Create a series of between six and ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:
Use the exercises from Part Two as a starting point to test out combinations of focal length, aperture and viewpoint for the set. Decide upon a single format, either vertical or horizontal. You should keep to the same combination throughout to lend coherence to the series.
In this assignment I decided to focus on crowds as this takes me well out of my comfort zone. I am self conscious with street photography but my feedback on Assignment 1 was that I did not take risks so I am attempting to increase my risk taking by moving out of my comfort zone.
I have tried to:
1 – Look for something different in a crowd
2- Decide on a theme
3- Tell a story in the collection
4-Replicate the style of Winogrand and Larsen by converting images to black and white.
After much deliberation which will be covered in more detail in my reflection, I decided to focus on markets and try to capture the atmosphere of a market and how the environment looks during and after a market.
I researched a number of photographers who shot crowds and particularly liked the work of Danny Santos II and his Shooting Strangers in Orchard Road/A Face in the Crowd work
I took inspiration from Garry Winogrand because of the way his World’s Fair, New York City, 1964 image left me wanting to know what the women were talking to each other about.
I like Lisa Larsen’s style of large crowd photography giving scale and drama to the shot.
http://time.com/3876852/life-photographer-lisa-larsens-curiously-intimate-pictures-of-crowds/ (accessed 18 /dec 2015).
I decided to shoot Frome Independent Christmas market which is held throughout the town, leading to road closures and car parking suspended. There are always crowds there especially at the December market. I then went back and shot the same areas when they were being used in the usual way i.e. road, car park. pedestrian only street.
Area 1 – Main Street (B3090)
Image 1 – Road Closed
Image 2 – Spot Darth Vader
B3090 on a Wednesday
Area 2 – Catherine Hill
Image 4 – Stalls
Image 5 – Indecision
Image 6 – a normal weekday
Area 3 – Cheese & Grain Car Park
Image 7 – Bargaining
Image 8 – A better view
Image 9 – Car Parking resumed
I tried to demonstrate the business of this particular market using three areas of the town centre. I used two shots of the area during the market and as far as possible stood in the same spot to shoot the “back to normal” shot. Obviously, this was not always possible as the B3090 through the town is a busy road.
I found this a challenging assignment which I started when I went to Vietnam. Using inspiration from Winogrand, I decided to shoot crowds from behind, hoping to achieve a shot which left the viewer wondering where the crowd was going, what photograph they were taking, what they were queuing for. However, I didn’t feel that I actually achieved this and maybe the shots just looked like a lot of people from behind. I continued to shoot lots of crowds in Vietnam and came up with the idea of the busy- ness of the area followed by an emptiness, this was also difficult to achieve because of the amount of traffic. I then switched to shooting the markets. Lots to choose from. From women shopping without getting off their motorbikes, to overloaded mopeds and bicycles to traditional stalls. However, I still felt that I hadn’t achieved what I wanted and I wasn’t happy with the technical quality of many of the shots.
Returning home I was very frustrated and then thought of Salisbury market which is held in an Italian style piazza. What better place to get a before and after shot. The day I visited the market it was extremely quiet and even though there was a Christmas market in full swing there was no opportunity to demonstrate crowds on a large scale as per my Lisa Larsen inspiration.
Fortunately, Frome Independent Market was taking place the following week – bingo. I converted the shots to black and white to unify them. This took a bit of careful thought because the market shots were colourful and added to the excitement of Christmas but the everyday shots of the town were dull by contrast and although I wanted to show the normal activities of the town after the onslaught of the market, the contrast was greater than I wanted due in part to a dull grey day on the day I shot the town.
I think in the end I rushed this assignment and many of the things I’d learnt from my previous feedback I didn’t really consider. Advice to myself is stop panicking and think about things more constructively. Remember all you have learnt about planning, visualisation and composition.