Thursday, 4 November 2010

Photo Story

For this assignment we were asked to take at least 5 photographs. When viewed together, these photos should form a story. I had originally intended to shoot a story about the Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar square, but when I arrived, the stewards were still working on construction. Also, due to the cold weather, all the people in their colourful saris were wrapped up in their overcoats. I therefore had to come up with a new subject. I decided that the day trip to London would possibly make an interesting story. I would use a selection of location shots and also a series of photos I'd shoot in the following days.

Marie posted a series of headings on her blog, and asked that we try to make our pictures fit. I'm not really sure how successfully I achieved this, but here they are.

1. Establishing Shot
2. Detail
3. Relationship
4. Outcome
5. Conclusion

The Establishing Shot

Shutter Speed: 30 secs, F/3.3, ISO: 100

This is one of the pictures I took after the trip. I needed to try to create some sort of coherency to the story arc, so thought the establishing shot should represent the start of the day. There were a number of different ways of achieving this, but I decided the simplest and most effective method would be to take a picture of the alarm clock. It wasn't actually dark when I left for the train station, but I thought a  picture that contained just a few details would make for a more interesting composition. I tried a selection of different compositions for the photo before settling on this one. 


Having established the story, I then wanted to illustrate what was actually going to happen in the day. I'd originally intended this photo to be my hand holding the tickets, but after taking a few test shots, it just wasn't a particularly interesting photo. I then tried a couple of shots with the tickets on a plain white background, but again it just didn't seem to work. That was when I came up with the idea of using the tube map as the background. Not only would it add some extra colour to the picture, but it would also allow me to insert a bit of subtle detail about my itinerary. Obviously It wouldn't mean anything to anybody else, because they wouldn't have a clue, but the top ticket points to Euston station, my point of entry to London, and to Warren street underground station, my next port of call. The bottom ticket points to Piccadilly Circus, where I'd be getting off to walk to Trafalgar Square. Like I say, it won't mean anything to anybody else, but there you go.


Any attempt to try to fit these photos in to this category is tenuous at best. The next three photos were intended to show my location at different times of the day. I still tried to link the pictures together to continue the story, but it starts to fall apart a bit.

Shutter: 1/50, F/4, ISO 100

I took pictures of various underground signs to get the shot I wanted. Of all of them, this came out the best. Even when thrown out of focus with a wide aperture, the other pictures had distracting backgrounds, or because of where they were, I had to take them at odd angles. For most of the location shots I used my 50mm prime lens, and I think this really becomes clear when you examine how sharp the picture is. Even though the picture worked quite well, I thought it would have more impact if I converted it to black and white and used the magic wand to selectively allow colour back through with the history brush.

Shutter: 1/320, F/2.0, ISO: 100

Again, I wanted this picture to convey where I was during the day, and also to link in to the location of the next picture. The advantage of using my 50mm lens, is that it has a much wider maximum aperture, so I can have a really narrow depth of field. I also wanted the angle of the writing to act as leading lines, drawing the viewer in to the picture. Unlike the previous two pictures, or the next photo, I didn't need to crop or adjust the image in anyway. It's exactly as shot.

Shutter: 25 secs, F/29, ISO: 100

I think this could have been quite a good picture, but the composition lets it down. I'd have preferred to have more empty space to the right of the picture. Unfortunately, there were buildings in the way, and I was standing on a tiny island in the middle of a busy road, so couldn't really adjust the angle too much. When I got home and viewed the picture on my computer, it was much darker than it had looked on the camera's LCD screen. I therefore had to do a bit of post processing in photoshop to get the colours I wanted. I adjusted the brightness of the picture to make the sky more blue, but this meant the clock faces and green lights were now overexposed, so I used the layer mask and brush tool, to selectively isolate them from my adjustments.


Shutter: 30 secs, F/36, ISO: 100

I'm not really sure how this fits in with the outcome heading, but it's definitely the conclusion of the story. This picture is supposed to represent the end of the day, when I've returned home and made myself a well deserved cup of tea. This photo also went through a number of different set-ups before I finally settled on this one. I had originally planned a much tighter angle, showing just the mug, which I bought solely for the purpose of this last picture. When looking at the tight crop, the picture just didn't work, so I placed the mug on the wooden surface, dropped a white backdrop in, and added the tube map, to try to give the picture a little context. The other aspect I didn't like was how clean and bright the picture looked, so I used the gradient tool in photoshop to create a vignette. I think this makes the picture look like it was taken later in the day, and also alludes to the transition used at the end of old movies.

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