Exercise: A single figure small

As the brief for this exercise specified, planning to achieve this kind of shot was difficult and I had to wait for the opportunity to appear. Since starting Part Four of the course, I have kept a camera on me more regularly and have taken to working through the exercises in the module simultaneously rather than chronologically. That being said, I did have the opportunity to grab a few shops that utilised the distant figure in the frame. I was particularly pleased with the first example (see below). The figure is distant enough to be anonymous, although the context is clear and there is a clear narrative to the image. The composition is also quite interesting in that the figure is placed off centre and the clear contrast between the white railings in the foreground and the array of greys in the background.

SingleFiguresmall1

I concluded the images at the second location (also on a footbridge) are less successful. I aimed for a similar style and angle (black and white + looking through foreground railings) but opted for a slightly different composition.

SingleFiguresmall2

Tilting the frame works to some extent by adding a sense of movement to the man walking, introducing some visual tension.

SingleFiguresmall3

Whilst compositionally and stylistically the images are interesting, I don’t think they are quite as effective as the first image in fulfilling the brief. Firstly I was perhaps too close to the figure and so the sense of place is lost for the viewer. There is also no clear visual narrative – the viewer is left guessing the nature of the place and how the figure is interacting with it. As an exercise it was interesting to experiment with composition and proximity to the figure, and the conclusions reached from the resulting images are lessons I will take into the upcoming exercises and assignment.

Advertisements
Exercise: A single figure small

Exercise: Standard focal length

Portra-6

For this exercise I selected my Rolleiflex camera for some street photography and walked around a busy Seoul market. I had to do this exercise before the tele and wide angle exercises to wait to borrow a long lens and wide lens (as I lack both).

Portra-5

The Rolleiflex has a 75mm F3.5 Schneider lens, but this in 35mm equivalent is somewhere between 40-50mm due to the 6x6cm medium format negative. The Rolleiflex is a fantastic camera for street shooting and is made to feel all the more discreet by its waist level viewfinder. To most people I’m sure it would look like you are merely fiddling with a box.

Portra-8

Gear aside, the standard focal length with 12 shots per roll and quite a slow lens really forces you to slow down and observe the scene. Like the last exercise I usually stand around and wait for significant moments to emerge, and a busy market place is perfect for finding these moments.

Portra

The standard focal length is also perfect as it is neither too wide nor too close – perfect for capturing small groups of people interacting, or for portraits of single subjects. I can imagine a wide angle lens in a market would be very difficult as it would perhaps capture too much whilst a telephoto lens would capture too little. The photos in this article were all from the same roll of Portra I shot in Dongmyo.

Portra-7

Portra-2

Portra-3

I look forward to the next two exercises and am already thinking about locations that would work with a longer focal length and a wider angle frame. As I rarely shoot beyond 35-50mm focal lengths I am anticipating a steep learning curve!

Exercise: Standard focal length