Week 6 – Photography Gallery of Sorts…

Learning objectives: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4.

I’ve been phenomenally uninspired this week and my photos have been equally uninspiring. The weather’s been vile with a sky the colour of a well-used ashtray. I’ve just felt like hunkering down up at home and bingeing on Stranger Things 2.

I did go back to the cafe, briefly. I tried to take some long-exposure shots of customers coming in and out, but it was really quiet and I didn’t get much to experiment with. Plus, I set up in a daft area (at the back, hoping not to get in the staff’s way) so I was shooting towards the ever-darkening windows. The upshot being I ended up with massive reflections along with the lights from out on the street, so the few shots that were anywhere near what I was after all had distracting backgrounds. I ended up cropping hard but that meant that I lost the sense of space that people were moving into. Oh well, I’ll just have to go back and eat more cake. Or drink more gin, which I did as well – hence slightly odd close-ups of what looks like a slug in a glass (it’s a lime).

I took a few shots in the park, too. But it was all so blooming grey and miserable and I didn’t have time to go back with a tripod and an ND filter, so failed dismally in my attempts to capture autumn’s glory. The park does look stunning even when the weather is shit, but you wouldn’t know it from my shots. So I stripped them back to black and white and I think they work better as a result.

There’s also an obligatory photo of a dog: Ripley, the Labrador.

I probably should have just gone back to the riverside, as I think the shots I did there are some of my better ones and it’s a theme worth working on. Instead, I went to Waitrose. And that’s when I met Daniel. Daniel has been selling the Big Issue outside Waitrose for what feels like forever.  He somehow never fails to appear cheerful; politely asking everyone if they will buy a copy and wishing everyone a good day. Unfortunately, some of the people he asks aren’t quite as polite in their responses to him. (Amazing how rude upper-middle class, white women of a certain age can be.) He’s just a young lad, trying to make a living. He’s not after anyone’s handbag, FGS. It doesn’t matter if you buy a copy or not: he always says hello. I always say hello back but I’ve never stopped to chat to him. Today I had my camera with me – a frantic rush up the High Street to try and find something to show to class tonight – and it caught his eye. We got chatting and I told him about the course and asked if I could take his photo. He said yes. I managed to get off a couple of dozen shots. All close-ups; some of his face; some of just his jacket because sometimes I think people don’t see beyond the magazine; they don’t really see him at all. I know I have only just started to.

Then my battery died. Yep, what an eejit.

I would like to go back and take more shots of him, if he doesn’t mind. Candid shots of him working. Wide-angle that show him in situ. Shots from over the other side of the road; traffic flying past. Close-ups of his mittened hands. I don’t know how he stands the cold. Again, the light was not good. I tried fill-in flash but didn’t have time to explore different flash levels and I didn’t like the effect the default setting gave. In the (very-rushed) edit, black and white seemed to work better. Well, I think so. Tell me if you think otherwise.

I did – well, at least I thought I did – a load of snapshot edits that I really like. But I clearly forgot to press done at the right point as they upped and left and I have no idea where they went to.

Like I said, not my best week.

Again, health and safety protocol was observed throughout. I worked close up to my subject, remaining aware of my surroundings and passers-by so that I did not present a danger to others or myself. I only had my camera with me so did not need to worry about security of my kit, etc.


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