One thing which frustrates me, is the lack of activity on my blog. Obviously, that’s something which should be easy for me to do something about. After all, the blog is mine, I could just post more.
However, while I have a lot of ideas for great content (hopefully), it takes time to create, and with work, kids, and a beautiful wife, I don’t always have that time. At least not to post fast and/or on a regular basis.
But then I thought about it. Yes, great content takes time, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t post something on a regular basis. And after all, this blog is about photography, so why not share photos and the thoughts behind them? And that is what I want to do. I believe that it will be of help both to my readers and myself, helping to think about how to create an image, as well as what not to do.
So this will be the first post in a regular series of photos, and my thoughts behind them.
Dome of the Ascension
This is the top of the Dome of the Ascension, one of the structures found on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. It was built to commemorate the ascension to the heavens of Muhammed, during his night journey to Jerusalem from Mecca.
The day I took this photo, I was on the Temple Mount to work on a photo project, I’m doing about the Islamic history of the Old City of Jerusalem, where I’m focused on the Islamic buildings of the city. On this particular day there were no clouds, and the sky was a nice deep blue. Most people are probably familiar with the Dome of the Rock, the octagon structure with a golden dome. While the Dome of the Rock is an impressive building, with striking design elements, it’s far from the only structure on the Temple Mount. Another probably more known structure, if only by name, is the Aqsa mosque. A lot of people seem to confuse the two, thinking that the Dome of the Rock is the Aqsa mosque, if they don’t simply think that there’s only one major building on the Temple Mount, and that is both the Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
That aside, the dome concept is common for the structures of the Temple Mount, whether we’re talking about the two before mentioned buildings, or more minor structures, as for example the Dome of the Ascension. And on this day the domes really stood out in contrast to the sky. While I was wandering around, I did take some shots of the various domes, but this one in particular stood out to me. There was something about the desaturated dome versus the deeply saturated sky, which I felt was a really interesting contrast. The golden dome of the Dome of the Rock would also make a good contrast, but there were two things which made me focus more on this smaller dome, a) that I liked the contrast between desaturation and saturated background, and b) that I simply didn’t have a lens with me, which was wide enough to include enough of the larger golden dome, without getting some few clouds and other background elements included in the shot. With this smaller dome I was able to frame it tight enough not to include other elements. That said, I did include two smaller clouds, which weren’t too dominant, in order to balance the dome, but also to make sure that there is a feeling of the sky, and to prevent the impression of a static blue background. I suppose that I unconsciously didn’t want to have the feeling of this being a composite image of a dome and a default blue background, but that there is an impression of the dome with the sky as background.
When it comes to the edit I never really do a lot. I added some contrast and raised the structure level a little, to enhance the details of the dome. I also darkened the blue and added some saturation in order to emphasize the contrast between desaturated dome and blue sky. Finally I cropped the photo to make sure that the dome was level even though the top of the dome seems a bit off.
But that’s it. It’s not a photo I normally would make, I’m not much of a minimalist photographer, though I really do like minimalist photographs. I just don’t feel that I normally have the eye for it, but I suspect that in this case it was so obvious, that I had an easy time seeing it. I do like the result, I believe that it does what I intended, giving a feeling of something larger than life point out towards the big unknown, but done so in simplicity. But I’m curious about which impressions other people get from it, so please feel free to comment on that. After all, the story of an image is often created more by the person seeing it, than the person who created it.