Saturday, 15 January 2011

People and Place1: Ex2: Thinking about location

The stated aim of this exercise is to provide practise at translating real world setting into a useful image element. This would be more straightforward if the weather had not been foul or freezing for days. In the end – to make progress – I have collected a variety of different location from around my home and some examples which I hope show I understand the aim of the exercise from my archive.

First up the house locations – the living room, the bedroom and the dining room in that order.










The first question is do these meet the criteria of being very different. I believe they do: The first is a large evenly lit room with relatively muted colours, the second location is in front of a west facing window offering lots of natural light and the third is a colourful surrounding with a very obvious prop – the piano.

Before returning to one of these to shoot the exercise image, here are a few from the archive:


This one was taken in the window of the Tower Bank Arms at Far Sawrey while we were waiting for lunch. It was a particularly rainy day and there was a lot of very diffuse light coming through the bay window in which we were sitting which made it ideal for a portrait shot. The curtain behind provided a backdrop which removed most of the distracting detail through the window, and even had roughly matching roses as a pattern – giving,I think, a classic feel to the shot.

Tower Bank Arms, Far Sawrey

We were in the bay window at the left of the above shot.


Next up is this moderately humorous one of my son in Ibiza Town a couple of years back. We found these mannequins outside a clothes shop while wandering around town. The use of them as props for the humour is obvious – I’m not a great believer in portraits revealing character but this one may be an exception – especially as the pose was his suggestion.


And finally from the archives two shots of my daughters – the eldest with her first car, minutes after getting it home and the youngest at Charles de Gaulle airport – the expression on her face says as much about the airport as you really need to know. With hindsight a little fill-flash to lift the face would have been good in this shot.

PICT0005.jpg Tedium at CdeG Airport

Back to the exercise

The final location I chose to complete the exercise was at the piano. I chose it because it is an essential part of my wife’s life and I can’t imagine any full photographic interpretation of her personality that did not have a musical reference.



Edit: 15 February 2011 – Some outdoor locations

First up this one at Silloth – the dunes – which I used to good effect in the first exercises of DPP1, and in the context of this course I have used in Ex3. Lovely clear morning light, a variety of pleasant backdrops – grass, beach, sea – and usable for a range of shots from family outings to outdoor or spring/summer fashion. There is also a hotel nearby with a range of facilities for a more professional shoot.

Silloth Dunes

Next up is my garden – it’s not a great location at this time of year but as the weather improves it offers a range of options. This is not the best of photos but it shows the essential ingredients. Sunlight usually comes from the left. The apple tree (foreground left) provides dappled shade across the lawn for a number of hours each day, the arch is usually covered in in mix of flowers, including large roses, and the shrubs around the pond in the middle produce a fairly solid wall of green for a backdrop.The large shrub near the back also produces an area of shade.

The Garden

One thing my area lacks is easily accessible industrial areas for more ‘street’ style shoots – so my next aim is to track down a couple of locations that are easily accessible.

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