‘Street’ Photography – London College of Communication

For this assignment we were instructed to ‘take to the streets’. The brief was to find three scenes, situations or locations and to photograph them with a view to building a better shot each time; through positioning oneself differently in  terms of distance, negotiating a better angle or simply playing the waiting game and hoping for a set of shapes, emotions or events to unfold in the frame. Its difficult, and one needs to be ready to take a lot of photographs to obtain perhaps one or two good ones. Maybe, through a combination of luck and skill, one will get a great one!!

This set of shots were taken outside the College’s main entrance. A slightly dingy and windblown place. Scattered with chewing gum, cigarette butts and pigeons. The space also contains three brightly-coloured sea containers which act as makeshift galleries for Video and Performance pieces shown to the public. The building itself is clothed in a large banner installation. These elements, combined with the smokers and gum chewers struck me as a potential site or some worth exploring. I was particularly interested in the scale and deadpan expressions of the figures on the banners and the corresponding or juxtaposed gestures and gazes of the people below. Interestingly this site was the easiest to shoot as most people hanging around were fellow students and staff, and all seemed well-used to people pointing cameras at them. I sorely missed the option of shooting in colour for this set as the sea containers and bright banner lit up the otherwise uniform grey of the environment as manifest on this dull grey London day.

Thoughts on the process: as mentioned above the spaces and corridors for shooting created by the sea comntainers excited me and I set about attempting to find people wandering in and out of these spaces. I was really enjoying being in control of the camera through the use of purely manual settings and I was able to play with focsal range and depth of field more confidently here as I moved between shadowed spaces and light. The only thing that I would have liked to do was to think in colour for this one, as the sea containers looked great against the otherwise grey environment. The glossy paint on the containers also contrasted well with the concrete of the building and flat colours of the ground. However I was seeing things well in black and white, separating and balancing the colour before me into monochrome.

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