Saturday, 19 February 2011

Assignment 1 Shooting Log 12th Feb 2011: Portsmouth

I only had two definite images in mind when I left home; "Large", one of the cross channel ferries passing through the harbour entrance with a figures watching either from the small beach by the Sally Port or the Round Tower (I went armed with the shipping movements) and the other, a better lit shot of the Spinnaker Tower showing the contrasts "Straight" and "Curved". I knew most of the rest would present themselves as I worked my way around Old Portsmouth and the harbour. I shot about 85 images today, I have edited out those that I definitely won't use but here is a contact sheet of  those that I am considering. (Since producing the contact sheet I have included other images which I discounted at first sight but may now be included:
4462: 1/125s f14 36mm

"Rounded" This close up of the two interlocking rings of the First Fleet commemoration sculpture in Broad Street was an ideal subject as they are rounded in every sense.

446: 1/125s f16 35mm

"Diagonal" When I took this image, I was concentrating on the diagonals of the staircase and missed the roof and gable end behind it. I will experiment with the close crops I should have got with the lens before deciding on this one.

This is the most successful crop for this image, apart from the chimney vents on the white building, there are no significant rounded shapes in the frame. A perfect contrast to 4462 above.

4473 1/125s f16 55mm
"Large"There were a lot of people on the beach and these ferries move quite quickly. There are some useful crops to be made in this series if I want to include people to give the ship scale:

4522:1/640s f6.3 130mm
Alternatively, I've just noticed the guy who was sitting in the window of the tower two hours later when she sailed out again. I'm sure he is totally unaware of the massive vessel behind him which, given its' relative bulk. reinforces the notion of large.
I went with this image for Large because there is a real sense of scale with this huge ship and the tiny girl in the wheelchair. It also leaves you with a question and a possible story.......
                         4481 1/125s f14 44mm                        4485 1/125s f8 22mm
"Narrow" I photographed both ends of this alley and although I prefer the view of the ferry through the first one, in the second, the alley is better lit and the worn flagstones with drying puddles have an appeal. To me, these dark narrow spaces have an "off limits" feel. Although, clearly a public thoroughfare, it is not a route I would choose and  is in direct contrast to the light open spaces and vistas of Langstone Harbour.
                        4487: 1/500s f13 22mm                       4488: 1/500s f11 32mm

"Staight and Curved" I think this illustrates both straight and curved because although the shape of a sail filled with the wind is curved, that shape is formed by the attachment of the sail to a straight mast and taut sheets. I have photographed the Spinnaker Tower from all angles from the ground. 4487 is the best one to show it's massive engineering strength and simple elegance. I have chosen a symmetrical static composition to underline that. I'm not sure how I achieved the colour of the sky without a polariser, possibly a relationship between the angle of the sun and the lens. There has been no post processing at this point. The obliging gull gives  much needed sense of scale. 4488 is a repeat of a shot I took in December in poor light and although an improvement, doesn't have the strength of the other.

4498: 1/25s f32 60mm (ISO 100) (monopod)

"Moving" I was hoping to achieve more blur in this image of the water feature in the shopping centre. Despite altering the ISO to a minimum 100 and using the smallest aperture on my lens, a slower shutter speed resulted in an over exposed image. I don't have a neutral density filter. However I think this is a satisfactory image to show movement.

                        4509: 1/200s f5.6 200mm                    4512: 1/500s f5.6 130mm
 "Still" I chose two views of this boat moored in the Camber Dock to represent "Still". The diagonal prow in 4509 does suggest some movement. I did originally intend to use this for "Pointed". 4512 is more static, both in terms of composition and the fact that the vessel is moored. Although the surface of the water is ruffled by the breeze, the boat itself isn't effected. I suppose the stillness here is in the boat although they both move imperceptably with the tide. The small waterfall does not have a rapid movement but it is constant and inescapable; not momentary like a passing car or boat.

                         4501: 1/250s f8 34mm                         4502: 1/205s f8 35mm
"Tall" With some cropping, 4501 will make a good image for Tall. I changed my viewpoint by walking forward for 4502. I'm not sure what this building is called but it reminds me of a Biro top. It was at this point in the sfternoon that I was approached by two police officers who enquired, ever so politely, why I was taking pictures of tall buildings. I explained; they told me why they wanted to know; I understood and we parted company the best of friends. It seems that Hampshire Police at least, have got it right. Nothing like the horror stories reported elsewhere and I like to hope that  my experience will be that of the majority of photographers.

                         4537: 1/250s f8 24mm                        4506: 1/4s f29 40mm

“Straight” is everywhere you look, these railings, and lines of bricks in the square by Portsmouth’s Garrison Church. I used a very slow shutter speed and small aperture to increase the depth of field for 4506. If I use 4537 I'll need to crop creatively. As well as the brick line, the upright posture of  the statue also says "straight"
                        4460: 1/125s f16 48mm                       4536: 1/125s f5.6 44mm

                               4536: 1/320s f9 cropped

“Curved” I have three images for curved, the contemporary design incorporated into this lamp standard echoes the theme of the curved sail of the Spinnaker Tower. A curved curb and cobbles with double yellow lines in an Old Portsmouth street seem to do the same although unintentional and the  curved seats of the benches by the Square Tower reflect the surface contours of the sea in front of you.

4480: 1/125s f18 44mm
"Intermittant" The vertical concrete pillars and their shadows give a regular intermittant pattern in this image but it is too cluttered to be seen clearly.

4516: 1/200s f7.1 46mm

"Thick" The massive walls of the Tudor fortifications at the Sally Port at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour illustrate the impenetrable nature of "thick" as well as "straight" in a sense of precision stonework.

4535: 1/320s f10 50mm

"Pointed" These three ornamental spikes on railings by the Square Tower are both authoritarian and decorative. I have positioned and focused them deliberately to show their protective function although in reality, the railings are there to stop you from falling from the harbour wall and not to protect the buildings beyond.

4510: 1/100s f5.3 112mm

"Blunt" The wide transom of this tug, which is a purely functional feature of its' design, contrasts well with the opposite end of the vessel, designed to cut through the water at speed. The terms "blunt end" and "sharp end"  came to mind when I saw this tug. The contrasts here are purely physical and to do with shape, although each is related to its' function, symbolic of the railings and a practical working space of the tug.

I still have a few photographs to take to make up my 8 pairs but I am now well on the way.

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