Is the model in your avatar at the top of the stairs? .
I like #1, because it is less ordinary (a horizontal crop of stairs).
I have the same odd urge about stairs. I like three the best, but then I tend to shoot stairs in a more vertical (in this format). If it's a horizontal look I am going for, it will be a detail in a step itself. It's not the leading of the stairs that gets me, it's really the lines and shadows that they create, 2 steps closer, sideways, taller, you have a completely different look. It's all about the character and drama. The more crap growing out of them the better, well places chips and dents makes my mind wander and think of the circumstances in how they became. I love them and actually, they are one of the things I love about walking around the European cities I have had the chance to visit. But, So far, nobody has them like Scotland. My 4x5 is going with me next time just for this reason. Ok, maybe not JUST this reason, but I'm sure I will have quite a few.
I'd go further than some other posters have suggested, and crop #3 (from the bottom) all the way down to a square.
Interestingly, it was #2, the one that no one else has spoken up for, that grabbed me initially. The light is a little more even than in the other two, and I think that works well---it makes it into a picture of the stairs as an object, rather than "stairs leading somewhere". On reflection, I think the composition of that one doesn't work so well, but the interaction of light and subject is a winner.
I think there's no shame in having an inexplicable subject that grabs you. For me it's doors, with the proviso that you can't see the other side---they can be closed, or slightly open, or the other side can be too dark or too light to be distinguished, but if the viewer can see beyond the door, it doesn't push my buttons. Who knows why; I just run with it and figure that my future descendants can ask themselves "What the heck was it with Great-Grandpa and doors, anyway?"
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
3 by a wide margin
I think you could cut off the bottom half to what may be a 4x5 ratio as I read up there and have a tighter photo
less about the stairs more about the light/varying tones
I think No. 3 works best, the portrait format works better than the landscape view. I would foto it more and with different light states. But, yeh stairs are cool, not weird. Look at Brassai shot of stairs in Paris, Kertesz' Mondrian's studio, etc.
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First, I would say that if you have 70 prints of stairs you already have a project. Second, for reasons that you may not yet understand, and the rest of us do not have to understand, you are drawn to photograph this subject. It is what you are supposed to do, so do it. Awhile back Cheryl Jacobs posted a wonderful quote by Martha Graham about following your own path in art.
Originally Posted by rwboyer
I have to go with #2. (Just to be a PITA!!) These stairs lead either nowhere, and I like the mystery in that, or they lead where I want them to lead - and I like the freedom in that. For me, there aren't enough steps in #1 to be leading anywhere; and in #3 you've told me where they go - no more mystery. I think the preponderance of dark tones in the steps require mystery. (Then again I just got in the Halloween candy so maybe I'm getting carried away - or should be )
I like 'em - keep it up.
PS while we're in confession mode - I haven't seen a door lock or door handle that I could pass by with a camera. Face it - we're all afflicted.
"Why is there always a better way?"
# 3 gets my vote thought I'm struggling to come up with a specific reason other than "it looks right".
If you have a thing about stairs, don't visit Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. There's a set of stairs there that must be the most photographed set of stairs anywhere on the planet.....!!
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)
I've thought about #1 and why I like it. I like how it's dark, yet there is light coming in from the top. I want the framing to show more of what's on top, especially with the light shining from above BUT because it's not framed that way is the exact reason it draws me. I want to see what's not revealed.
What a waste. You could be spending that time shooting dead trees.
Originally Posted by J Rollinger