Photo Analysis Sydney Opera House E-mail

Photo of Sydney Opera House RoofThe Sydney Opera House is probably the most well-known opera house in the world.  The unique architecture is a goldmine for any photographer interested in architecture.  With a unique combination of curves, huge glass windows and a location that any hotel entrepreneur would envy, the Sydney Opera House is a must for anyone who can get there....


In this particular image I have focused on the roof of the opera house.  The unique curves create a multitude of abstract possibilities that can be explored.  From a compositional perspective this image breaks with the rule-of-thirds rule but uses the diagonal from top left to bottom right to separate sky from building. You'll notice also that while the focus is sharp across the whole picture (shot at f/16), the combination of size and light/shadow gives a slight effect of depth to the picture.  The things to note that enhance this effect are:

  • The closest roof is sunlit
  • The closest roof occupies roughly twice the size of the roof behind
  • The roof behind is lower than the one in front
  • The roof behind is mostly in shadow

Technically speaking this is not a particularly complex picture.  The sunlight is coming from the right of the picture and is taken a little before noon when the sun is quite strong.  The main challenge is to avoid over-exposing the roof and reflections from the shiny roof tiles.  To measure exposure a center-weighted metering or even an average of the whole picture will work well.  In order to avoid the sun reflection on the roof I used a polarizer filter, which also gives a deeper blue in the sky.  In post processing I removed some dust spots in the sky and adjusted the color temperature slightly down to make the roof slightly less yellow.  Since polarizer filters darken the image a little I also adjusted the exposure up one notch.




Histogram for Photo of Sydney Opera House Roof



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