IAP A4: reflection before tutor feedback

I am conscious that I have not yet found the optimal camera settings for this kind of image, and consequently there is sometimes more noise in them than I would like and some are less sharp than they would ideally be. About 2.5 weeks into the lockdown on 7 April I noticed that the moon was full and low in a clear sky, and on impulse I grabbed my camera and a telephoto lens and took a few shots. They were ok but not very sharp. Then I remembered that there’s a settings formula called the Looney 11 Rule for photographing the moon, the lunar equivalent of the Sunny 16 Rule. I looked it up and took a few more pics using that formula of f/11 and 1/100 with ISO 100, which resulted in much sharper images. It occurred to me that it might be worth trying that setting for these night-time window scenes, and I’m looking forward to trying that when lockdown is over. It’s a learning process and one I will definitely be continuing.

I’m also aware that the actual portraits in the images are invariably very small as a proportion of the overall image area, and that perhaps they barely qualify as portraits at all. I think it’s probably true to say that they’re more about capturing the spirit of the place and universal human interactions than revealing anything specific about the people in the images.

On the plus side, as an avid people-watcher and observer of body language I have a personal liking for images like these and find them to have a sense of narrative and drama. I am happy with some of the chance captures, such as the sinister and shadowy character to the right of the second image (the farm shop in a wagon), the lattice of lights reflected off a passing car in the third (Pizza Face) image, the fact that the man in the eighth image to the left of the Photobot sign looks like an actor I recognise but can’t identify (is he? isn’t he? I don’t know), the Hopperesque atmosphere of the 12th image (people in a coffee shop), and the many disruptive overlays created by reflections.

I recognise that the number of images in the series is considerably higher than specified for this assignment, but I’m reluctant to drop any more because I feel that each one portrays part of the collective story of this particular area of Brighton.

My intention for presenting the series at assessment is to print the images on glossy paper at A3 size, because making a test print of one of the images at this size showed me that they benefit considerably from being viewed at A3 compared to A4. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, the reflective surface of glossy prints works far better than a matte surface for these particular images.