This is one of the last images I ever took on my Pentax K2000 (K-m), which I am now selling to a friend. My new camera, the Pentax K-x, is a marvel of technology. I haven't had the chance to use it much since it came yesterday, but I can say for sure that the ISO performance is unbeatable in its price range. The image quality even beats the Pentax K-7, which sells for twice as much. Regardless, the K2000 was still a great camera with a strong feature set, and I'm sort of sad to see it go.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm about as least traditional as they get in terms of interior photography. As of right now, I don't own a wide angle lens (though one is on its way). The top and bottom photos below were taken with a 40mm f2.8 prime, and the middle was shot with a 70-300mm. If you don't understand what any of that means, then don't worry. It basically means that some of my favorite interior shots were made with gear that most enthusiasts would deem unsuitable for the job.
The photo above was made at the Red Iguana in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a spur of the moment thing, as I hadn't anticipated having time to thoroughly photograph the unique building that houses that fantastic restaurant. I looked over, saw the beads/artwork with the subtle light coming in at just the right angle, and snapped a single shot. The framing isn't perfect, but neither is the building or the decor. It's straightforward but unique, pure and simple.
This photo was sort of a fluke. I was walking through one of the buildings at the Snowbird ski resort, having just been outside photographing just about everything in sight. My 70-300mm (aka, starts out zoomed in, then goes even further) lens was still on my camera which, given the fact that I bought it for $5 and its optics are pretty mediocre, made indoor shooting out of the question. Regardless, I happened to glance behind me and notice this decal on the sliding glass door. I kneeled down and photographed it, right as two people entered the frame behind the plane of focus.
Out of these three shots, however, this one takes the cake. I had just gone to the restroom at the former-resort-twice-burned-down-turned-concert-venue Saltair along the banks of the Great Salt Lake, and I instantly noticed this archway intensified by an all-around grunge feel. Though I had to wait a minute or so for the other guy in the restroom to leave, I managed to take this shot with minimal awkwardness. Yes, it really looked that worn-down in person. But the smell was surprisingly not much worse than the stench floating in from the polluted water that was once this venue's claim to fame.
One of the first things any photography student learns is the important of having a broad tonal range in a photograph. A photograph that is either too "bright" or too "dark" is, theoretically speaking, not aesthetically pleasing. Fortunately, in photography, rules are meant to be broken. Sometimes having a vastly underexposed image can hide certain details not essential to the main thought in a photograph, or add an air of mystery to an otherwise ordinary scene. Most important of all, composing a shot with the intention of underexposing the final image creates a photo that's out of the ordinary. In the photograph above, taken inside the run-down once-popular Saltair resort in Utah, the main visual element in the composition is the highlights across the handrailing. The staircase itself is merely an afterthought, and thus does not need to be emphasized to such a degree.
Another important reason to underexpose an image is to capture interesting or visually stunning light. The art of photography itself is the capturing of light, and a good photographer holds the ability to recognize worthwhile light in a scene. The photograph above was taken on the freeway near Pleasant Grove, Utah. For most, the dance between the mountains and the clouds wouldn't seem special in any way. But at the time, I recognized that underlying layer of light that, in its present form, was simply too bright to allow for its subtle intricacies to make themselves known. Lowering the exposure on the photograph and increasing the contrast reveled what I saw in the moment which, for me, is the best possible outcome one can achieve in the post-production stage.