Assignment 3 planning part 3

For my second planning visit I utilised the anticipated settings I outlined in Assignment 3 planning part 1

These settings outlined below were how I set my Nikon D7200 with Sigma 10-20mm lens:

  • ISO 400 – 800
  • f/5.6 – f8
  • 1/500s
  • Lens 10-20mm (15mm)
  • Hand held
  • Multiple shots

The link to the contact sheets for my 2nd scouting visit is below:

2nd Scouting Visit Contact Sheets

I must admit to being somewhat disappointed with the results. My aim in using the wide angle lens was to try and encompass the majority of the junction so that the status of the traffic lights could be seen as well as the junction activity. Whilst I could see the junction fairly well the action and activity was too small to be useful. I need to use a longer focal length and concentrate on a smaller part of the action for the images to be worthwhile.

Also on reflection I may need to try a few different areas of pedestrian congestion around the Waterloo Station area. This may necessitate a 3rd scouting visit, before I can get any useful images. Although I work close to the chosen area work is always manic, but I must make the time.

Assignment 3 planning part 2

I popped out at lunchtime to take some test shots of the junction using my Fuji X30 to see if they looked ok. The contact sheets of these test images are below:

Lightroom (DSCF0063.dng and 41 others)Lightroom (DSCF0063.dng and 41 others)Lightroom (DSCF0063.dng and 41 others)Lightroom (DSCF0063.dng and 41 others)

For this to work my shots need to take in the traffic lights so that it can be clearly seen when they are red or green. Although I intend to use a pretty wide-angle lens (10-20mm) with my Nikon D7200 when I take my shots, it is clear that I will need to carefully position myself to gain the best field of view. The proof of the pudding will be when I try the wide angle lens. This will probably require a few visits to the junction to get the kind of shots I am aiming for, and maybe just a bit of Henri-Cartier Bresson’s luck.

Assignment 3 first impressions and planning part 1

First Impressions

The concept of a ‘Decisive Moment’ made me think on something that has puzzled me for some considerable time, why do some cyclists take unnecessary risks like:

  • Ignoring red traffic lights at junctions
  • Undertaking large vehicles as they approach turning points
  • Not wearing cycle helmets
  • Wearing personal stereos and therefore unable to hear traffic (i.e. large vehicle turning announcements)
  • Thinking that the highway code is not applicable to them

Or any combination of the above, in turn; risking their own lives, those of other pedestrians or the mental distress caused to drivers who unwittingly hit, injure or kill these cyclists.

There are a couple of junctions close to my work where this kind of blatant action is common, especially early in the morning and early evening during rush hour. But also at time of quietness which brings its own level of complacency.

Sometimes we experience problems or situations in life where we feel like we are standing at a busy junction where the traffic lights are not working. Where we are unwilling witnesses to potential accidents and no matter how much we wave our arms, we are ignored. This is how feel about these irresponsible cyclists. We live in enlightened society where we are taught about danger from birth, therefore these cyclists must make a conscious decision (their own decisive moment) to take any or all the risks I have highlighted above.

The word cloud below shows the words that come to my mind when thinking about the issues highlighted above:

Decisive Moment Word Cloud

Planning Part 1

My idea is to take images at the junction of Stamford Street and Cornwall Road (London, SE1 9HN) at various times. I will try to take images from various points that take in the whole junction. Google map and satellite view of the junction below (Google.co.uk, 2017):

Junction 1

Map of junction of Stamford Street and Cornwall Road – London, SE1 9NH

Junction 2

Satellite view of junction of Stamford Street and Cornwall Road – London, SE1 9NH

I am not anticipating a crash or near miss, but I could end up witnessing an accident! The junction has pedestrian crossings which may also provide other interesting shots. My intention is not to make myself too obvious by; using natural cover, distance, muted clothing and slow movements. Hopefully catch my intended targets off guard.

Shooting from an elevated or low point might produce interesting images, but could attract more attention. Shooting from midriff might work best. Set camera up manually possibly try using a 10 – 20mm wide angle lens, using a good depth of field and use hyperfocal distance to ensure that everything of interest is in focus (Dofmaster.com, 2017).

Hyperfocal

Anticipated initial manual camera settings:

  • ISO 400 – 800
  • f/5.6 – f8
  • 1/500s
  • Lens 10-20mm (15mm)
  • Hand held
  • Multiple shots

The above give me a starting point for this assignment.

Reference

Google.co.uk. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5057334,-0.111333,19.25z [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Dofmaster.com. (2017). Online Depth of Field Calculator. [online] Available at: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Assignment 2 planning part 4

Texture blending

I thought I would try some of the images I took on Friday blended with a texture layer. I have been collecting a great number of image resources from photo magazines for the last few years, these include a number of textures. Looking through my collection I chose to experiment using the texture below.

texture

I added the texture as a separate layer to several of the station images. I tried several of Photoshop’s blending modes and settled on using ‘Vivid Light‘. This blend process is described below:

Vivid Light

Burns or dodges the colors by increasing or decreasing the contrast, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened by decreasing the contrast. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened by increasing the contrast.

(Incorporated, 2016)

The six images I created are shown below.

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I am pleased with the results and would really value other people’s opinion. I used the same texture and blending mode on each of the images for a degree of consistency. Not sure whether to try a different texture and blending mode with each image. Personally I think that this will just appear rather random and muddled.Further experimentation could be made using a different single texture and a different single blend mode.

Reference

Incorporated, A.S. (2016) Blending modes. Available at: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/blending-modes.html (Accessed: 24 October 2016).

Assignment 2 planning part 2

Time, oh time where does it go? Flowing through your fingers like sand…  Guess I am getting kind of wistful due to the creative malaise I have been in and my subsequent disappointment at my lack of progress.

Inspiration

As with my previous assignment I started a Pinterest board based on Crowds and can be found here:

Several of the pinned images covey the sense of claustrophobia and panic that I want to try to convey in my images. I have never suffered from claustrophobia or panic attacks, however in the last few years I have found that I am considerably uncomfortable and irritated when in crowds. I grew up in London and left in the 80’s, but now commute in everyday to work. Though I am fortunate that do not need to use the bus or tube. I wish I could fathom why I feel this level of discomfort, it is disconcerting. Maybe it is a sign of age and me becoming a grumpy old man. Or maybe there is something else, something more subliminal. Though I guess it is down to the depression I suffer and cope with.

What defines a Crowd?

noun: crowd; plural noun: crowds

  • a large number of people gathered together in a disorganized or unruly way.

synonyms: throng, horde, mob, rabble, large number, mass, multitude, host, army, herd, flock, drove, swarm, sea, stream, troupe, pack, press, crush, flood, collection, company, gathering, assembly, assemblage, array, congregation, convention, concourse

  • an audience, especially one at a sporting event.

synonyms: audience, spectators, watchers, listeners, viewers, onlookers, patrons, house, gallery, stalls

  • informal derogatory

a group of people who are linked by a common interest or activity.

synonyms: set, group, band, circle, company, fraternity, clique, coterie

  • the mass or multitude of ordinary people.

noun: the crowd

synonyms: majority, multitude, common people, populace, general public, mob, masses, riff-raff, proletariat, rank and file, the commonality, the hoi polloi, the canaille, the great unwashed

  • a large number of things regarded collectively.

(Google, 2016)

Intended Action:

Tomorrow is Friday 21st October and I am not working that day. It is my intention to take a trip into London and make a start on some of the images for Assignment 2. In my previous scouting mission I have tried to seek out some of the vantage points that I may use to take images from around the station:

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As can be seen in the images above there are not great amounts of people, but it shows that I would be able to take images from above, at eye level or even low down if required.

I have this vision of crowds of people like a forest or crashing waves, masses of; heads, feet, bodies and belongings. Making it hard to progress or move as one would wish. Almost like an elemental force. I can very much imagine that mass hysteria in very large groups can appear like that. Psychological, hormonal and primal drives can take hold of people resulting in great behavioural changes. This is not to say that I will be able to obtain a full range of images, but I will try to produce something that will convey the essence of a crowd.

I also hope to move down into the tube station and the surrounding Waterloo Station area to help me fulfill my brief. I intend to use common compositional devices and basic camera techniques such as; “Rule of Thirds”, leading lines, aperture to control depth of field and shutter speed to imply movement. Also if possible to try to use a tripod and remote shutter release to help maintain steady well exposed images.

Reference:

Google (2016) Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=crowd%20definition (Accessed: 20 October 2016)

V&A Visit – 24th August 2016

As well as going to the Science Museum on the 24th August I visited the V&A Museum (just across the road) to see what they had to offer by way of current photography exhibits. On enquiring at the information desk I was pleased to find that there were a couple of photographic displays;

  • The Camera Exposed – Gallery 38a
  • A History of Photography: The Body – Gallery 100

Both were also free, which was a bonus.


The Camera Exposed

This temporary (23 July 2016 – 5 March 2017) display was a collection of 120 images from a broad spectrum of photographers, with each image containing a camera in one form another. There was no restriction on photography so I took some pictures of the images that particularly drew my attention. These are shown below, with their accompanying display information:

abelardo-morell-infoabelardo-morell

andreas-feininger-infoandreas-feininger

calum-colvin-infocalum-colvin

don-mccullin-infodon-mccullin

elsbeth-juda-infoelsbeth-juda

henri-cartier-bresson-infohenri-cartier-bresson

john-a-walker-infojohn-a-walker

john-french-infojohn-french

judy-dater-infojudy-dater

louise-dahl_wolfe-infolouise-dahl_wolfe

philippe-halsman-infophilippe-halsman

richard-sadler-inforichard-sadler

tim-walker-infotim-walker

timm-rautert-infotimm-rautert

tosh-matsumoto-infotosh-matsumoto

weegee-infoweegee

weegee-2-infoweegee-2

(Victoria and Museum, 2016)

I really enjoyed this display and highly recommended to anyone wanting to see a marvellous display of themed images. The combination of the various photographers inventiveness, creativity and craftsmanship is evident throughout.


A History of Photography: The Body  (Victoria and Museum, 2016) 

This display is held in the V&A permanent gallery and currently concentrates on ‘The Body‘. The gallery introduction is shown below followed by a selection of prints that I liked:

intro

weegee-infoweegee

suzanne-r-dworsky-infosuzanne-r-dworsky

sophie-ristelhueber-infosophie-ristelhueber

rineke-dijkstra-inforineke-dijkstra

josef-koudelka-infojosef-koudelka

john-coplans-infojohn-coplans

herbert-bayerherbert-bayer-info

helmut-newton-infohelmut-newton-1helmut-newton-2

erhard-dorner-infoerhard-dorner

edward-weston-infoedward-weston

carl-fischer-infocarl-fischer

bernard-f-eilers-infobernard-f-eilers

alfred-lys-baldry-infoalfred-lys-baldry

adolphe-bilordeaux-infoadolphe-bilordeaux

(Victoria and Museum, 2016)

Again another very interesting and varied display, and another I would also highly recommend. I am only sorry that my snaps don’t these great images (in both displays) justice.

Reference:

Victoria and Museum, A. (2016) V&A · the camera exposed. Available at: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/the-camera-exposed (Accessed: 12 September 2016).

Victoria and Museum, A. (2016) What’s on. Available at: https://shop.vam.ac.uk/whatson/index/view/id/2060/event/A-History-of-Photography–The-Body/dt/2016-09-12/free/1 (Accessed: 12 September 2016).

Assignment 2 first impressions and planning part 1

First impressions

My first impressions on reading the brief for Assignment two was great, we have three choices. After rereading the brief a few times and pondering I settled on the idea of “Crowds”. I then drew in a long breath and wondered how I would approach this. I have been reading a book called ‘Basics creative photography 03: Behind the image: Research in photography‘ (Caruana and Fox, 2012), recommended by my tutor. The first chapter covers aspects of basic research proposal planning and I found elements of this a helpful starting point.

Inspiration for project working name

At the weekend I was watching a Star Trek original series episode called “The Mark of Gideon“. The premise of this episode was based around a planet that was so vastly overpopulated that its citizens had no space or privacy. The inhabitants are healthy and no one seems to ever die in the totally germ-free environment. All they every want is the freedom to move or to have space of their own.  I started to think that this might be the basis for a good Crowds storyline and also a suitable working title.

Mark of Gideon 1Mark of Gideon 2Mark of Gideon 3Mark of Gideon 4

(3×16 – the mark of Gideon – TrekCore Star Trek original series Screencaps, no date)

What do crowds symbolise

I tried now to  In thought about the words that the phrase “Crowds” evoked.  I came up with a list of 60 words and decided to make these into a word cloud, as shown below:

wordcloud

Where to find crowds

I thought on where I could find crowds:

  • Underground
  • Markets
  • Shops
  • Subways
  • Concerts
  • Railway Stations
  • Bus Queue
  • Bars
  • Sports Venue
  • Airports
  • Demonstrations

However many of the above would be dependent of various factors including; time of day, size of the event; location etc.

As I commute into London every day I feel that Waterloo railway station would be a good location. It has many places for crowds to be found:

  • Platforms
  • Concourse
  • Shops
  • Upper mezzanine floor
  • Tube station
  • Subway
  • Stairs
  • Escalators

Who will this collection be for

I then thought about who this collection was for and to be viewed by. This assignment will be for my tutor to be viewed and act as a guide to my progress and development through this part of the course. Also potentially to be viewed and evaluated by my assessors towards my degree. But ultimately for me as a platform to practice, develop my skills and demonstrate my creative progress.

Reference:

Caruana, N. and Fox, A. (2012) Basics creative photography 03: Behind the image: Research in photography. Lausanne: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.

3×16 – the mark of Gideon – TrekCore Star Trek original series Screencaps (no date) Available at: http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=91&page=6 (Accessed: 5 September 2016).

The Documentary Impulse – Stuart Franklin

More lubricant for the rusty brain cells, this time in the form of ‘The Documentary Impulse‘ (Franklin, 2016). In fact, I am already half way through reading it for a second time.

TDI

The book is by the renowned photographer Stuart Franklin, who was responsible for the famous image of a lone man in Tiananmen Square stopping a line of tanks. In it he discusses and attempts to explain what has driven the human race to record events since man lived in caves to the present day.

The book cover covers the driving need or impulse to document life from cave paintings to everyday life. How photography full of bias and sentimentality tried to capture a lost Eden rooted in Colonial outposts or concord nations. The use of documentary photography to highlight inadequate or substandard care of the mentally ill or those in prison as a force to drive change or reform. The use of image-choc (shocking pictures) to influence or prick public and political conscience is discussed, along with the arguable concept of ‘Compassion Fatigue’.

Though I found the discussions regarding the way documentary photography has influenced and driven change most interesting. From social reform of the poor and child labour to driving political change in the cases of war such as the Nigerian-Biafran war and the Vietnam war.

The book also discusses staged documentary shoots and manipulation of documentary photography.

As I have already said I am halfway through reading it for the 2nd time as I really want to understand what Stuart Franklin is saying. If you are interested in documentary photography or just want to ready a good book about photography I do not think you will be disappointed, this is a well written, well presented and interesting read.

Reference:

Franklin, S. (2016) The documentary impulse. United Kingdom: Phaidon Press.

Amber Online

While searching for some other inspirational material for the “Square Mile” Assignment I came across Amber Online.

To quote from the website:

Amber Online
Amber is a film & photography collective based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North of England. Amber Films, Side Gallery and Cinema are all part of it.

• Over 28,000 photographs, 100 films – 400 individual stories and a single coherent narrative;

• A constantly growing body of work, documenting NE England and reaching beyond;

• Sustained for over 45 years – one of the most remarkable bodies of work in the history of documentary.

(Amber Online 2016, 2006)

This appears to be a great resource for images of North East England for many genres.

Reference:

2016— (2006) Amber Online. Available at: http://www.amber-online.com/ (Accessed: 23 June 2016).