Viewing St Paul’s – edited

IMG_8394_1Ten days ago I posted a version of this image (exactly as shot) in which there were two heads visible between the ankles of the giant of a man who stands tall close to the left edge of the image. Click here to view that post and its image.

Some of you commented that the image might be improved by removing the ‘heads’ allowing the man to stand fully isolated. And so, here today, is a version minus ‘heads’.

What do you think? Did the heads add a little extra context? Do they contribute to the surreal mature of the colossus of the man towering over St Paul’s? Or does the image benefit from the clean-up. Over to you – I would be delighted to read your comments.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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18 Responses to Viewing St Paul’s – edited

  1. I don’t miss the context. This is fine with me.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I have a “yes, but” sort of response. With this image, it feels as though you’ve only gone halfway. I liked the other image very much, with all of the people present. Here, it feels to me as though the single person on the right is more of a distraction. I’d crop just to the left of the person on the right, then erase the plexiglass gap. Or perhaps I’d leave it, since it’s an extension of the break in the beam below.

    • LensScaper says:

      It’s a a tricky one, isn’t it – once you start to mess with this image, it is difficult to know where to stop, and I can see your reasoning. I’ve looked at these two images repeatedly now, gone away and snuck back in for another look. I’m thinking increasingly that the image looked best with the ‘heads’ in place. This is always a crowded spot and somehow it feels odd not to have other people in the shot.

  3. It came as a bit of a surprise, but I like the unedited image better. There’s something about those two disembodied heads that adds to the overall feeling of the image.

    • LensScaper says:

      I’m glad you agree, Melinda. As I said in another reply, I’ve been gradually coming round to that way of thinking. The man feels too isolated and the absence of other figures is at odds (in my mind) with the crowds of people that are are always present at this spot.

      • I’ve been thinking about the two images since yesterday (slow day at work), and what I like about the original shot is that nothing seems quite right: a person’s not SUPPOSED to be taller than St. Paul’s. And heads aren’t intended to be disembodied spheres at the feet of giants.

        • LensScaper says:

          All very true, Melinda, and that’s why that original image feels right (the more I think about it) because it does have a surreal quality to it. It only makes sense if you understand the geometry of the end of that bridge which becomes clear if you were to look at the shot I took a year before and linked in the edited post (and I’m sure you’ve done that). Like so much of your own work it raises questions to which the viewer does not have easy answers.

  4. shoreacres says:

    One last thought: it may be that your (and Melinda’s) familiarity with the spot is affecting your image preference. If someone had shown me this photo for a few seconds and asked, “What is this?” I might well have named the U.S. Capitol. Not knowing what St. Paul’s is “supposed” to look like is an important part of my preference, I think.

    • LensScaper says:

      I’ve never seen the Capitol personally but I have seen a lot of images of it and I can understand that the two could be confused without the image identifying the object. Interesting point, Linda.

  5. Chillbrook says:

    I’d say definitely heads in Andy. They do fit with the whole feeling of surrealism!

  6. Len says:

    I was one of those who suggested it. I love this one without the heads. It conveys a very serious and contemplative moment that the man seems to be having. The heads take away from that for me.

  7. Lynne Ayers says:

    Heads in, heads out … you are looking at the image with memories of that moment, which will definitely affect how you want to edit it. Compositionally, the floating heads are a distraction to me. And once they are removed, the lady on the right becomes the distraction. In a way, they both a surreal effect – floating heads in one and yet with them removed is it not also surreal because WHEN would you ever see that view without people extra people in it? 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      There have been a variety of opinions on this image and the edited version, and thanks for your own contribution, Lynne. You raise a very valid point. This image would be well worth presenting to a camera club audience as a talking point – maybe I’ll get an opportunity to do that someday.

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