Cropping

This exercise did cause me to look at many of my old photographs in a different way and all too often provoked the question in my mind “why on earth did I compose the shot that way?”.  In the shots I eventually selected two of them were quick fire, the sparrowhawk a fleeting visitor and the rugby shot a fleeting moment, which goes some way to answering my question.  However, there is still that issue of get it right in camera and less time spent in front of the computer,  but I must be thankful for the fact that there is that option.  The shots below are the full frame versions with a cropped copy and I will try to explain my rationale for the cropping.

The full frame shot of the bird was all about capturing the moment of success in a hunt and I was intent on recording the look and posture.  Its chosen perch was enough to indicate the setting and so there was a good deal of dead space (forgive the pun!) in the picture.  By cropping the shot I was able to eliminate the unwanted areas, position the sparrowhawk according to the rule of thirds and produce an image that captures the essence of this bird of prey in one of its hunting grounds.

I came across this fence in a local park when looking for an image to illustrate form and texture; the linear wooden fence, a natural product yet formed by man into an un-natural shape, set amongst the trees.  In the event I took the shot to illustrate what I consider to be a mindless act of vandalism, an aspect of our society which is most distasteful.  When reviewing the shot for this exercise it occurred to me that cropping it would produce a leading line from the bottom left of the frame and lead the eye along the fence to really highlight the ugliness of the graffiti and its impact on the surroundings.

The joys of sport photography, pounding up and down the touchline in the hope of getting close enough to the action in time to get that shot!  This was a day when I think quantity got the better of quality.  In this case, having anticipated the next phase of play, I decided to stop running in the hope of framing the action; I was at the limit of my zoom lens.  Reviewing the shot suggested a close crop of the player with a vertical frame may produce an image approaching something one might see in the magazines but clearly this was not to be my Johnny Wilkinson moment!  However, what it does illustrate is that cropping is a useful tool, particularly when it gives you the chance to produce an image that may define a moment more clearly.

I think there is much more for me to learn about this technique and the possibilities it opens up.  I have used Adobe Lightroom 4 for this exercise and in the process learned many new features of the cropping tool which I am keen to further explore and, maybe, breath new life into some old images. I am still minded to concentrate on getting it right in camera but safe in the knowledge that something may be recovered from those shots that are short of the mark.  Also there are some interesting abstracts or unusual views that  can be generated.

Bibliography:

Digital Photography School (2013), Lightroom4 cropping tool in complete detail. Available from: http:/http://digital-photography-school.com/lightroom-4-cropping-tool-in-complete-detail [Accessed: April 19, 2013].

Freeman, M. (2007), The photographer’s eye Composition and design for better digital photos, The Ilex Press Limited, Lewes.

Prakel, D. (2006), Basics photography 01 Composition, 2nd ed, AVA Publishing SA, Lausanne.

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Vertical and horizontal frames

Considering the aim of this exercise I decided, part way through, to go about it in a slightly different way to that outlined in the manual.  It calls for the same scenes to be shot twice, once in the vertical format and then repeated in the horizontal format.  Given that the analysis calls for a comparison of the two formats it seemed to me that shooting each scene in the vertical and then in the horizontal was a more efficient way of conducting the exercise; I hope I have not missed a fundamental point as to why we are guided to shoot all in the vertical and then repeat the exercise for horizontal orientation!

As regards the choice of scene, I elected to use two locations.  The first was to shoot objects and the second landscape scenes.  I did this out of interest given the natural tendency to shoot landscape in the horizontal whereas one tends to think more about frame orientation for specific objects, well I do anyway.

I think this supports the proposition that you can make most scenes work in the vertical orientation and it is clear that, while you can make it work, it is just that, make it work.  This is well demonstrated by the shots around the SS Gt Britain where some of the objects fit well in the vertical and others sit better in the horizontal e.g the bicycle (DSC_5359 and DSC_5360).  I think there are also cases where either format works depending upon what effect you are looking for as in the luggage (DSC_5363 and DSC_5364) where the horizontal shot is all about the containers and the vertical brings in the notices pinned to the wall above.  In the landscapes there is perhaps more scope for making the verticals work as there are many objects with height but again it depends what the emphasis is, a true landscape or picking out specific objects.

So what do I take away from this exercise?  Well I think it is another element in the portfolio of things to consider when looking at a scene and composing it in your mind, before you even raise the camera to your eye.  The pre-flight check list is getting longer.  I can see a small laminated card coming on, at least until some of these things become second nature!

Positioning the horizon

Is this a reasonably interesting landscape as called for in this exercise?  Well it contains the iconic Burnham-on-Sea lighthouse and if you look carefully you can see the infamous Hinckley Point nuclear power station across the water; most of all it provides an unbroken and clear horizon.  So, all in all, I think the scene fits the bill.

My own research suggests the the points to consider when positioning the horizon are; what are you trying to say; anything obviously dominant in the scene; linear relationships; balance of tones or colours; importance of the ground or sky.  All of this is against a background of the Golden Section proportions, Fibonacci Divisions and Geometrical Divisions or, perhaps to sum up, the Rule of Thirds.  Quite overwhelming on the first pass!  However, I was glad to see acknowledgement that, since photographers rarely have a blank canvas to start with, the composition is largely intuitive, once again, not rules but guidelines.  Nevertheless, it would appear that these mathematical based compositions do result in a more pleasing image whether deliberately composed or the result of intuition, perhaps something worthy of deeper study considering my lack of artistic understanding.

In the series of shots above I started by placing the horizon at the top, albeit not at the extreme; on reflection it might have been more revealing to go to the limits for this first image.  Note the effect on the verticals as a result of camera tilt, missed that during the shoot!  This first shot gives prominence to the beach with the foreground interest of the beginning of the sand dune, the pattern and texture of the sand and the driftwood.  Moving to the middle ground we have the lighthouse which is the dominant object and, to my mind is the other half of the equation, land/sea or sky.  Certainly this shot gives depth to the scene and portrays the role of the lighthouse as it looks out over the channel; it involves you more.

The shot with the horizon placed centrally (DSC_5267) obviously brings the sky more into frame.  In this instance the cloud formation is not dramatic enough for me ( I have previously taken shots like this at sunset when I think it works) and it seems a much flatter shot, therefore I do not favour this one.

With the horizon low (DSC_5270) there is some foreground interest with the driftwood but it is not anything special.  The sky has prominence but I still think the cloud is not dramatic enough to make this the shot of choice.  Again, different weather conditions could easily make this a very pleasing shot.

Overall, my preference is for the first shot with the horizon set high.  I think there is more interest in the beach with the corner of the dune rising away to the left giving a wraparound impression, the driftwood and the lighthouse providing a dominant object in the scene.  This is a scene which can change dramatically and in other weather conditions my choice could well be either central or low horizon, perhaps a good example of “waiting for the light”.

Bibliography:

Freeman, M. (2007), The photographer’s eye Composition and design for better digital photos, The Ilex Press Limited, Lewes.

Prakel, D. (2006), Basics photography 01 Composition, 2nd ed, AVA Publishing SA, Lausanne.

Balance

I had never really thought about this subject before, rather the good old gut feeling as to whether a photo looks good; so I guess, in a roundabout way, balance is in the subconscious.  However, it is a little disconcerting reading up on the subject as most seem to be of the mind that, whilst there are sorts of rules, there are no rules, it depends on what you are trying to say!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Coming from a military background and being an engineer I like symmetry but by all accounts if you are going to use this in a photo it has to be absolutely perfect otherwise it fails – morale for this fledgling photographer just took a dive!  But, on the other hand, it seems that breaking the rules can create tension and tension is good!  Anyway, confused or not, I trawled through some of my photos that I happen to like in order to assess them regarding balance:

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.001

Symmetry, not perfectly balanced for the purist, but I think it works.  This is a sculpture on a Maori war canoe intent on striking fear into the enemy as it heralded the arrival of some 100 warriors aboard the vessel.  I was seeking to capture the menace of the face and the effect of the black and red colour with the two piercing eyes.  Whilst it would have been in context if I had shot the whole canoe such were the proportions I do not think it would do justice to the face.

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.002

This shot has given me something of a challenge as regards analysing the balance.  I think this illustrates the complexity of the elements.  On the one hand there is the jetty on the right which is opposed by the boats and land mass on the left whilst on the other there is the reflection of the sky in the lake as the early morning fog rolls across the surface.  At first I thought the jetty was a distraction as the eye is drawn to it but I find it does not keep you fixated, there is more going on.  The jetty and shore line, with the straight lines, contrasts with curves of the boats and irregularities of the land mass, clouds and fog bank.  Whilst on the face of it this appears to be a fairly simple shot reflecting on it suggests there is quite a lot going on, for instance what are the black dots on the water beyond the jetty, are they ducks (?) – yes they are; is the fog bank coming in or receding?

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.003I consider this to be another complex shot as far as balance is concerned.  To me there is an obvious centre of mass in the middle of the shot but it is not simple symmetry given the arrangement of the components.  There is almost a sense of symmetry by reason of the diagonals and contrast between the wheels, connecting rods, coupling rods and the Big End bearing. Perhaps there is also the perception of opposing forces as the wheels are driven by the connecting rods.  Whatever it is, this shot is balanced for me and conveys a real sense of power and strength.

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.005This next shot, when I first viewed it seemed to be an obvious example of symmetry, but on reflection there are other forces at work.  It is the entrance to the Tate Gallery in St Ives so one would expect it to have some interest!  Whilst the main part of the picture depicts symmetry with the curving frontage and vertical pillars the stepped wall, railings, sloping path and contrast of the path and retaining wall all add their own effects.  So while there is not perfect symmetry and although the main part of the shot is interesting the other elements add some tension.

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.004This shot was one of those spur of the moment photographs.  The arrangement of the cheeses on the stall in the Prague Christmas market just caught my eye as I walked by – nothing to do with my love of this particular food group.  Again, not a simple example of balance for me but I feel the contrast in the size, colour, shape and texture of the different cheeses gives balance.  Interest is also added by the contrast  between the symmetrical stacked cheeses and the somewhat jagged wedge that seeks to divide the two stacks.

20130412_Balance_diagrams_JPEG.006My final shot completes the “cheese and wine” feature of this exercise with the celebration of Bacchus! Yet again I had to look at this photo for some time to understand why it works for me and I am still not absolutely sure how to explain it.  Apart from the interest of the individual figures and their variation in size, I think their arrangement amongst the vines on sloping ground gives a sense of motion.  There is the contrast between the colours of the ground, the figures and the vines, simple yet effective.  Finally, something that had not occurred to me until I really began to read the shot, is the setting;  there is a very strong contrast between the main element of the photo with what I would describe as their natural lines, stand fast the shape of the instruments, and the strong geometrical lines of the roof of the dome.  Is this one of those photos where balance is not necessary!

This has been an enlightening exercise.  Hitherto I had not given any conscious thought to this aspect of composing a photograph; probably the rule of thirds and placing the horizon was the extent of my thinking before pressing the shutter except when deliberately trying to compose something different.  This has probably been one of the most significant building blocks in the journey thus far.

Bibliography:

Freeman, M. (2007), The photographer’s eye Composition and design for better digital photos, The Ilex Press Limited, Lewes.

Prakel, D. (2006), Basics photography 01 Composition, 2nd ed, AVA Publishing SA, Lausanne.

Focal lengths and different viewpoints

I was intrigued by this exercise not least because, as a constant user of the zoom lens, I have fallen into the rut of taking up a position and relying on the zoom to do the work; it takes a real conscious effort to move around and explore different viewpoints and the effects.  How often do we hear that a good exercise is to fit a prime lens and go out for the day shooting all manner of scenes; I was talking to a guy in a London Camera Exchange shop a couple of days ago and he is doing the Flickr photograph a day project using a single prime and finding much benefit from the discipline.

Anyway, the key word here is “perspective”.  A quick delve into the Concise Oxford English Dictionary provides the starting point: “the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to convey the impression of height, width, depth, and relative distance.” or, in my language, how best to present the 3D world, in which we live, in 2D; may be not very elegant but it works for me!  I find it useful to have a succinct definition in mind, particularly when it comes to analysing the results.  I also perused some books, magazines and websites to get some background and refresh myself on optics.  For my subject I chose the statue of John Cabot (aka Giovanni Caboto) the Italian borne explorer who was a resident of Bristol 1490-1498.

In comparing the two shots above the first obvious point is that I did not do the best of jobs in keeping the size of the statue the same in both as I changed my viewing position, more attention to detail required.  In general terms the biggest impact in viewing both shots side by side is that the telephoto shot is all about the detail of the statue whereas the wide angle shot puts the statue in context, within the constraints of the setting and the viewpoint chosen, due to the inclusion of much more background.  At wide angle there is also considerable evidence of perspective of scale cf. the statue and the person in the background, which I understand is an effect used to compose trick shots eg big people/little people; there is also evidence of the vertical distortion on the extreme right hand side.  Certainly the wide angle shot gives much more feeling of depth to the scene whereas the telephoto shot gives a much flatter image, very evident by the impression of the closeness of the tree to the statue.  As regards the question of what impression does each give about the distance of the viewer from the scene, I found myself going around in circles; I think this was a combination of just giving first impressions and thinking about it in a more clinical manner.  Instant impression on looking at the telephoto shot is “up close and personal” but then the brain says you would see more of the surroundings given the amount of statue in view so I must be far away using a magnifying device – maybe a bit convoluted but that’s how I see it.

So what is the main lesson I have come away with from this exercise?  Well, once again, I think it is the need to give much more thought to the shot before leaping in.  What am I trying to say with the photograph; stop “snapping” and take photographs, the tool bag available gives tremendous variety and possibilities, use it to best effect, create a memory that holds a message.  Think back to the my days with a 35mm film camera and the cost of processing the film!

Reference List:

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2004), 11th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Bibliography:

Brain, B. (2013), “Master perspective”, NPhoto, May 2013, p.57.

Cambridge in Colour (2011), A learning community for photographers. Available from: http:/http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ [Accessed: April 5, 2013].

Freeman, M. (2007), The photographer’s eye Composition and design for better digital photos, The ilex Press Limited, Lewes.

Prakel, D. (2006), Basics photography 01 Composition, 2nd ed, AVA Publishing SA, Lausanne.

Focal lengths

Having tried the test of looking at a scene with the naked eye, estimating the angle of view and then looking at the scene through the camera viewfinder and a standard lens I now better appreciate the behaviour of the camera optics and the relationship in optical performance terms to the human eye.  With the naked eye(s) I estimate my angle of view is in the region of 180 degrees; but this does raise the question of what actually constitutes the “angle of view”.  By design we have quite an extensive angle of view, or peripheral vision, but at the extremities the objects are not clear/sharp and it is generally accepted that the peripheral view is more about detecting movement; contrast with the view through the viewfinder where there are hard boundaries.  I did find that the view through the camera closely represents that part of the scene I observed with the naked eye to be sharp.  This, therefore, confirms the correlation between the angle of view of the standard lens on the camera and that of the human eye(s) in terms of a sharply focussed image.

For the exercise I selected a beach/lighthouse scene as I thought it would best illustrate the differences focal length makes to the angle of view, there being little background clutter but with some definition.  The camera was tripod mounted.

The series of shots above clearly illustrates the difference in angle of view as the focal length is changed; wide angle of view with short focal length to small angle of view with long focal length.  For me the large angle of view gives a feeling of the expanse of the area with the lighthouse intruding into it, albeit with a real role to play.  As the angle of view reduces it becomes more about the detail of the lighthouse and, finally, at the smallest angle of view, the lighthouse dominates the scene.  I chose not to change the composition as I felt that the required effect had been illustrated using the lighthouse as the main component but the detail of the town in the distance at a narrow angle of view also serves to illustrate the utility of the telephoto lens in landscape scenes; for some time I was wedded to the idea that landscape equals wide angle lens.  Clearly, though, the rule of thirds did not get much of a look in here!

Reference List:

Freeman, Michael, (2007).  The Photographers Eye:  Comosition and Design for Better Digital Photos, The Ilex Press

A sequence of composition

My interpretation of this exercise is that it is all about the path to composing “the shot” without actually knowing what the subject you are after actually is.  Along that path there will be many “not quites” but at some time, hopefully, there will be that eureka moment.  I have to say I launched into this task with some concerns; it’s one thing taking pictures of public parades, tourist areas etc but another when you are photographing people going about there everyday business.  Intrusion, invasion and paparazzi were some words that sprung to mind!  However, mindful of a number of articles that appeared in the media over the years and that I was confident as regards the law on this area I set off to Bristol Market which, on a Wednesday, also hosts a Farmers Market.

I planned to walk around for a while to get a feeling for what was going on and select strategic positions for taking some shots, others as the opportunity arose.  I had no idea what I was really after, I just thought that there would be interesting people and probably some stalls that would inspire.  Should I encounter any hostility I determined that I would deal with it as and when.

DSC_5315 - 1/80 sec at f8, ISO 400, 70mm

DSC_5315 – 1/80 sec at f8, ISO 400, 70mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just getting a feel for  photographing the stalls.  First observation, people will enter the frame at will!  I felt very self conscious with my eye glued to the viewfinder scanning the scene.  Also if you have a heavy lens camera set up you soon begin to experience camera shake.  Need to think about using a different lens for such exercises.  This was a fairly constrained view so decided to move to a wider perspective with the ability to zoom in on any interesting subjects.

DSC_5316 - 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 500, 24mm

DSC_5316 – 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 500, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little more variety here in terms of stalls.  The only thing that caught my eye was the plants in pots stacked on the upturned crates, colour and geometrical shapes.  There may be potential at the cheese counter so decided to get a clearer view.

DSC_5317 - 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5317 – 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No sign of Wallace and Gromit so move on!

DSC_5318 - 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5318 – 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially attracted by the arrangement of the soup pots on display and the form of the pies in the boxes but decided to move on.

DSC_5319 - 1/200 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5319 – 1/200 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fish stalls usually have interesting displays but this one did not have anything special; noticed there was another fish stall opposite so thought I would try that.

DSC_5320 - 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 35mm

DSC_5320 – 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 35mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bit more of an interesting display but not sure it is truly eye catching.

DSC_5321 - 1/100 at f8, ISO 800, 35mm

DSC_5321 – 1/100 at f8, ISO 800, 35mm

DSC_5322 - 1/125 at f8, ISO 800, 62mm

DSC_5322 – 1/125 at f8, ISO 800, 62mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you love it when the subject closes their eyes as you hit the shutter button!  Move on.

DSC_5323 - 1/200 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

DSC_5323 – 1/200 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the corner of my eye spotted the long arm of the law approaching!  Thought turned to the experiences of street photographers so thought I’d test the situation.

DSC_5324 - 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 800, 56mm

DSC_5324 – 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 800, 56mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well no adverse reaction but no friendly engagement either, the look says it all!  Pity, quite a striking subject.

DSC_5325 - 1/500 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

DSC_5325 – 1/500 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showing a clean pair of hooves so this is going no further.  Back to the market.

DSC_5326 - 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 29mm

DSC_5326 – 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 29mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picked out this bread stall due to the arrangement of many different shapes and sizes of bread on offer.  However, I thought the glass screen was a distraction and it was not possible to get a clear shot for the composition I had in mind.

DSC_5327 - 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 40mm

DSC_5327 – 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 40mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While surveying this scene through the viefinder considered whether a sequence of a shopper browsing through to deciding to purchase might provide something interesting.  This guy walked on by.

DSC_5328 - 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 38mm

DSC_5328 – 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 38mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the arrangement of the vegetables that caught my eye in this scene, in particular the carrots. Just after I had taken this shot the stallholder approached me and asked what I was doing; up to this point I had only had glances from stallholders.  We had a friendly discussion and it transpired he and his wife had been asked to pose for a photograph at the market a few months before and they had ended up in a massive poster on the side of one of the Bristol Harbour sheds, he was not happy about that.  We parted amicably and I moved on.

DSC_5329 - 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5329 – 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this shot as this guy walked into frame, it was the look on his face, bad news(?), and the bright blue phone glued to his ear which seemed at odds with the character.

DSC_5330 - 1/160 sec at f8,  ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5330 – 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just people watching.

DSC_5331 - 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 32mm

DSC_5331 – 1/125 sec at f8, ISO 800, 32mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The directions to move on were clear!

DSC_5332 - 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 52mm

DSC_5332 – 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 52mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the covered area of the market dominated by a multitude of food stalls of various nationalities  popular at lunchtime for local office workers and those in the know.  I picked up on a group that had descended on one stall and were going through that ritual of “what are you having?”.  Despite watching for  few minutes I was not able to get a shot which included their faces which i thought would tell a story.

DSC_5333 - 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 52mm

DSC_5333 – 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 52mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this shot as I was attracted by two things; the arrangement and colours of the fruit and wheatgrass and by the juxtaposition of the health juice stall offering therapy and “pieminster” which, I guess, offers a different type of therapy; where were all the punters going! I then decided to explore a composition of the fruit on the juice stall.

DSC_5334 - 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

DSC_5334 – 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 70mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, interesting but not grabbing.

DSC_5335 - 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5335 – 1/60 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moved to another part of the market, flower stall might provide something of note; I could not see anything of note.  It was now getting busy, not easy doing the eye to viewfinder routine without risking a black eye.  Move back outside.

DSC_5336 - 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5336 – 1/100 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the open air.  This was in the overflow area.  I had spotted a very colourful stall in this group which I decided to home in on.

DSC_5337 - 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

DSC_5337 – 1/160 sec at f8, ISO 800, 24mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at the way those people are eyeing that stall.

DSC_5338 - 1/250 sec at f8, ISO 800, 34mm

DSC_5338 – 1/250 sec at f8, ISO 800, 34mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bingo!  I had found my target.  To me this sums up the essence of the Farmer’s Market.  Whilst i would have liked to have had more time composing shots of this subject I was at the mercy of the customers, many of whom had kindly stood back to allow me a couple of shots.   Note, on this occasion I asked the stallholder’s permission.

I did not find this an easy task, essentially going out not knowing exactly what I was after, yet doing a specific exercise.  Also, as mentioned above, I had some reservations about undertaking what I understand to be street photography and any potential difficulties with the subjects selected.  I think this held me back a bit and perhaps bolder approach would have been beneficial.  It has certainly made me think about how to interact with people in such situations and I found the article on the BBC website, Religion and Ethics, “Q&A: The ethics of street photography”, an interview with Eric Kim a street photographer based in Los Angeles, quite interesting; a lot depends on the culture you are dealing with.

Some other thoughts on this experience.  The practice of spending much time with eye to viewfinder is somewhat alien to me, notwithstanding it is the best way of confirming the scene; perhaps I was taking this too literally although I have heard of people walking about with a cardboard frame to view potential scenes.  I kept thinking that while I was looking in one area something better might be going on elsewhere.  Also I detected a lack of creative juices in selecting a subject to home in on yet I have done this successfully on landscapes.  In this case there was a lot going on around, particularly in the covered market, and I felt a distinct challenge between capturing the moment and composition; this was heightened by the constant thought of it is better to crop in camera than during post processing.  Looking back at my shots I also wonder about my camera settings; once I got going I gave little thought to changing settings.  Finally, the weight of the camera equipment; a long period spent in the firing position really makes you think about the weight of your kit, especially as I had gone out for the day with other tasks in mind and was carrying a fair load.

In conclusion, did I achieve the aim of the exercise?  Well I ended up with a final image which I think was a successful conclusion to a journey that took many twists and turns and a good deal of time; that final shot could have done with further work.  With a shot in the can and much to think about so, overall, yes.

Reference List;

BBC Religion & Ethics. Q&A: The ethics of street photography.  Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/21532400 [Accessed 26 March 2013]