ago (more than 40 at least) this was altered - and the station relocated some way from it's original turf - the sign as DJ has photo reported, still remains. A nice observation!

comment by djn1 at 12:28 PM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

east3rd: one of the things that makes this shot look a little unnatural is the perspective correction; i.e. the converging verticals have been straightened as though the photograph was shot straight-on. However, if this were the case the roof line at the side of the old building would also have been in profile rather than obviously shot from underneath.

John: I hadn't realised the Syndicate was quite so contemporary. Thanks for the info.

Mr Qwerty: thanks. I had wondered if the sign was something to do with the old Blackpool Central station (now long gone) but your explanation makes more sense.

comment by trudie at 01:35 PM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

isn't it funny that the advertising has taken over and completely dwarfs pertinent information like the street name?

comment by zimny at 06:36 PM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

you know i sometimes need some time to think. so, after a whole day of the image in my mind, i decided that i love it. the contrast: syndycate vs mamma's. yeah.

comment by Taylor at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 6 September, 2004

Just found your site--awesome pictures. I'll be back often.

comment by Simon C at 11:31 AM (GMT) on 7 September, 2004

Ah Aphrodite's....

comment by Joan at 07:21 PM (GMT) on 7 September, 2004

Besides the already commented upon beauty and coolness of this shot, I am moved by what it says about the roles of women in our world, and I love the fact that it is captured by an artist who is the father of obviously loved daughters. Thanks again for sharing your heart with all of us David.