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Expressing Your Vision

Assignment 5

Assignment 5

The Festival

I tried to see the festival as the subject. My aim was to attempt to use techniques attempted in earlier exercises to look at the festival through the passage of time. Although a river festival I didn’t want obvious boat shots, but instead to try and work around the periphery.

In shots no.1 and no.2 I looked at trying to demonstrate arrival at the venue, capturing movement and the passage of time.

Shots 3, 4 and 5 I thought of the work of Martin Parr trying to demonstrate Britishness. Typical British queueing and the recent trend for women as well as men to demonstrate their individual nature. Whilst individual they are also part of a crowd and of a bigger event.

Picture 6 I have tried to make the switch to night time and the desire for food and entertainment.

Picture 7, my favourite shot, was of a reflection in a car of the big wheel which at this time of night was the main focal attraction around.

Pictures 8 and 9 I was trying to capture the same scene depicting the closeness of the couple silhouetted against the river under different lighting conditions. The green versus the red each giving a different feel to the mood of the image.

The final shot no.10, the departure is the walk back to the car park along a modernised shopping area. Here I was trying to repeat an earlier perspective exercise but using the pillars of light to create the depth.

By covering what was on the edges of the event I was trying to piece together a bigger picture of the event without being totally obvious that it was a river festival. The extra dimension of time and build up to the climax of a firework display hopefully achieved this.

Technical and visual: I have tried to use different skills such as movement, night time and use of reflections. I think these worked quite well but if I was to do the exercise again I would have concentrated much more on a particular theme to make the exercise much tighter.

Quality of outcome: I think the idea was a good one but spreading it over such a time span it lost some of its coherence in the middle.

Demonstration of Creativity: I have tried to use different techniques such as movement and the reflections. I think this worked quite well but I would like to have bought it much closer together by shooting the movement in the night.

Context: Hopefully the context worked as I have tried to bring together many of the previous exercises and techniques developed.


Exercise 5.3

Exercise 5.3

I believe the pivotal point is the man and his reflection. It has action and poses the question of why is he jumping across the water in that location. Also where is he going to? The figure is much darker than the surrounds and the eye is constantly drawn to it when often we are drawn to lighter things in a photograph such as the sun.



I attempted to create a decisive moment catching the ball in mid-flight off a cricket bat. It showed how, shooting on single shot, how difficult was to get all the elements of shadow, action and interest in the frame. Even though the second shot has a nice ball shadow, there is action and shadows the image still does not work that well because of the distractions in the background.


Cartier- Bresson on the other hand has managed to capture not only the action of someone jumping across the water but to do within the frame as a whole. The railings of the station frame the image with the vertical parallels. The ladder like structure in the water runs across giving us a sense of direction.


In the background we can get a sense of it being an urban area, but no specifics. There is the sign telling us it is a railway station then next to it is a poster of which the subjects in it also seem to be jumping in a similar vain to the main subject.


Overall the image as well as framing the photo well gives us a good context but without leaving us to fully comprehend what the subject is doing. (Accessed July 17)

Exercise 5.2

Exercise 5.2

Rather than try to respond to a famous photographer I thought I would respond to the type of photograph taken by Royal photographers by taking my own perspective on it whilst attending the Queen’s birthday parade.

Original Press Photographer: Daily Mail

All the press photographs whilst being spectacular tend to have a ‘clinical’ rehearsed view about them. I wanted to try to capture a more natural shot that wasn’t at such a distance.

In response to Barrett’s view of how we interpret pictures this one clearly is interpreted by the information in the picture.

In response to the Press photograph I wanted to be within the photographic experience, not at a predetermined distance. Whilst I had been to the event before so was aware of roughly what happened I was unsure when I went just how I would achieve this.

Rather than position myself in the main Mall I noticed a narrow bridge was being used by troops returning to their barracks. So unlike the Press with their carefully rehearsed positions and a certain us and them distance I was able to get within inches, suggesting there is no barrier between us and we are there in the moment.

Just like the original shot we only see a few faces but with very different expressions and it is still clear who they are and that they are marching. I feel it helps to give a sense of ‘we were there’ not just ‘we observed’.

2016 Queen’s Birthday Parade

2017 Queen’s Birthday Parade


Exercise 5.1

Exercise 5.1

The performer was continuously engaging with his audience whoever that may be. This wasn’t a one off performance, but a ongoing engagement with his surrounding environment. The simple bubbles pleased both young and old and everyone felt part of his world, albeit it only for a short period.

However although there was this connection between the performer and his audience the only connection was the magic of the bubbles. Ultimately we know nothing about the performer or his world so there is a definite distance.

The ultimate shot below appears to be trying to connect with us but then everyone else probably believes the same. Hands are reaching out and the large bubble in front captures a moment of time about to float off and burst.


Assignment 4

Assignment 4


These shots of Birmingham were based around the canal. I was looking to capture some of the nightlife and the reflections of the artificial light in the water.

Here I looked more at the lights in the buildings of the Rep theatre and ICC. The results were disappointing considering how vibrant they looked to the eye.

A return to the canal to try a different angle. Slightly darker at this time the effect of the illumination was stronger.

The weather turned more inclement as the darkness set in which offered reflections in the rain. There were few people around but I tried to capture the movement of people passing by.

As the darkness went to night there was a much greater contrast in the light vs the night sky. The office lights along with restaurants offered many different sources of interesting illumination.

The night scenes of Birmingham skyline offered various different illumination sources and depth of a city landscape. At this point night had fully set in although because it is a city it still has an illuminated dark blue hue.

For this exercise visited Birmingham at dusk. The weather was showery and being a Friday night the area would usually be very busy. I looked at the work of both Brassai and his Paris at night photos and Sato Shintaro and his use of the ‘blue hour’.

My plan of action was to start with the canal area looking at the reflections of light in the water, then to move to the front of the ICC, central library and do a loop back to end up in the commerce/ restaurant area. Whilst I had initially intended to predominately follow the idea of Shintaro using the blue hour I had to adapt this due to a disappointing lack of illuminated fronts. Having seen Brassai’s ideas I made the decision to combine the two ideas. Firstly, I would shoot it within the ‘blue hour’ and secondly go more for observations of the place and the effects of the illuminations of lights etc. on the environment.

I felt that Shintaro focused on the brightness of evening trade and advertising in that period between day and night. I was surprised to find that it was very difficult to find and such pockets of bright light.

Brassai in contrast seems to be more about capturing the environment or the people within in a much calmer manner. As my first idea was not possible it seemed ideal opportunity to deliver elements of both.

The exercise was interesting but also a little frustrating. Whilst there was a good variety of shots available I was somewhat disappointed that I could not capture the images I felt were present.

The first shot of the canal is rather flat, has a large area of white sky and a distracting tower block to the right. On the plus side as a series it starts of the evening hour highlighting it is obviously getting dark but there is still some light there.

Photo two starts to add more to the build-up of night. It appears darker and offers a variety of lighting sources. This perhaps may have worked better as the first shot and possibly a slightly lower view point may have helped.

Picture three is perhaps better replacing picture one as an introduction to the night. The foreground detail is slightly distracting but the reflections give a bit of life to the scene.

Picture four has numerous sources of illumination all forming a pathway in to the distance, perhaps cropping out the foreground may have helped. It makes a statement but perhaps is rather empty when compared to Brassai.

Picture five is perhaps the first one where I feel I have started to capture some of the vibrancy and capturing things going on. It is raining which adds to the lighting and two passing ladies have a sense of purpose – the stationary leg, and movement- with the other leg. The area is deserted, probably due to the rain but night now has only just arrived (dark blue sky). The restaurant offers an interesting backdrop.

Picture six I feel offers a modern take on what Brassai was trying to achieve. It is clearly in that final blue hours and has many different sources of illumination. There are some interesting shapes and the small gap in the centre offers a glimpse into other Birmingham buildings. Whilst I would make a few tweeks to it I think this image has something to offer if I was to reshoot it.

For some reason the printers put a black background around. In some ways this enhances the image. I like the darkness with a pocket of action in the centre as well as a man walking and a man observing. The blue café Nero sign and the blue sealife  signs lead the eye against a plain glass frontage leading the eye at an angle into the distance. The foreground is perhaps distracting although it does also act as a barrier suggesting we are on the outside.


References:  (accessed June 2017) (accessed June 2017)








































Exercise 4.5

Exercise 4.5

Source: Google images; Landscapes; Fields

The shots I have taken of the England/ Scottish Borders are much brighter than those from google. The vertical lines are made up of vegetation and stone walls and run vertical unlike most of the google images running across or to a point. The lack of dramatic sky or no sky in the second gives a very different view to those above.

Source Google Images; Loch Lomond in mist


Again in the google shots most have notable skies rather than layers of grey clouds. The google shots tend to be quite straightforward with little distraction, with silhouette used quite a lot. The first 3 shots have an element of distraction with the various black features slightly distracting. The fourth shot probably best fits the images with its straightforward simple lines and varying shades with dark hills.


Exercise 4.4

Exercise 4.4

This exercise was actually harder than I thought. Whilst it was quite easy to get a shadow and make it obvious which was the key light it was much more difficult to light it in a more neutral way.

It felt that compared to the other exercises the quality of light in this was much more distinct and more noticeable how different set ups affected the quality.