Street module evaluation
I really struggled with this module to begin with because I didn’t like the idea of approaching people and photographing them without their permission. Even the idea of asking people for their portrait was not something I was particularly comfortable with. This meant that for the first couple of on location shoots I wasn’t sure what I wanted my narrative to be and so I experimented with various styles. On St David’s day, I got quite confident with asking people for portraits and was focussing particularly on the colour red, picking out people wearing at least one item of red clothing. I was happy with how the portraits turned out and thought that perhaps that would be what I would carry on shooting, however after some feedback I decided that I wanted to try something different. I took a set of photos of people walking along the pavement beside a car park wall. I tried to capture them as they were directly between two glass mosaics on the wall so that they were framed by them. Individually I don’t think that the images are particularly interesting, however once they were placed into a collage format they were more interesting. I decided to try and recreate this style in various locations across the city wanting to find backgrounds with different colours and textures.
Most of my visits to Cardiff took place on a Saturday or Sunday which is when the city is busiest, this meant that in the centre it became quite a challenge to single out individuals in a frame because there were so many people wandering around. I also found traffic was an issue, with lots of buses and cars around, often in stand still lines in front of where I wanted to photograph. I solved this issue by wandering further away from the city centre to quieter areas where I had to wait a while between subjects but it meant I could photograph them individually. I also enjoyed shooting in this way because it meant that I wasn’t intruding on the subject’s personal space and I also didn’t need to ask for people’s permission before photographing them. I used a 50mm lens which meant that I had to position myself on the other side of the road from where the subjects were walking and so even if I had wanted to ask each person for permission it would be almost impossible as I would have to cross two lanes of traffic every time.
For my final six images, I decided I was going to create collages rather than individual photographs. Initially I wanted to put 9 photos into each collage, and then it went down to 6 photos before I eventually decided on 4. I decided this because it meant that on a 6×4 print you were still able to see detail in the photos that wouldn’t be visible if I tried to fit more onto each page. It also meant that I took more time thinking about my edit and which 4 images from each location worked best as a set. For my final six images, I made some of them look as though the subjects were walking towards each other and some so that they were all walking in the same direction. I did this because I think that aesthetically they didn’t all work well in the same style and so it made more sense for me to arrange them that way. For the panoramic I decided to print them so that the subjects were all walking in the same direction because it meant that each series of photos flowed into the next.
If I were to go back and shoot again I would like to have been more prepared and taken a tripod every time so that I could make sure all the frames were the same as this would have made image adjustments much quicker because I wouldn’t have had to rotate so many of the images so that they lined up successfully next to each other.
Overall, I’m happy with my final 20 and I feel as though I developed my style over several visits to Cardiff. I also taken inspiration from my photographer research and tried to combine some of their techniques into my own work.