The Swann (Street) Never Looked Better

Pick at least two tips from these resources and try them out with your camera, just seeing how they change the way you take photos. Write a blog post that not only includes at least three of your own photos, explain how you applied the tips you learned.

I must admit I always wondered about the grid lines on the iphone when you were taking a photo and why you would ever want to turn them on. Now after reading about all these photo techniques and especially the “Rule of Thirds” you get to know why. So this project was very fun and I must admit that I love my street I live on in DC so I did not have to venture far to take all these photos. I have tons of photos in different seasons looking down my street. Here is a look at my street using some of the techniques we were taught. Oh and for the record I see tons of people taking photos on my street during fall since the gingko trees turn a bright yellow!

Rule of Thirds:
For this technique of dividing your image into grid lines I used the corner of 14 and Swann as my subject. I lined up the windows and Ted’s Bulletin to take up the right third of the screen and the light pole also helped show the other line that is mostly empty. The line of shops at the bottom help form the lower horizontal line. Overall I think this is a good image showing the new parts of 14th with the older parts in the background.

Ted's Bulletin on 14th Street

Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street

Close Up:
One of the best features of DC houses can be the wrought iron stairs around my area. The designs and detail can be overlooked unless you lean in and really take it all in. That’s what I did for this image and got in real close to show the detail. This could also be a forced perspective shot since the descending stairs behind it also caught your eye. Also the curves of the iron away from the main end point is also interesting to me. The building was built in 1917 and the iron is original so that history piece is also interesting as you think how many folks have walked past it and the change the iron has seen in this area of the city.

Iron Work on Swann St

Iron Work on Swann St

Leading/Diagonal Lines:
I have taken this shot a million times in the last seven years I have lived in my condo but I can never get tired of it. Here I was using the leading lines and diagonal feature of the houses to draw your eyes towards the back of the shot. The colors help to draw you in and you just follow to the end. That happens on both the left and right side. The trees in the middle help to contrast and also look like a grid but this was more about the lines leading you towards the center.

Looking down Swann St

Looking down Swann St

Here is the newer part of my building and the stairs that were built in 2007. I was thinking what a great pattern and how it might change the look and feel of my street looking through them. So this is a combination of a pattern (the diagonal lines crisscrossing) and a forced perspective. You also cannot help but notice the other pattern behind it where you see the crisscross from a little further back that is nested inside the other crisscross. So I had a lot of fun with this shot and had to sit down on the stairs and really get down to take it. I am glad no one came out of the building while I was taking it.

Iron Stairs looking down Swann St

Iron Stairs looking down Swann St


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7 responses to “The Swann (Street) Never Looked Better”

  1. chronicwndrlst says :

    How wonderful that this assignment gave you the opportunity to see your home street with fresh eyes. I, too, had wondered about those grid lines on the iPhone and in my point-and-shoot camera’s display. Now I know what they’re for! I like how the photo of Ted’s Bulleting on 14th Street is also an example of framing (the new building frames the older buildings inthe background). Great job!

    • ctwilker says :

      That’s a good point on the framing with Ted’s. I probably could name a few others. Fun fact is I am about to go there for lunch right now!

  2. cew5x says :

    I also saw the framing in the photo with Ted’s, but the “thirds” work too horizontally and vertically. I really appreciate the close up. This assignment has reminded me how much we go through our daily lives not noticing the beauty around us- to think of all the things that have transpired in front of those wrought iron railings in the past 97 years…

    • ctwilker says :

      Glad you appericate the passing of time that the wrought iron has seen in it’s “life” as well. Of course it has had tons of coatings but largely stayed the same.

  3. CogDog says :

    I like it when students give the comments I would have. The Rule of thirds is a great exercise to try and also to try breaking. In that top photo, what’s interesting to me is that the grid is actually extending into the page, and the lines works as converging ones.

    I am pleased to see you noticing detail, shapes, and patters. All will help you get better and better.

    • ctwilker says :

      Thanks Professor. The top photo was fun to shoot and I did see there could be some other examples present too. Hopefully you click on the fall flickr photo link I shared so you could see the street with yellow leaves!

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