There is something about doors and windows. Doors and windows tell us so much about the streets, about history, about culture and they are everywhere. Doors and windows are big, small, plain, colorful, old, new, modern, antique, they come in all shapes and forms. Sometimes you will find open doors and windows, sometimes closed, with or without people, and even some times the door or the window are gone, but you know where they were suppose to be.
Doors and windows beg us to be opened. You are supposed to open doors and walk through them. You are supposed to open windows and let the breeze come through. Doors and windows are intriguing and fascinating.
Doors and Windows are there and they are full of patterns, textures and designs. They call us to be photographed. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Some are huge and some are intimidating, some are small and just there. Some doors and windows are famous and some are also art forms. These and more certainly bring the fascination of capturing images of doors and windows.
Capturing an image of a door or a window might seem like an easy task. What can be so difficult about it, they are flat, so nothing to worry about ‘Depth of Field’. They do not move, so nothing to worry about ‘Shutter Speed’. But wait, doors and windows too have their challenges.
Most of the times doors and windows try to avoid the sun, they are patiently waiting under awnings, doorways, trees… oh, shadows. Sun might be hitting them, so there is reflection, that you might not like or that you might want to take advantage of. Doors and windows in the shade tend to have a cool, low, blue tone light, so sometimes the use of warming filters come into place.
As with most photographs, early morning and late afternoon is the best time to shoot doors and windows, not only due to the warmth of the light but also because porches, awnings, doorways, are out of the light path and no shadows are present. Side lighting is also interesting it will enhance the texture of the door or the window as well as its details.
The use of the tripod is usually required to capture the details of doors and windows, since you will be shooting in medium to slow shutter speed. Usually natural light is adequate but if you are not using a tripod then you might need a flash to fill in.
When you find a door or a window that you want to capture. First thing is to remember your first impression, think about it and review it. What was it that caught your attention? The color of the door or window, the overall scene, the wall surrounding it, to door or window itself, the doorknob, the texture, or the window drapes. What ever it was, make sure you capture that detail, without it the image might lose its magic.
Another important point to focus on is to move in close enough to remove all distractions and isolate your main focal point, the one that caught your attention. Watch the lightings and keep the back of your camera parallel to the door or window to keep everything sharp and in focus, maximizing the depth of field as well.
If what caught your attention was the texture, rusting, peeling paint, the carvings, then move in closer and consider using a macro lens, you really want to capture as much detail as possible. Side lighting can accentuate those details, use the shadows to add depth to the texture, capture an image in two dimensions.