Colour, Black and White or Sepia?
The photographers that I referred to for my inspiration on this exercise where Sally Mann and Michael Kenna.
Sally Mann produces her photographs in Black and White and a Sepia colour due to the camera’s and films that she uses. Michael Kenna works exclusively in Black and White. This led me to explore whether I should have my images processed in full colour or Black and White. I decided to keep the photographs in colour as the exercise is about observing and exploring the quality of light. For me, this would mean that I should also be exploring the colour of the light rays from the sun within my imagery.
Image to be cropped. I had my 24-70mm Lens on the camera. I zoomed in as far as I could go standing on the opposite platform.
1/125 Sec, f8.0, 70mm, ISO 400
- Crop has worked as I had envisaged.
- I have brighened up the gentleman sat on the bench, together with the Samaritans sign.
- I have darkend the Gaugium Sign
Analysis of Image One
The photograph is of three woman and a man sat at the train station waiting for the next train.
The image instantly graspes you with interigue, making you want to take a closer look. Upon closer inspection you get a sombre feeling when you take in the stature of the man sat slumped on the bench looking withdrawn from his surroundings.
I feel that all the elements aligned perfectly for this image. I was waiting for the train and glanced up to see a gentleman sat down looking forlorn. In the corner of my eye I notice a sign by the Samaritans ‘It’s okay not to be okay. Sam’. For me this seemed to sum up what I was seeing. The man was not hiding his expression and was not afraid to show it, leaving me wondering what he was thinking about or whether something had happened. The woman sat next to him seems to be oblivious to his state of mind and is concentrating on her phone. This photograph highlights two things for me. One being that in this day and age sometimes the loneliest of places to be is with others. The second being that we are in a Mental Health Crisis and as the Samaritans poster says, It’s Okay not to be Okay’.
In order to capture this image, I used the screen on the back of my camera so that I did not have to raise my camera remaining unnoticed. I also used a faster shutter speed than necessary. There were two reasons for choosing a faster shutter speed. The first being I wanted to capture everyone in the position they were in before they moved. Secondly my train was due and I wanted to capture the image before the train arrived.
The decisive moment in this image is the man’s expression against the backdrop of the
poster for the Samaritans. Futhermore the other people engrossed on their phones or paper (seemingly oblivious to the man), creating an ironic moment.
- Image to be cropped slightly due to the small amount of space to the left, as it is distracting due to all the extra vertical lines.
- Exposure on man sat on the steps brought up to seperate him a little more from the light coloured column.
- Midtones to be brought up slightly in Lightroom.
- Contrast taken down -7 in Lightroom to even the tone.
1/250 sec, f10, 62mm, ISO 500
- The crop has worked well, taking away the distraction on the left.
- Exposure on man sat on step brings him out a little and creates more of a seperation between him and the pillar.
- The reduction in contrast has avoided the image becoming too stark creating softer complimentary tones.
Analysis of Image Two
The image is of two men on their phones. One is sat down on a step smoking whilst looking at his phone. The other is walking along whilst on a phone call outside the Royal Exchange.
There is a feeling of familiarity to this image for me. Our mobiles phones have become an integral part of modern day society, whether it be using our phones for relaxation or staying connected in a fast pace society.
I found that this image presented a juxtaposition to me of light vs dark relating to the good and the bad aspects of mobile phones. On one hand we use them as an aid to relax and on the other hand mobile phones are becoming invasive, claustraphobic and stressful. The light has also played an important part to punctuate this juxtaposition. The man in a white jumper sat on the step in the daylight is relaxing whereas the man in dark clothing in the shadows is on his phone scratching his head.
Prior to taking this photograph I repositioned myself to face the man sat on a step with him in the left of the frame. I chose a faster shutter speed as he was smoking to avoid any motion blur which would have created a softer focus.
The decisive moment in this image is the juxtposition of the light and the men on their phones complimenting each other.
I don’t feel that anything needs to be done to this image. Only the Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks set in Lightroom. Image was taken in RAW.
1/250 sec, f2.8, 42mm, ISO 800
Analysis of Image Three
The photograph is of two friends sat down in an unused doorway at the beginning of the lunch rush in the City of London. The two men are chatting and relaxing in amongst the chaos of workers rushing past.
There is a feeling of friendship and intamacy within the image as the two men relax with each other chatting away as the world carries on passing by. The composition of this image appealed to me with the space on the left side of the frame inviting you in to sit down and join them.
I used a fairly fast shutter speed as I was stood on the edge of the pavement with people walking in-between myself and the two men. This was to avoid someone walking into the frame.
The decisive moment was noticing two men sat in an unused doorway having a quite chat not taking any notice of the noise, hustle and bustle of the rest of the City rushing by as I walked past. When I glanced over to take the photograph I felt the composition invited you over to join them.
- For me theres too much negative space leaving the framing unbalanced. Image to be slightly cropped at the bottom and right side.
- Bring overall exposure up 1.85 in Lightroom.
1/250 sec, f2.8, 50mm, ISO 800
The crop as intended. When taking the image I had not noticed that the frame went out of Leadenhall Market.
Analysis of Image Four
The photograph is of two City Workers getting their shoes polished in Leadenhall Market by two woman.
The scene that presented itelf to me spoke of socialeconomic divide together with gender inequality. Although these inequalities are discussed within the media, society in general still turns a blind eye, due to the confrontational nature required to create change.
When viewing the image I get a feeling of frustration having worked in the City and experiencing the gender inequalities first hand and seeing a metaphore for both inequalites before me.
In order to capture this divide, I chose to focus on the light within the tavern between the men having their shoes polished and the couple having a drink. I used this as my focal point in the knowledge that this would create a larger focal plan from where I was stood capturing all the relevant details. Also by focussing on the light the camera would expose for the highlights, in the hope that the highlights would not be blown. I choose a faster shutter speed due to the number of people walking through Leadenhall Market resulting in a higher ISO.
The Decisive Moment for me is captured in two ways. The first being the female shoe shinners representing the gender inequalities combined with the mans back representing societys acceptance of the status quo.
- Image needs cropping slightly due to the small amount of space to the left distracting due to the car and takes your eye away from the intended focal point, being the soldiers on the window.
- Increase the contrast on he window to make the poppies and soldiers stand out more.
1/80 sec, f3.5, 70mm, ISO 250
The crop has worked to take away the distraction of the car on the right side.
By enhancing the contrast on the window it has helped to give the poppies and soldiers more depth within the image.
Analysis of Image Four
The photograph is of a City Worker who is wearing a small poppy pin on his lapell, walking past a large window display commemorating those that have been lost fighting for our freedoms and rights, in the lead up to Remembrance Day.
There is a quiet contemplative feeling to the image for me, with the silhouttes of soldiers in the window walking through poppies as a ghostly reminder of those who have fallen past and present to protect us. It feels as though these ghostly figures of soldiers continue to walk amongst us unnoticed watching over and protecting us as we continue to live our daily lives.
Prior to taking the photograph I noticed the man walking in circles in the corner whilst on the phone. I thought that if I repositioned myself to capture a large proportion of the window display and waited for the man to come off the phone I could capture him walking away/along. As the man came off the phone I turned and zoomed in using a shutter speed of 1/80 sec to capture his movement.
The Decisive Moment was capturing a lone man next to the window display commorating soldiers past and present to represent the quite reflective moments we take at that time of year.
Image to be cropped. I was stood closer to the stall holder than I wished and ended up using a wide angle focal range. I used a wider angle because I wanted to keep the perspective and propertions rather than needing to adjust when processing the photograph in Lightroom.
1/80 sec, f22, 31mm, ISO 220
Analysis of Image Six
The above photograph is of the Evening Standard men waiting for the afternoons paper to be delivered outside Liverpool Street Station, whilst people rush past on their lunch break.
There is a feeling of hope and compasion within this image. In todays society, physical interaction is reducing at an alarming rate due to current worklife balances creating a disconnect to those around us. The man in the middle of the image represents a beacon of light standing out from the anonimous crowd looking at you with a smile on his face, slightly pointing as if to ask ‘Are you alright?’ resasuring you that humanity has not yet been lost to the rat race.
As I crouched down to get a lower perspective enabling me to capture the pavement and feet, I used a wide angled lense to give me time to react as I saw someone walking into the frame from the right side.
The Decisive Moment in this image was as I went to take the photograph the man turned and smiled slightly pointing at me, just as the woman walked into the frame creating a balanced composition.
- I find this group of images interesting. The man sat at one end of the has an expression that makes him look like he is sad/depressed/down.
- There is a Samaritans sign just down from him stating ‘It’s okay not to be okay. Sam’
- The two compliment each other.
- Of the four photographs on this page, I find the last image to be mundane and boring. My inspiration for this image was Robert Franks – ‘Former actress Edna Wallace Hopper, now in her mid-80s, exiting Wall Street subway en route to her office, NYC’. However, I don’t think this has worked for me
- The other three images have a tension in them for me.
- The first you wonder where the gentleman is heading off to. Is he visiting friends, going home, going shopping etc. Rule of thirds have also come into play with the composition as he walked past.
- The two photographs outside RE stands out more due to the contrast in highlights and shadows; dark clothing in shadows and light clothing in highlights. This is also complimented by the composition.
- The photograph of peope exiting the underground – same comments as above.
- I feel the composition of the photograph of the lady stood behind the lunch board is a little messy. Just as I clicked the button a person walked into frame with me just capturing one third of them. If I was to crop this person out I feel that it defeats the object of this assignment. Also the focal point, being the lady and sandwich board, would be too dominant.
- The photograph of the two friends talking stands out to me. The negative space next to them on the left invites you in to join them taking a break and having a chat, whilst the world passes by.
- The two photographs of the shoe shiners stands out for me because I used to walk past them when working in the City. I feel the photographs are balanced. However, I prefer the composition of the last image on the previous page because you can see the shoe shiners more clearly. The leading line of he shop fronts also brings you in and out of the image.
- I like the two photographs taken at St Dunstans Church Gardens, especially the one where my focal point was on the bench blurring the foliage. However, I feel I have better photographs than these for the photographic series.
- I feel this photograph taken outside Aviva with the soldiers in the window works well. For me the composition of the image has worked to tell a story of the soldiers past who fought valiantly to protected our way of life. These soldiers are still continuing to provide protection as they look down over us. In a sense they are still protecting us, when we remember every year the sacrifices and horrors of war.
- With the photograph taken outside Cards Galore I was attempting to catch a scene were adults were laughing or messing around when they walk past the sign. I wanted to attempt to capture the irony in the sign that states ‘Don’t grow up it’s a trap’. However, this has not turned out how I envisaged.
- You will always see a group of evening standard men stood around at lunchtime waiting for the afternoon print of the paper to arrive. They are relaxed and laughing against a backdrop of City Workers rushing around to get their lunch and go back to the office. I feel that I captured the balance between the two without the background being too chaotic and ditracting.
I left this image in the group for final consideration. Standing back and looking at this image it feels more like two seperate photographs stitched together. The busy section of Liverpool Street Station vs the quite contemplation of Hope Square with the lady walking out into the light entering Hope Square. Whilst I consider this to be a decisive moment, I do not feel that it is a strong image.
IPhotographs dwindled down to pick final images.
*Missed off the Aviva photograph by mistake. This is to be included in the set.