Assignment 4 - ‘You’re Always Welcome Here’

Brief


Revisit one of the exercises on daylight,artificial light or controlled light from Part Four (Ex 4.1, Ex 4.2, Ex 4.3) and develop it into a formal submission.


Concept


For this assignment I decided to follow up on the exercise Artificial Light, I enjoyed the exercise as I found exploring the topics I have been focusing on such as local life, poverty and depravity where communicated quite well in the types of lighting found around Salford, especially in areas that have little or no access to services and support. Initially, I was looking to reshoot my Square Mile assignment but just transition all the images to night time to capture the differences between natural and artificial light. This concept wasn’t very effective as the scene lacked interest and didn’t communicate the feel I wanted. Also I wasn’t engaged with the idea as I felt it would have turned out as being a phone in of the brief rather than looking for new ideas.

Revising my own particular objectives to capture new areas and scene which showed the opportunities and struggles faced by the people of Salford whilst looking to capture the emotion of the area through the tone, type and style of light in these areas. The selection I present here use different techniques to introduce thoughts and concepts in the scenes to help prevent them capture becoming to ‘straight’ and flat. Each has be titled with what I feel is communicated.


I would subtitle the series ‘You’re Always Welcome Here’.


Images


Fleeting Ambitions

This image was one of the final I took of the series. Shot on my Sony a7ii with a 50mm lens I decided to stop down to f13 combined with iso 100 so I could shoot a 10 sec exposure to ensure low noise in the very low light and also capture strong light streaks from the slow moving vehicles in this area.

This display is directly outside Salford University, one of the largest Uni’s in the North. The word Ambition fits perfectly with the goal of the Univeristy, to attract young students to the area and study with them, a great concept which no doubt inspires many to pursue their studies, I find it a strong contrast to the amount of poverty in the area, high entry requirements and the overall staunchness of the property quickly dismisses those who aspire from the local area, I purposefully captured the light streaks to represent this fleeting and passing dream of many to attend further education.


No Stopping

Shot on my Sony A7ii with a 28-75mm f2.8 Set to 50mm, I stopped down to f6.3 and iso 100 to allow for a 2sec exposure to capture the light streaks from a relatively fast moving vehicle.

This image was shot on a night when there was heavy fog in the air. This bus stop was a Like little beacon in the fog, a guide or resting place akin to a cabin on a mountain. Bus stops in the city are always a place of hustle and bustle, often dozens of people waiting for their journey to work, school or night out. In contrast to the city just a few miles down the road, Salford’s bus stops are normally filled with people carrying their shopping home or like this one, unused and under serviced. I liked how on this night there’s just enough fog in the image to make the image dreamlike, soft and a little blurred. With the lights passing across in a strong red I found it was a cross across the frame telling us not to stop here.


No Sitting

This image was also shot on my Sony A7ii, this time with the 50mm again stopped down to f13, iso 100 and 10sec exposure. I chose this setup again to reduce noise in the image whilst giving me plenty of time to create the ghost image on the bench. This is actually a reshoot of my original which did not include the Traffic Cone or the model after tutor feedback that the image lacked interest beyond the light. The original is in the contact sheets.

Initially I chose this shot for the way the light hit the seat highlighting the metals, creating a cold environment both unwelcoming and exposing. Revisiting the shot to capture some additional interest and focus to the image I found the traffic cone off to one side, an additional sign that this bench is off limits. I decided that my Tutor was correct and the image needed something more to contextualise the concept, and with my initial thought being, to some, a bench like this is a bed for the night but the lighting is purposefully designed to prevent this usage that a ghosting silhouette would show the moving on of someone. It captures for the fact that industrial design has overtaken public furniture, eschewing the practicality and comfort in favour of discouraging loitering.


Recycle

Shot with a 28-75mm f2.8 lens stopped down to f.11 iso 100 and a 4sec exposure just to control the noise. Focal length is 50mm in keeping with the other images.

This scene was another from the foggy night that I captured No Stopping. The fallen trolley reminded me of the stereotypical homeless person pushing their belongings around. The trolley was behind a local shop next to their bisons, obviously there For their cardboard recycling but pushed over at some point in the night. I find it a strange mix of thinking here is a business with responsibilities to manage waste in a scene which makes me think of a homeless person who would most likely treasure the contents yet here they are splayed across the ground. The cast of light, a heavy red, again a stereotype of forbidden or dangerous areas. The way it catches all the details and highlights the waste makes it almost spotlighted against the dark foggy background. Mainly the sense of abandonment is what draws this image into the series


Behind Closed Doors

This image was shot on the A7ii with the 50mm f1.8 set at f3.2 to keep some focal depth, iso 1600 as I didn’t have my tripod that night and 1/50s. Thankfully the in camera stabilisation allows me to do this as it maintain the exposure I wanted whilst not introducing too much noise it’s a higher iso.

This doorway is one of the main entrance ways into the historic building on Salford University’s campus. On the night I saw this scene the doorway seemed, from afar, very inviting in the night. The way the light spills and flows down from above the door onto the steps in front. It was only on approach that I realised the heavy, gloss black doors were closed off and it was this similarity to building such as Downing Street that communicated the theme of lack of access. The internal light shining through the arch way is what makes the viewer wonder what lies beyond but its the shimmering a nd reflecting squares of the black gloss that turns us away.


Light at The End

Another image with the A7ii and f1.8 50mm. This time at f2.8 to introduce a little softness front of scene, iso 1600 and 1/50 exposure. Again thanks to the in camera stabilisation I was able to get a good shot with little high iso noise.

This underpass takes us from the main part of Salford out towards the Quays. The Quays being one of the highest educated and wealth ares of the city. Underpasses always have their own sense of solace, often graffitied and in a state of poor repair. This one in particular emphasises a sense of trepidation With its mismatched fluorescent lighting over powering the external lighting and causing an effect of a longer tunnel with no clear idea of what is happening outside. The sense of trepidation almost flips to make the tunnel feel safer than outside but in keeping with the saying, there is light at the end.


Restricted Products

Another shot with my f1.8 50mm, set to f2.8 iso 1600 but this time 1/100s exposure. I increased the shutter speed mainly to tame the additional light coming from the fridge and prevent it blowing highlights. Using an f2.8 aperture allowed the close gate really fall off focus and let the light come through strongly.

This image captures the closed shutters of a shop just before 8pm. All locked up but with the lights of the appliances still on inside It’s clear to see what products are available when the store is open. This image works best when viewed with the final image You’re Always Welcomes Here as this highlights the juxtaposition of relatively harmless products are no longer accessible but you can gamble away into the early hours.


You’re Always Welcome Here

This final image maintained the use of of the f1.8 50mm set to iso 1600 and f2.8 but I had to slow back down to 1/50s to ensure I caught the full dynamic range. Again in camera stabilisation saves me from not having a tripod.

I found this image quite early on in my trips out for this series. I found I t intriguing to have such a strongly lit shop late on in the evening. It’s bright warm lighting with open doors and strong messaging in the windows made me think of Las Vegas but on a much smaller scale. Purposefully designed to interest its potential customers and lure them into gamble away their time late into the night. I found in so strange that so many things are closed off or shut down for the night yet amongst all that the people of the area, vulnerable and with limited options and support are subject to this marketing of this business. The key to the image was the splash across the pavement, washing away the sins of the night, opening up the questions of what goes on here.

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Harley Bainbridge Photography

Event and Portrait Photographer Manchester 

07984268356

harleybainbridge@gmail.com

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