Saturday, 17 November 2012

Heading Home

First of all I had planned this photo out beforehand and it resulted in an image that closely resembled what I had imagined prior to getting the shot. So it was quite rewarding, if challenging, to get the end result. It was also technically challenging for me to get right, which made it quite satisfying as well.

   Philip DeCorcia inspired me to look at dramatic lighting and sometimes colour to further enhance what would already be an interesting photo. Also with 'Heads' series he took an almost voyeuristic approach where the people were completely oblivious as the photo was taken. This was helpful to leave a natural look to the faces of the unknowing models - something I would hope to incorporate into this photograph for the assignment. C. Cotton (2009) also made this observation saying: ''a form of photographic portraiture in which the subjects are entirely unable to influence their representation." and I thought this was an accurate summation of Philip DeCorcia's 'Heads' images.

   So I went to London Bridge to photograph commuters crossing the bridge on their way home with a dramatically lit photo similar to DeCorcia's 'Heads' series but from my own perspective in mind. This included a wide angle view to show off the vast number of commuters crossing the bridge, with them being unknowing of the fact they would be lit by a flash going off from a perpendicular angle (similar to DeCorcia's 'Heads' series). This provided the dramatic lighting I was after as well as the 'neutral' expressions of the unknowing commuters.

    I was pleased with how all the commuters were heading home in the same direction, with a bus also going in the same direction, with maybe more commuters on board. The bus also added to the scene, making it (in my eyes) unmistakeably London. Factors that made it 'Alternative London' for me though were: the commuters wrapped up warm in coats to fight the cold, the backdrop of some of the city at night and the wet, reflective pavement the commuters were walking on. This last factor was quite typical of London in my experience and I had actually planned for this kind of weather to add some interest in the photograph. In this respect I felt I was successful.

   One area that could have been improved in this image though was the shadows of some of the commuters caused by the fill flash I had positioned to the side of the commuters. The fill flash really added to the dramatic scene of commuters crossing London Bridge in the dark I felt but at the cost of creating somewhat unnatural shadows in the process. If I had had another flash I would have used it (on a low power setting) from the front just to avoid these shadows.

5. Heading Home
   Other than that I thought this was an attractively colourful image and one that fitted the brief well from my point of view.

   Aesthetically, the city looked vibrant in the background and the orange/blue complementary colour relationship was quite obvious to me and worked well in my opinion. The photo unedited showed a mild orange/blue relationship already before I edited and I decided to place more emphasis on this relationship. This was to depict the 'cold' blue of the commuters crossing over London Bridge on their way home set against the 'warmer' orange of the bus and its headlights on the road as it was taking other commuters to their homes.

   A photograph by Paul Strand called ' Day of the Dead, Tilisca, Romania, 1967' I thought shared a resemblance to this final image, in regards to all of the people in the image facing in the same direction and all not wary of the camera.

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