Assignment three The Decisive Moment Part 3

As the third projected shoot at the Northumberland County Show did not work out, as mentioned in the previous post on this assignment (Assignment three The Decisive Moment Part 2), I decided to try another approach the following day.  This was the day that I had chosen to go to Sunderland to see the Taylor Wessing prize exhibition (Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016, Sunderland – Exhibition).  The easiest way to get there is by train from my village straight through to Sunderland where the station is just a couple of minutes walk from the museum – much easier than driving and trying to find somewhere to park.  What I therefore decided to do was to take shots of people on the platform as we stopped at each station, and also try a few more pictures in Sunderland in similar vein to those I had initially taken in Newcastle, taken from within the station looking out.

The biggest challenge presented by shooting from the train was trying to get a decent focus on subjects through the glass windows and while the train was still moving.  Needless to say not many worked out well.  All of the on-board train shots were taken with a 50mm lens, shutter priority at 1/125s, ISO 400.

From a compositional point of view I like this one, with the progression of the subject and the next two posters, and the fact the subject’s face is obscured by an internal reflection on the window.  It does though suffer from not being more focused.

This one is better from the point of view of focus.  I like the juxtaposition of the subject and the police on the poster.

Perhaps the most successful of the these is though perhaps this one:  good focus, framing of the subject, and the almost abstract patterning of the right half of the picture:

Of the street shots there is only one at the moment that really catches my eye:

Still shutter priority, 1/125s, f/9, but ISO 100.

I feel this works from a geometrical point of view.  Each of the five standing characters is in front of a poster of some description.  That behind the main subject in the white top, which is almost like a halo, helps mark him out as the main subject and provides contrast for his head against what would others be a dark background, in which his own dark hair would become lost.  I also like the symmetrical, diagonal placement into the field of view of the two litter bins.  This was all pure chance and, as with some of HCB’s own work, only becomes apparent after the event once the photo is analysed.

Ultimately I do not feel there is a great deal here that works, and certainly not enough alone to make up a coherent final set, which will be the subject of the next post – the last one for now as I do not feel much purpose would be served by just taking more pictures in this vein.


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