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What Contributes to this Interior Shot of an Abbey?

This interior shot in the Tournus in the Abbaye Saint-Philibert, shows a number of actions that cam improve a photograph.

The most obvious technique used in composing is the positioning a small figure, amazed by the scale of the Abbey. Without this counterbalancing the scale of the structure would be lost to most viewers.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

Other interesting things that contribute to the success of the photograph are the many instances which follow the rule of thirds, many depths in the view, the contrasting lighting and the varied textures.

The chairs between the columns to the right and the whiteobject on the column are distracting should be removed.

Receding arches

Rather a standard shot along one side of a cloister at the Cluny Abbey in Burgundy.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

The mixture of symetry on the sides but nor across the center line of the photo are what makes it interesting. The black shadows are a break from the browns of the Bourgogne stone.

I like it though, because it’s mine and available as a poster at


Here is a different post..

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

What makes it different is that I actually don’t know what it is. I took the photo and can see and understand the metadata. I can also, by the preceding and following photographs, see where it was taken and the circumstances under which it was taken.

The only comment is that it is a mysterious image with appeal coming from the complex image and the repeating levels – some kind of galactic parking station perhaps?

DaveHPosterart Poster III – Minimalistic Frangipani

This poster is available though Fine Art America or by emailing me if you would like to get the image file rather than a print.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

This photograph was taken early one morning in Brumeria, a suburb of Pretoria, on an early morning walk. The minimalistic look was achieved with cropping and transformation rather than through set up and lighting in the original.

Notes on Some Photographers – Sam Nzima

Sam Nzima is probably one of the most influential South African photographers of all time.

Soweto Uprising by Sam Nzima
Image: Sam Nzima from

I suppose more precisely this photograph is the most influential ever taken in South Africa. Time actually class at one of the 100 most influential photographs in the world.

I can find no other photographs by Sam online, so will just add this portrait.

Image: Sam Nzima from Times LIve

This post isn’t based on in-depth research, but I did come across this interesting short video if you want a bit of background in his words.

What appears, by the icon, to be his Instagram page is private but only shows 5 post.

HDR the For and the Against

I recently got Affinity Photo for iPad and am on a heavy learning curve from the relative simplicity of Snapseed and Pixelmator photo for the iPad to the complexity and bewildering options of Affinity. In this process I found Affinity also has an HDR capacity which I tried out on some photos I have taken the time on the off chance that I might do some HDR a work.

Most HDR detractors dislike the garish, moody and dark images they believe are the essence of HDR and want an image that is true to “what we see” so don’t accept special processing.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved
©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

Both of these perceptions are not really valid.

The first because the garish and dark images are a result of how the processor controls the tone mapping which is the basis of combining the multiple images. The first shot of the castle shows that very natural images can be produced using HDR. It produces a significantly clearer and more attractive image than the single exposure used to produce the second image.

As to a camera image being true to what we see, the eye has a much wider contrast range than a camera. So in those difficult situation like deep shadows, back lit subjects and interior /exterior scenes the human eye sees much more than the camera can. Only by combining over exposed and under exposed images can commercial cameras produce an image with both the darkest and lightest part of the image visible.