I know it’s been awhile since I last posted but I have been having a bit of a block recently.
Here is my second assignment entitled People and Activity
For this assignment, we had to take 10 images depicting either one person doing different types of activity or a group of people doing the same activity or at the same event.
With Christmas fast approaching, there were plenty of events that I could potentially use, even if just for practice or to build my confidence. The first event I lined up to photograph was a tradition my family and I do every year, going to see the Christmas lights. As it is normally very busy in the day, we wait until the town centre has died down and go then. I planned to try taking a variety of photos showing the different aspects of the evening and of the people involved. I also wanted to take some more focussed images of my daughter too. As it was quite dark, I had to use a high ISO 1600/3200 and a flash, which made the final images quite grainy so I used this event as a practice. Below are some extracts from my learning log showing some of the images I took that evening.
After some thought, I felt that using family events for the assignment was quite a safe option as it meant I didn’t have to worry about upsetting anyone or having to deal with strangers. With this in mind, I decided to try photographing people while I was attending some local fairs. I was initially very nervous about doing this because
a) It meant photographing complete strangers
b) I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anything to take photos of or I would be too nervous and end up with nothing
The first fair I went to, I found that I was able to take a few usable images, however as I was a stall holder and it started to get quite busy I had to stop taking photos. Below is an extract from my learning log showing a couple of the images I took.
The second fair I went to was a stark contrast to the previous fair as there wasn’t such a good turnout. I was able to take some interesting photos, however as I had a low shutter speed and didn’t use the flash in case I put anyone off, some of the photos came out a little blurred. Even though I had this issue, I found by taking photos there it really helped me to build my confidence and I felt a lot more relaxed taking the photos. Below are some extracts from my learning log showing some of the images I took.
With my new found confidence I started to look for an event that I could use for my final images. I decided to photograph the Weston Park Christmas fair which I was attending as a member of the public instead of a stall holder as with the previous fairs.
Once I arrived and started taking photos, I found it quite easy and I completely forgot my previous concerns. This enabled me to focus on capturing interesting moments for the assignment. In order to get interesting shots I put myself in the mind set of what explains best what is happening, what are individual people doing that helps create the atmosphere or what are the little things they do that usually go unnoticed?
While shooting, I found that a lot of the photos I took were mostly point and shoot so I didn’t miss a particular expression or the moment however there were a couple where I waited and took a few images so I could choose the best at a later date.
This one suits best
F/3.5, 1/40, ISO400, 18mm Focal length, White Balance-Auto
I chose to shoot this quite wide, to help give a sense of what is going on. Here the stallholder, to me, has a “keen to sell” expression on her face and as can be seen in the background, behind the customer, there aren’t any people which suggests why she may be like this. There is also an implied triangle between the two women and the necklace that is being pointed out.
F/4, 1/40, ISO400, 21mm Focal length, White Balance- Auto
For this image, I choose to photograph my daughter decorating a chocolate Christmas tree. This allowed me to shot up close and at eye level so the viewer can feel involved in the process. As this was my daughter I was able to get a really intimate shot which I would not have been able to do and with the activity, it wouldn’t have worked as well if using an adult.
Ready to Serve
F/3.5, 1/30, ISO400, 20mm Focal length, White Balance- Auto
I chose to stand back to take this image and although the customers cannot be seen that clearly, as the title suggests the stallholders are ready to serve. I liked the image mainly due to the leading lines, such as the rows of bottles and how the stallholders are lined up in the same way and diagonals of the marquee. Both of the stallholders seem to have quite open body language and direct eye contact with their customers too.
Getting the Gossip
F/4, 1/30, ISO400, 31mm focal length, White Balance- Auto
I like this image as it captures, what I feel, is quite a prominent moment in the conversation between these two women. As a viewer, it intrigues me and makes me wonder what the conversation could be about. I also like that throughout their conversation you can see in the background how busy the fair has become. This was one of my most successful images due to the distinct open body-language of the subjects.
Shall I or Shan’t I?
F/5, 1/30, ISO400, 45mm Focal Length, White Balance- Auto
This is quite an intimate shot of, what I think is, a mother and daughter. It shows that although there is money in her hand she looks slightly apprehensive.
F/4.5, 1/30, ISO400, 40mm Focal length, White Balance- Auto
This shot captures a stallholder preparing samples while her stall is quiet. She also looks quite pleased, which could suggest she is having a good day sale wise.
F/4, 1/30, ISO400, 21m Focal length, White Balance- Auto
In this image, there is the suggestion of an implied triangle between the customer, the stallholder and the cake stand as the customer is choosing which cakes she would like.
How are you?
F/4.5, 1/125, ISO400, 39mm Focal length, White balance- Auto
For this image, I opted for a completely different viewpoint. Although, you can’t really see the woman’s face you can see that she is completely engrossed in her phone. I think that the window helps to frame the subject. The reflection in the window and the people behind also give a sense of how busy the fair is.
On the bread line
F/4.5, 1/125, ISO400, 40mm Focal Length, White Balance- Auto
I took this image standing back so the viewer can see all the people standing in line for bread. By standing further away, I was able to capture the activity between the stallholders and the person they are serving and the couple waiting to be served and looking at what they would like to buy.
Looking out across the fair
F/5.6, 1/125, ISO400, 55mm Focal Length, White Balance- Auto
I like the perspective in this image of the woman looking out across the fairs with the two people on the RSPB stall in the background. I also like the contrast between the bright green on the stall and the woman’s coat. I positioned the woman close to the edge of the screen as it was more aesthetically pleasing and I included the two people in the background to help balance out the image.
After some initial concerns, I found this assignment quite enjoyable and challenging. It really pushed me beyond my comfort limits however I feel that I was able to confront these and precede to take some interesting shots.
When looking through my final 14 images in order to narrow them down to the 10 images I wanted to use, I was concerned that some were very similar to each other so I tried to choose the ones I felt were the best ones, even though this meant there could be some similarities.
I think that the images I have chosen to reflect the event I attended have worked well and I hope that they are clear and consistent to anyone wishing to view them.
If I was able to do this assignment again, I would probably have gone around the fair a few times more in order to get more photos for me to choose from.