Monday, 17 February 2014

Response to tutors notes on Assignment 3

My tutor has given me fair and a frank assessment of my work on the assignment and the following notes are in response to the critique.

 I had considering cropping the image looking down to the floor, but I felt that cropping the image meant that it lost some of the building showing the join between the two buildings .However the crop is effective in showing the floor and is tighter on the interaction of the people and the light coming in through the door.

 I think I did miss part of the exercise, as I did not always give a full and frank analysis of why the locations had given me some form of emotional response. I think part of that is down to my personality and part of it is down to my dyslexia which makes a vast disconnect from my emotions at times. This means that at times I am fully concentrating on capturing the image and I am not considering the emotional response that I feel at the time of capturing the image. I find it easier to reflect back to my emotional state when reviewing the images.
I have started voice recording notes during the shooting process to assist in the recording of my emotions rather than relying on recall.

 I have encountered Donovan Wylie before during a 2 day course at Edinburgh University on the Magnum photographic Collective. I quite like his work on Northern Ireland especially the urban photography where he highlights the Army monitoring posts overlooking the normal street scene. I was lucky to recently encounter the work of Sylvain Margaine whose work is similar to the recent webpages from abandoned Scotland.

 I would have used a tripod in the turbine hall, but even using a tripod would have resulted in shaky image as the whole building shakes and vibrates due to the amount noise and vibration from the turbines themselves. It is a bit like being inside a jet engine during a hurricane and an earthquake.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Exercise 20 - Busy Traffic

 What: The main brief of this exercise was to photograph from a viewpoint to show a busy location
Where: Elephant Tearoom, Indoors and Old College Warrior Exhibition, Outdors
When: Mid afternoon and late evening.
How: I chose two locations as I wanted to get the experience of trying to assess the different flows of people within their surroundings.

Elephant TeaRoom

I chose Elephant tearoom as it is a constantly busy location; the tearoom itself was one of the locations that the author of the Harry Potter books sat and wrote and now the tearoom has become a Mecca for visitors and Harry Potter enthusiasts. It is almost always busy and getting a table can sometime take a while.
It is now a crowded location as they have chosen to add extra tables to allow for the increase in the number of customers and being a tourist location is a noisy jammed location.

I chose to reduce the image to a monochrome as it fitted with the room itself which is trying to maintain an air of “old school” Edinburgh without trying to become a solely tourist location.

DSC_0007-Busy B and W 2
Nikon D80, Aperture Mode Manual, focal length 18mm (35mm equivalent 27mm), aperture f9.5, speed 1/60 second, ISO 3200, Shade white balance, Spot metering, Camera sitting on the table, 18-70mm lens,

I tried to capture the noise of the tearoom as people from all over the world discuss the location and examine maps and books to decide where they will go next after eating.

Warrior Lantern Exhibition

I had read online that some of the terracotta warrior lanterns would be transported to Edinburgh and displayed in Edinburgh Universities Old College Quad for this years Chinese New Year. I was excited to see these as these lanterns had originally been designed and exhibited at the Beijing Olympics.

On arrival I was astounded by the number of visitors; I had expected a few dozen people to turn up since it was raining instead there were several hundred people there all who had turned up to see, touch and be photographed with the lanterns.

I quickly noticed that people either stood at the entrance and photographed the grouped horse and family, or they walked between the regimented figures first down the rows and then back across the rows. Children ran from figure to figure at random while some photographers stood to the sides and only photographed the outer figures. There was quite a Brownian motion as groups tried not to appear in one another’s photos.

I watched for a while from an upper location as the lights first started to dim and the first sets of visitors walked around the quad

Bozart Ampel, Aperture Mode Fixed, Exposure Mode Auto focal length 9.3mm (35mm equivalent 9.3mm), aperture f2.8, speed 1/30 second, ISO 100, Vibrant white balance, Matrix metering, Tripod Mounted camera, 9.3mm fixed lens,

I really wanted to capture the size of the exhibition and show the vibrant colours of the lantern warriors but also experiment with showing the visitors as an accent to the final image. I chose to use a Bozart Ampel camera which has a fixed 9.3mm tilt shift lens. This allowed me to capture the colours and also accent the people at the same time.

After the sun had set, the rain became heavier but this did nothing to discourage the visitors, as they filed up and down the rows photographing faces and lanterns.

I moved position in closer, but still from a vantage point above the ground level of the quad.

Nikon D80, Aperture Mode Manual, focal length 75mm (35mm equivalent 112mm), aperture f4.8, speed 1/20 second, ISO 100, Shade white balance, Spot metering, Tripod Mounted Camera, 70-300mm lens,

I wanted to shoot from a distance away and using low ISO and slow shutter speed to obtain a slight motion blur without over exposing the lantern warriors.

Again here I tried to capture the stop and go movement of people as they moved around the exhibition, some stopping to photograph while companions moved on to look at the next piece.

I then moved down to ground level to get a few shots of the people at the edges of the exhibition as they worked away capturing their own images.

Nikon D80, Aperture Mode Manual, focal length 50mm (35mm equivalent 75mm), aperture f2.4, speed 1/125 second, ISO 800, Shade white balance, Matrix metering mode, Tripod Mounted Camera, 50mm lens,

At this point the light was really beginning to disappear and I swapped to a 50mm prime lens to allow the most amount of light that I could get from the chosen aperture and shutter speed as I did not want to blur the images too much. I gain wanted to show the groupings and the positions of people as they examined the lanterns.

Nikon D80, Aperture Mode Manual, focal length 50mm (35mm equivalent 75mm), aperture f2.4, speed 1/125 second, ISO 800, Flash white balance, Matrix metering mode, Tripod Mounted Camera, 50mm lens,


As the rain eased I took a final image of a new set of visitors as they started into the body of the exhibition, some of them were as cold and wet as I was and I just wanted to capture the interest that they still showed.

I believe that these images convey how busy both the tearoom and the exhibition were; both locations were filled with people and while these people did not rush about much they were present both in noise and in physical presence. The differences between the people who moved from piece to piece and those who chose to stop and examine the pieces shows that both sets of individuals were both personally busy with their own thoughts and perceptions and that they were physically present at a place and time making the surrounding space busy.

Exercise 19 - People as an Accent

What: The main brief of this exercise was to photograph a person or persons who were surrounded by the environment making them an accent to the image
Where: Greyfriers Kirk Graveyard, Outdoors
When: Afternoon on a mild overcast day.
How: I walked around the graveyard watching people until I found a suitable location and waited until I saw someone walking in the distance.

I chose the graveyard for its personal connection to me as my father took me there often as a child and he told me the story of "Greyfriers Bobbie" the dog who mourned its owner and stayed at the grave within the graveyard for years until it itself passed away and is buried in the graveyard.. The graveyard is one of Edinburgh more well known historic locations and was used by photographic pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson as a background for their own portraits of family and friends. It can be clearly seen in the image “Martyrs Tomb

I used my own personal knowledge of the graveyard to head over to the back of the graveyard which is hardly ever visited and is a much quieter and sadder place than right beside the Kirk gate which is full of noise and bustle.

I set up a camera and waited as I knew that at some point someone would eventually walk along the path at the bottom of the graveyard and would pass completely through the frame. I chose to frame the path and the bottom graveyard wall for background and ensured that the top of the frame contained the rooftops of the city.

I took a number of shots as people passed through unaware that I was present, I chose this particular shot as the person only had a spot of colour on them, their dark clothes almost matching into the stone of the old city graveyard.

Nikon D80, Aperture Mode Manual, focal length 55mm (35mm equivalent 82mm), aperture f9.5, speed 1/350 second, ISO 3200, Auto white balance, Spot metering, Tripod Mounted camera, 18-70mm lens,

I really like the final affect as the person is almost not noticeable in the image until the eye comes across the red colour, at that point the person is easily spotted and the eye is drawn to them. I liked the fact that the small person is overshadowed by all the buildings making them small and insignificant in the universe of the city and even within the confines of the graveyard.

In this exercise I really got what I wanted which was to only have a small figure accenting the larger space around them, so much so that it almost is swallowing them up.