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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat: One Year Later

A year has passed since the official opening of the building on one of Ottawa's ceremonial and institutional roads. I have made some trips back to the building to take some additional exterior photos on a much warmer fall afternoon in 2009. When taking architectural photos I particularly like to include people in my shots. It gives a context of the size of the building and adds a dimension of humanity which is often lacking in photos of buildings. Here is a photo of just what you might expect: a person capturing an architectural detail which caught his eye on the Sussex Street entrance.
The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

In the year which has passed I have discovered an innovative tool for the photographer. Not a physical device as much as a online map called Google Street View. If you are not familiar with this application, it is basically a WYSIWYG mapping tool which is integrated with both Google Maps and Google Earth. Its use is primarily to help prep in photographing buildings around town. As you can see, the following map link allows you to go directly to an interactive 'driving' tour of the surrounding streets in order to see the structures in the environment from the vantage point of the street. Below is the interactive map which shows the front of the building on Sussex Drive as a starting point in this example. Go ahead, click and move your mouse or use your computer keyboard on the map and try it out.

View Larger Map

With this in mind, it is hard to underestimate the impact for architectural photography for both the amateur and professional photographer alike. It is a useful planning tool from which to virtually visit a location from a computer. With built in geographical coordinates, you can approximate when and the best time to photograph on location and examine different photographic angles you have never previously imagined. I am certain that this particular tool is not the final word in improving one’s architectural photography, but rather it is another interesting tool for photographers scouting for photo locations which offer a big-picture of the surrounding environment.
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