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For my cut out pictures I have photographed the McDonalds restaurants in my area. The first on the roundabout on the A5 en route to Milton Keynes next to a petrol station. The second restaurant was also on the A5 Watling Street just outside the small village of Hockliffe. Next was the McDonalds restaurant on the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard, again on the site of a petrol station and right next to the new Leighton Buzzard dual carriageway, and the last on the main Luton Road on the edge of Dunstable situated between a Sainsbury supermarket and a Sainsburys petrol station. All McDonalds displayed their logos ‘illuminated’ irrespective of the time of day and each sign was as close to the flow as traffic as was possible. This made all their 7 meter signs visible for several hundred meters in either direction.

I photographed these premises using a digital Nikon D7000 DSLR and a 28-120 mm lens and then turned the image black and white in photoshop prior to cutting. It was my intention to print these photographs in the University darkroom as A3 black and white images (all premises were also simultaneously shot on black and white ISO 400 film using a Nikon F100 and the same lens) but the poor weather delayed shooting.

IMGA0659 blog

Hand printed Black and White image

I wanted dark stormy clouds above the restaurants to contrast with the colour in fill photographs. An unseasonal spell of clear skies for over a week restricted my shoot to sunset when the sparse cloud present became much more illuminated. The one restaurant, Milton Keynes, offering a good view and a sunset I shot using a HDR technique (High Dynamic Range) allowing me to shoot both the sky and the shadowed side of the building over several frames, merging all the frames to create a single correctly exposed shot.

Alas not all the front of the McDonalds restaurants (the best view) were in locations to offer a good sunset as some were pointing in the wrong direction. I delayed shooting in the hope the weather would change but was disappointed. As the part of the image containing the building was being cut out I wanted the remainder of the black and white photograph to ‘stand alone’ in that it remained a strong image despite losing the building as it main centre of interest. This dictated therefore the sky must be strong and this is the part of the image I’m most disappointed with.

To add depth to the cut image I also wanted to add layers of card to create a tunnelling effect, leading the eye to the colour landscape below.

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