Friday, 15 May 2009

OcUK Photo comp

The theme just gone on the Overclockers UK photography forum was 'Street Life'. I decided to veer away from the obvious subject matter of homeless people and instead went for what the view from the street would be if it were alive. This presented several issues, the most obvious being that barring digging a hole in the pavement, I don't think that I could've gotten quite the perspective I was after. (As an aside, this has given me an idea for another photo that will involve me climbing into a hole in the road where roadworks are occurring and trying for a perspective shot from there - just an idea at this stage!)

So end result? Well I enlisted the help of a good friend of mine, Laz, and headed out to a local footpath that had potential for some good perspective. It ended up being just around the corner from my house/apartment.

The first edit:

This was a fairly good shot in the grand scheme of things, at least that is what I initially thought, until my significantly more observant Fiance pointed out a fairly major problem... Laz was monkey walking! Monkey walking is when you step and move your arms and legs on the same sides, i.e. left arm and left leg forward and then right arm and right leg - the end result is that not only does the body look out of kilter but it doesn't look remotely natural as a movement.

The other thing that stood out was due to the process of getting Laz to pose, which was basically "stand there with your leg out like you're walking" you don't get the shift in body weight that is associated with walking. This can be seen in both his body position and in his trailing foot position.

Of course I noticed none of this until we had gotten back in front of my computer and looked through the shots. Colour wise it was great, composition wise not too terrible, motion wise it was not that great at all. It really was a case of 'back to the drawing board'!

Take 2.
This time I had a more definite idea of what I wanted however this time the weather was not quite as co-operative as it had been the first time.

We both agreed that the better way to get the shot was to actually pace out the walking and then I'd just have to time the shot so that I caught it at the right time. This was a significantly more productive technique and in the long run a lesson learnt - don't try to emulate the movement, actually move!

So end result:I think it was composition and movement wise a far superior image only let down buy the sky which was cloudy. Due to the cloud the sky is 'blown out' or over exposed. I would have preferred to have some blue sky and retain the colour in the image but I decided that a desaturated image with a hue shift was the better option. I also got closer to the ground which I think made for a better take on the 'street' perspective. Overall I'm pretty happy with the shot.

From a photography perspective I'm enjoying getting out and about with 'models' and interacting with what I am shooting. I'm still not quite brave enough to walk up to a random and start shooting away but I'll get there in the end!

Incidentally the next theme is 'The Golden Hour' or the hour between when the sun is either going down or coming up. During summer/spring in the UK this is around 5-6am and 9-10pm. Again the intention here will be to think outside the box a bit. Sunrises and sunsets are something of a greatly shot subject matter but rarely do I find it entirely engaging.

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