Continued Learning | Converging Lines

Location | West Loop, Chicago

Our eyes do incredible feats of editing and perception altering while we move through our lives. They automatically white balance, sort out high contrast scenery, and optimize our perception of parallel lines. This time around I am working on my understanding of how and when parallel lines are created, how to shoot these scenes, and methods of correction.

Manually set digital cameras see the world in a fundamentally different way than our eyes, exactly as they are presented to the sensor. Shooting downtown is the easiest way to experiment with both horizontal and vertical converging lines as any shot that is not perfectly level will create some degree of convergence.

This is a small collection of images from the West Loop that have been corrected.

Continued Learning Origin Story

Switching from film to digital photography opened the door to new and exciting opportunities from the moment I first picked up my first Pentax K10D. I could actually get out with my camera and actually shoot. Throughout the years of shooting film I began to resent the endless hours mixing and maintaining chemicals, rolling film, buying expensive paper, and the various periphery accoutrements and rituals required to go from ready-to-shoot to a finished image. Digital photo would set free a creative beast who had been caged by the restraints of the analog arts.

Without a DeLorean and a sweet puffy vest I won’t be able to return and warn myself about the terrible habits that I would form when shirked the restraints of the darkroom. Diving headfirst into the digital world surely reduced my time between shutter and finished image. I also began stripping away all of the good habits that film had instilled in me: composing images one frame at a time, waiting for light and shadow, confirming aperture and shutter, and slowing down in general.

Recognizing the error in my ways took much longer to than creating a path to recovery. Throughout my three months in Europe, way back in 2009, I produced a handful of useable images. I had shot so many frames that the process of reviewing, rating, and editing took far longer than shooting with film would have taken in the lab. We can skip past the malfunction of the K10D, but remember that my k1000 still works perfectly.

M. James Thompson


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