How to photograph the Len Lye Centre gallery

Charlotte Curd/Fairfax NZ Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ Andy Jackson/Fairfax NZ FAIRFAX NZ

Charlotte Curd's take on the Len Lye Centre. Camera - Canon EOS 1D X, Lens - 16-35mm, ISO - 400, Aperture - f4, Shutter- 1/640

Robert Charles's take on the Len Lye Centre. Camera - Canon EOS-1D X, Lens - 16.0mm (16-35mm 2.8), ISO - 250, Shutter - 1/8000, Aperture - f 4.5

Andy Jackson's take on the Len Lye Centre. Camera - Canon 1D X, Lens - Shot at 16mm with a Canon 16-35mm 2.8, ISO - 1000, Shutter - 1/160, Aperture - f 9

Sam Scannell's take on the Len Lye Centre. Camera - Canon 1D Mark IV, Lens - Canon 2.8 100mm macro, ISO 1000, Shutter 1/160, Aperture f 6.3

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New Plymouth's new Len Lye Centre opened at the weekend and is already becoming one of the most photographed buildings in the city. To inspire and help you capture the centre in all its glory Fairfax photographers Andy Jackson, Robert Charles, Sam Scannell and Charlotte Curd were asked to take a photo and explain how they achieved it. Here's what they came back with.

Andy Jackson 

I spotted the old Hillman Minx coming from about 50m away and knew it was the perfect subject for my photo. My camera settings were all over the place but I quickly got into position near a small rain puddle and waited for the blue beauty to arrive. I love the contrast of the old Hillman cruising past what could be the most modern-looking building in the country, as well as the vibrant blue colour in what is otherwise a relatively colour-less photo.  As always I have a list of things I could have done differently to get a better photo but that moment of old car versus new building might take some time to capture again.  

Equipment and settings

Camera - Canon 1D X
Lens - Shot at 16mm with a Canon 16-35mm 2.8
ISO - 1000
Shutter - 1/160
Aperture - f 9

Robert Charles 

What I enjoy about the Len Lye Centre is the way the building changes so much in appearance depending on the conditions at the time. I played around with long exposures and different angles at different times of the day, but this was taken when the sun was probably at its brightest and there is nothing particularly technical about it. The interest of the clouds lit by the sun lead me to frame the photo the way I have, giving equal weight to the sky itself. The building, therefore, ended up as an abstract detail giving it a sense of mystique. I converted to it black and white to add to the abstract nature of it, plus the absence of a blue sky makes the centre seem more imposing.

Equipment and settings

Camera - Canon EOS-1D X
Lens - 16.0mm (16-35mm 2.8)
ISO - 250
Shutter - 1/8000
Aperture - f 4.5

Sam Scannell 

I like the play on perspective the Len Lye Centre gives the viewer, so I really wanted to bend the view back onto the building. I took this photo of the centre's reflection using a crystal ball. Given the ball was so small I used a macro lens. And because the depth of field is exaggerated when using a macro lens, at such a small scale, an aperture of f6.3 was needed to get a larger depth of field, ensuring more of the building was sharp.

Equipment and settings

Camera - Canon 1D Mark IV
Lens - Canon 2.8 100mm macro
ISO 1000
Shutter 1/160
Aperture f 6.3

Charlotte Curd 

Although its fun getting overwhelmed by how many different reflections you can capture in one image I like to keep it simple. To do this is easy, nice lighting is key. I got up early and captured the Len Lye Centre at about 7:45am. I tucked myself inside one of the folds, sat down and looked up as I captured the simple reflections of the pastel morning light and blue sky. 

Equipment and settings

Camera - Canon EOS 1D X
Lens - 16-35mm
ISO - 400
Shutter - 1/640
Aperture - f4

 - Stuff


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