Assignment 2 – Initial Thoughts

Collecting

Create a series of between six and ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:

  • Crowds
  • Views
  • Heads

My initial thinking for this assignment was to leave my comfort zone and take photographs of the crowd at a non-league football club where I’m involved as a board member. However, the game I chose to take my photos at, I forgot to take a charged camera battery!   Rather than wait until the following week, I spent a Monday evening rush hour at a Nottingham city centre tram stop, sitting on a very cold stone bench taking 140 photos of the people waiting for their transport home.  Hardly crowds, and most of the people were looking at their mobile phones – presumably either choosing music for their travel, texting people or catching up on their social media activities.

On examining the shots, I was disappointed in my achievements and didn’t feel the images showed the range of field of depth that the course material required. However, I was pleased with the point of view achieved by sitting down. Here are my favourites from that shoot.

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Image 1

Here passengers are moving to get on the tram whilst sorting their tickets. The two passengers closest to me are in focus, whilst the two in from of them and the tram are not in focus.  I’d have liked this more if the brown coat had been out of focus.  I like the reflections in the tram window, and the reflection of the tram’s light on the green bag.

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Image 2

Here we have two passengers using their mobile phones in different ways (calling and texting). The two are seemingly oblivious to each other and almost have their backs at right angles to each other. Their leading feed point 90 degrees away from each other. I’d have preferred this image more if I’d framed it better so that the poster in the bank on the left wasn’t so distracting, and the person on the right was further from the edge of the frame.

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Image 3.  This image lacks the depth of field I’d wanted, and it doesn’t capture the pace of the traveller validating his smartcard quickly in order to catch the waiting tram. I do like the diagonals of the tram leading away from the front that do add depth, and  like the splashes of brightness with the tram’s lights and the tag on the suitcase.

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Image 4

Here, two passengers are engrossed in their phones, whilst another has headphones on gazing toward the coming tram. This image is one of many I took that show that people travelling home from work often don’t interact with each other.

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Image 5

This image contracts image 4 in that we have two pairs of people. On pair appear to be mother and daughter (with the daughter checking something on her phone!) and the other two are seated kissing, with the male gripping his tram ticket in his left hand, whilst his right arm is around his girlfriend.

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Image 6

I like this one with the flash of red from the lady’s scarf. I like that she’s engrossed in the content of her phone whilst unaware of the tram stops beside her.

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Image 7

Here a passenger is using her phone to photograph an oncoming tram.  I purposely focused on her hands, meaning that her face, the passer-by behind and the background are all out of focus.  It was a lucky catch to get the passer-by looking at the phone!

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Image 8.

I love the expression on the girl’s face.  Is it disgust at something she’s just read on her phone? I like composition and use of depth of field on this one more than on others.

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Image 9.

I nearly left this one out as it’s another image of someone engrossed in their phone whilst the tram is stopped near them. I kept it, because it demonstrated good use of depth of field. I would straighten this image if I was submitting it.

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Image 10

Here three passengers are, again, on their phones.  A passer-by behind is walking and her right foot is blurred showing that movement against the static nature of the phone users. If I were to submit this shot, I’s straighten it so the verticals were vertical.

All shots taken with a Canon 7D (crop-sensor) and 70-300mm lens, on the widest aperture (f/4-f/5.6 depending on focal length), on aperture priority mode.  As it got darker, I altered the ISO from 200 to 400 so that the shutter speeds were usable .

Two weeks ago, I went on a trip to Oviedo in North Spain and took quite a few photos on that trip.  I’d travelled light with a Canon 400D and a 18-55mm kit lens, and had tried to take a few interesting urban images, in addition to traditional ‘postcard’ style shots as memories of my visit.  I had processed them in Photoshop to enhance clarity and contrast, rather than spend any more time trying to master crowds at this point, I am considering submitting a set from those images instead for Assignment 2.

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