Archive for Exercise 15

Public space, public activity

Posted in Project work with tags on May 22, 2010 by Judy Bach

The beach is a perfect place for people watching and capturing a variety of activity. 

Spending time on the beach at Marazion was perfect to observe the diversity of activity within that area , and perfect for capturing candid images. I was even brave enough to take some shots of small children without feeling like a pervert! The paranoia surrounding photographers taking children’s pictures has been enough for me to hardly ever contemplate attempting it anymore.  (See Books section)- John Gay’s  “photographs capture ordinary people going about their lives in a completely natural way and obviously unaware of his presence”  and  that  “capture children immersed in their own world and oblivious to the intrusion of the camera”  pg 100 England Observed John Gay 1909——–1999, English Heritage, Swindon, 2009 . Not as easy to take candid images of children (or adults) these days unfortunately.

 However I feel the atmosphere of the day helped the ease I felt taking photographs. I am becoming more and more conscious of causing offence when I take an individual’s photograph, but here I did not feel as conspicuous as I sometimes feel in the street. I find I am avoiding taking as many photographs in a town situation, a shame really.

I missed opportunities for some photographs as I was not ready in time to shoot and caught the back of my intended subject as they passed me by.Quick reflexes, nerves of steel and being ultra observant are talents worth developing “to catch the moment“.  Exercise 10 pg 25 Moment and gesture,  People and Place, discusses the ” two parts to photographing the moment” . Some moments are predictable, others only become obvious later. Thank goodness for digital imagery, shooting many more frames than I needed I was glad to see some of what I considered at the time of shooting were not particularly  good images were better than I had anticipated.

 All images @ ISO 100

F6.3      @200mm     1/640

 Using a longer focal length isolates the subject from her surroundings, but clearly shows her next intended activity !!

F6.3   @    28mm    1/800

The wider angle includes more of the surrounding area, and as well as including  activity gives a sense of place.

F6.3    @  70mm         1/500

Walking  the dog, a popular activity in a public space——-just be sure to carry a “pooper scooper”!!!!

F5.6        @       28mm                      1/640      


F5        @ 200mm            1/500

Paddling in the sea is an obviously popular activity at the beach. Exposing correctly can be a problem though, the brightness of the sea can confuse the metering system of the camera resulting in an underexposed subject. This is one of the reasons I prefer to use manual settings rather than rely on the camera’s automatic settings.

F5           @ 200mm              1/500

Sightseeing and taking photos——an obvious seaside activity



  F9          @ 75mm                1/320                                  

 Could this be a fellow OCA photography student ???

F5.6         @ 78mm                1/500

Lost in her thoughts, photograph inspired by images in “England Observed” (see above).

F6.3             @ 28mm              1/320

Reading,  a perfect sedentary activity on the beach.

F6.3             @ 70mm                 1/500

Watching the world go by.

F5.6            @ 70mm                      1/640

My  human subject only occupies a small part of the frame, the public space  is the main subject.

F6.3               @ 75mm                             1/500

Sandals:The footwear of choice for the fashion conscious beach dweller. Could not resist including this.

I enjoyed this exercise and can see how it has pulled together strands from the previous 6 exercises to consider when tackling this type of photographic project. I took far more images than I have included above, some better, some worse, and feel I have gained an insight into what is expected for this type of reportage photography. My obsession for neat and tidily framed images has been cured slightly, and I actually enjoyed using shorter focal lengths,a real challenge for me. Additionally I have not cropped any of my images, I am especially pleased about this as I hope it means I am being successful in considering  framing more prior to pressing the shutter, this is what I have been trying to achieve.  My observational skills have certainly become sharper, I am certainly more aware of my surroundings and the activity happening around me.  Time to tackle assignment 2.