I was recently approached to take part in a competition and photography project from London City Airport: #NoFilter Frankfurt. I feel as though I am gaining more confidence in my photos on the blog and the project afforded me a chance to look back at some of my previous efforts, so I thought I would give it a go.
(Not to mention the fact that London City Airport is probably one of my favourites – that view of over the city as you come in to land!)
What is #NoFilter Frankfurt?
The premise of the project is simple: to champion authentic photography and to show off a destination before rigorous editing and endless filters have been applied. The aim is to show that filters aren’t always needed to show how beautiful a destination is.
Why I’m taking part
Well, as you may have noticed, I now edit a lot of photographs after taking them – and I am currently updating a lot of previous blog posts with new, improved images. However, whilst I’m no professional, I do think it’s important to have a good basic level of photography skill – otherwise no amount of editing can save the shot.
(Plus, it’s a nice excuse to go back and revisit some old photos and an old city.)
So, without further a-do, here are my entries for #NoFilter Frankfurt.
Old and new
I took this shot purely because I liked the juxtaposition between the classic architectural style of the building in the foreground and the chic urban style of that in the background. I often try to take shots like this – with mixed success. This is one of the first photos I took in Frankfurt and one I think of most often when I remember the city.
You can be the judge yourself if you think this worked or not…
Bloody love locks, eh? I’ll be honest, I hate the things (and was very pleased last week when they were removed from Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris) but I’ll admit: they do take a very good photo. I particularly like how the locks in the foreground make a heart-shape. Or at least I would if I wasn’t such a bitter person.
These love locks were also a nice burst of colour in what was a very grey day in Frankfurt.
One very important aspect of Frankfurt is its skyscrapers. The built-up face of the city is what sets it apart from other places in Germany and has earned it the title of ‘Germany’s least German city’.
When I was in Frankfurt, I was surprised how much I liked them – they really gave the city a bit of an edge and a modern, urban feel. Here along the river, I was struck by how they dwarfed the city’s classic old town and traditional churches. As you can see, it was a very grey day.
As part of the #NoFilter Frankfurt contest, I was also encouraged to give some advice for taking filter-free photos and while I don’t have much knowledge of expert technical skills, I can say that I find the most important aspects of taking a good photograph to be timing, framing and focus:
Never rush a photo – you can always wait for a few more pedestrians to pass, or for that cloud to move out of the way. And don’t be afraid to come back at another time of day to capture better light.
Always frame your photo well – use cues from the landscape around you to position your camera and even try a few shots from varying angles to make sure you won’t be disappointed later.
Every photo should have a clear focus – decide what this is before you take your shot. I have countless confusing photos on my hard drive where I have clearly tried to fit too much into one frame and failed at creating a clear focus.
To see the improved, edited photos, check out my blog post on Frankfurt here.
So what do you think? Are #NoFilter photos the way forward?