EYV Assignment 2 ‘Collecting’ Written Analysis

Introduction to my Subject:

I considered a series of views of Filey as if for a tourist publication. I examined post-card images and, since the town is familiar, I imagined my vantage points in advance.

However, during my photo-walk I began to see Filey differently. It became more than a haven for holiday-makers. On Coble Landing, the lifeboat was launched, reminding me of the dangers of the sea. I saw people working to ensure holiday-makers were safe and happy, and, on returning to our caravan in the rain, I was reminded of the reality as well as the fantasy of the British holiday. Of course, the beauty of the coastline had to be included in my Filey story.

While researching Pictorialism, I came across Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. I recalled owning a copy of his collection of photographs of Whitby. The capturing of life in a seaside town appealed to me.

I also looked at John Davies’ photographs and the photographs of Eugene Atget . The work of these photographers motivated me to challenge my usual preference for closer cropped images and to consider depth and lines to encourage the eye into the image.

I find Moholy-Nagy’s abstract views interesting, and I wanted to include a view using a longer lens as an alternative to a wide angle of view. Image 1 uses a focal length of 149mm (223mm equivalent) to show walkers on the Brig. I  like how the abstract nature of this image emphasises the detail of the landscape.

Kim Kirkpatrick’s use of shallow depth of field inspired me to consider the inclusion of images focusing on the foreground, with a blurring of the background to direct the eye to the subject.

A Description of the Combination of Aperture, Focal Length and Viewpoint Used and how they Affect the Images:

Some images are taken with my shortest lens and a small aperture to capture deep depth of field. Image 5 provides a view that is wider than the human eye’s and the wide angle makes the distance from the cliff-top to the Brig, appear vast. Image 10 uses a similar setting to do the same thing but the lower viewpoint and foreground interest emphasises the depth of view.

Image 6 uses a wide angle from a low viewpoint to emphasise the height of the cliffs and in image 3 a wide angle but high viewpoint seems to emphasise the feeling of unsteadiness by giving the viewer the impression that they are looking over the cliff and could fall over the edge.

There are some images in my contact sheets that I considered but did not use. Some were rejected because of poor composition even though the subject matter was relevant. The life-boat launch shows Filey as a place of work, and the Filey people as courageous, for example. In image A, I experimented with foreground blur but the image was not sharp enough, at aperture 5.6, to include in my final submission. In image B, a little boy jumped on the carousel and poked his head round just as I pressed the shutter. Since my image now included a child, and despite the fact that I showed the image to his father and asked if I could keep it and he agreed, I felt uncomfortable using it here.

An evaluation of Technical Aspects and how the Series Works as a Whole:

What worked well

My photo-walk provided opportunities for a range of views that enabled me to use different techniques to demonstrate my learning. I captured wide views using my widest lens (16mm), and used small apertures for a sharp foreground and background. I used diagonals and lines that lead the eye into and around the image. In image 7, I used manual focus to ensure the raindrops on the window were sharp.

In image 8, I used a close viewpoint and wider aperture to blur the background and therefore emphasise the subject.  My photograph of the line of cars in image 4 was intended to show the reality of a busy town during the holiday season.

My combination of images shows the traditional beauty of the town and the reality of life by the sea. Images of danger and poor weather offer a challenge to stereotypical views. I feel that these images are more creative and interesting than the ones I used for ‘The Square Mile’. I also notice that I am becoming quicker with my camera, and a little more instinctive.

The contact sheets submitted with Assignment 1 contained square and un-annotated images.  I looked at the contact sheets of William Klein and Henri Cartier- Bresson and gained an understanding of the significance of contact sheets. As a consequence, I have annotated my thumbnails to show my selects and to highlight particular images that I refer to in my analysis.

What didn’t work so well

I liked my idea of a series of images at the seaside and didn’t really want to miss the opportunity. However, in practice, my consideration of another person on holiday with me meant that I felt more rushed than I would have felt had I worked alone.

The effect of this was that despite the brief saying that a tripod was important, I attempted to take my images on a fairly overcast day without one. I increased my ISO to between 200 and 320 to compensate, and the smallest aperture I could manage was F13. I was pleased that at wider apertures than I would ideally have chosen, my images appeared sharp and that the increase in ISO seemed not to be too detrimental.

How the Series Might be Improved in the Future

This assignment could be significantly improved by the use of a tripod. This would allow me to use narrower apertures and a lower ISO to improve the sharpness and quality of my photographs.

I feel that I lost the opportunity to use some of my photographs because of technical errors. More care in composition, selecting the correct aperture and focusing, may have enabled me to use some of the images that I rejected and I consequently could have improved my Filey story.

Bibliography

Atgetphotography.com. (2017). Eugene Atget / Biography & Images – Atget Photography.com Videos Books & Quotes. [online] Available at: http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Eugene-Atget.html(Accessed 19 Mar. 2017).

Davies, J. (2017). John Davies Photographer – home page. [online] Johndavies.uk.com. Available at: http://johndavies.uk.com/ (Accessed 19 Mar. 2017).

Kimkirkpatrick.com. (2017). Early Work. [online] Available at: http://www.kimkirkpatrick.com/GalleryMain.asp?GalleryID=97163&AKey=FGWAF5R9(Accessed 19 Mar. 2017).

Moholy-nagy.org. (2017). MOHOLY-NAGY FOUNDATION | START. [online] Available at: http://moholy-nagy.org/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2017].

Sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk. (2017). FRANK MEADOW SUTCLIFFE- PHOTOGRAPHS. [online] Available at: http://www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk/(Accessed 19 Mar. 2017).

 

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