2023-04-08 Spiral Staircase by Judi

This is a great smartphone picture of a staircase in the Alberta University of the Arts the renamed College of Art right here in Calgary. It shows the value of sometimes “Looking Up” for great subjects. I like this image for its abstract qualities. The placement of the slightly tilted squares give this image extra visual impact. The reflected artificial fluorescent and mercury lighting is surprisingly beautiful in this setting.

I will try to use the TOE photo evaluation system, although I am not sure if I can cover all the criteria with this image. TOE stands for “Technical”, Organizational” and “Emotional”

The evaluation below is just my opinion and I would like to encourage you to add your comments below, especially if you disagree.

Under Technical – Colour, Light, Exposure, Sharpness and Technique are evaluated.

The colour tones are interesting almost pastel green and pink-beige. Probably the result of different fluorescent and mercury type lights reflecting off the bare concrete. The bright yellow guardrail accent adds to this image.

I find the pure white light of the over exposed areas not disturbing as they are reference points on the perimeter. The way the reflected light plays on the concrete is downright interesting.

The image is a bit over exposed at the light fixtures but again not disturbing. The image could have been improved by selectively turning the exposure down in these areas.

As smartphones have a fixed lens, they are optimized for intermediate to long distance focus. The exceptions are in the top corners where the image is a bit fuzzy.

Not really applicable, as this is a smartphone point and shoot.

Under Organizational – Distractions, Space and Composition are evaluated.

The only distractions are the over exposed light fixtures. However they anchor the perimeter of the image and are an essential part of the ambiance in my opinion.

The use of space is optimal.

I give the composition most points. It is the strongest element in this evaluation. There is a beautiful rhythm in the spiral aspect as it turns toward the vanishing point. The perimeter of the staircase at the top of the image has just enough separation between the edges in order to give maximum display of the guard rails on the opposite side. The slight tilt of the square staircase hole gives the image more pizzazz. The yellow accent on the guardrail top adds to this.

Under Emotional – Mood, Impact, Subject and Imagination are evaluated.

Although this is a stark concrete staircase inside a “brutalist architectural building” I find it strangely uplifting. Maybe it is the yellow trim on the guardrail. There is a beautiful rhythm in the spiral, and the lighting gives strangely warm pastel reflections off the brutal concrete.

The rhythm, tilt and angular aspects make this image very impactful.

I would call this image more of an abstract because of the limited number of elements and the strength of the structural concrete

It takes an eye for design to spot this type of image. So I give high marks for this aspect.

Score : 8.5 – (5 for impact and 3.5 for technical execution)

Well done Judi !

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