Simple Compositions in Port Dover

A couple of days ago, a friend and I were out attempting to photograph some Sandhill Cranes and other birds in various locations on the north shore of Lake Erie. In the afternoon we ended up in Port Dover where we walked around for about an hour or so capturing images as our spirits moved us. For whatever reason, my eye was drawn to details and patterns, the result being a selection of simple compositions in Port Dover.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 76 mm, efov 205 mm, f/6.3, 1/100, ISO-160

One of the things that caught my eye was the pattern of the stones and mortar on an older building. I played around with various parts of the wall until I found this combination of colours and shapes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-160

I was immediately drawn to the strong, angular look of some trusses and supports for a patio overhang. I tried to incorporate a number of subtle triangle shapes to add some repetition to the composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 75 mm, efov 203 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-160

As I walked by the serving window of a french fry stand, a metal container with a decorated lid caught my eye. It was already opened and balanced off the edge of the container so diners could reach the mustard, ketchup and other condiments inside.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 79 mm, efov 213, mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-160

A red bicycle up against some grass had some light hitting the spokes of one wheel quite nicely. I composed the image using a strong corner exit with the red fork of the bicycle.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 130 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-160

The pattern above jumped out at me. It is the foot grip texture on a surfboard.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 38 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-200

The last image I composed in Port Dover was as I walked back to my car. I spotted a painted sign, the purpose of which I can’t even remember, as I was so struck by the pattern of blues and yellow on the sign.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-160

While walking along the dock area I spotted a tracked construction vehicle and captured the image above by angling my camera to create a more interesting flow to the image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 76 mm, efov 205 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

A portal-type window on a building caught my eye. I angled my camera to create an equidistant composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 71 mm, efov 192 mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-160

Rust has always intrigued me. Natural weathering seems to always have so much character. I played around with various sections of a rusting trailer until I found this section.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-200

There was a lot of construction going on in the harbour area of Port Dover. This spray painted arrow caught my eye. Once again, I angled my camera to create an equidistant composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 72 mm, efov 194 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-160

Sometimes a very simple colour pallet will attract my interest, like the silver and greens in the above composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 64 mm, efov 173 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-160

I shot this light a few different ways and finally settled on adding the red and white striping effect on the bottom by including more of the boat’s roof in the composition. I liked how the white stripe, even though it is not in focus, added some colour balance to the composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 68 mm, efov 184 mm, f/8, 1/100, ISO-160

I liked the repeating pattern of the roof supports in the image above. It was important to find a shooting angle that helped to create a stacked look in the photograph.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 66 mm, efov 178 mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-160

Shadows can often be a pain to incorporate into a photograph as the stark contrasts they create can draw too much attention. I made the shadows from a handrail in bright sunlight, the heroes of the image above. I chose a shooting angle to stack the concrete steps.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 35 mm, efov 95 mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-200

The combination of colours and textures of this weathered door hinge caught my attention. I left a strip of grey paint in the image as I thought it helped with the triangular shaping in the image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 71 mm, efov 192 mm, f/8, 1/60, ISO-160

The gently curving back of this chair initially caught my eye, as did the small splash of red to one side and the nice contrast in the composition created by the dark siding on the building. I used a longer focal length to help compress the elements in the composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-160

Some rust and oil on some steel cables on a winch provided an interesting combination. I angled my camera to create corner exits to give the image more eye flow.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 72mm, efov 194 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-160

At first I didn’t notice that these punched out shapes on a metal chair were of Coke bottles. This image was a bit tricky to compose as I wanted to find solid red borders for the right and left hand sides. I had to settle on a border on the right side and a red corner in the top right. I placed one bottle punch out in the bottom left as a corner exit. I shifted my shooting angle to enable me to use the grey road pavement as a monochromatic background showing through the red chair back.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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2 thoughts on “Simple Compositions in Port Dover”

  1. Hi Tom,

    What a nice change, a turnaround from freezing birds in mid-air to taking notice of small details often unnoticed. Especially liked the fifth and the fourteenth images. The shadow play is priceless akin to abstract art. The red image made me do a double-triple take, only realizing those were the repetitive silhouettes of the iconic Coke bottles 😀

    Oggie

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