Assignment 5 reconsidered

Following feedback from my tutor (his comments can be seen here), I decided to re-work the image I created for assignment 5 (see below).

assignment 5 final
Figure 1 – Image submitted to my tutor for this assignment

Upon reflection, there were various fundamental problems with the image I submitted to my tutor. One was my choice of lens. I opted for an extreme wide-angle because I wanted to include more context inside the car, but the result was that the person peering through the window was rendered too small. In the revised shots, I returned to a more moderate 30mm lens which, while still being wide-angle, allowed for a slight compression of the two picture planes (the car and the house behind). The other significant problem with the images, which my tutor emphasised in his report, was the lack of connection, let alone tension, between the two characters portrayed, part of which comes from one of them being rendered too small, but more fundamentally, because there is too much passivity in the shot. My initial idea was that the character in the car looks concerned at somebody in a distance, somebody that could potentially be a threat. But my fundamental problem is that at this stage the threat is too hypothetical and he does not look that concerned as a result. Meanwhile, the character by the window behind should look concerned but is rendered too small for this to be noticed. I looked again at the short stories I developed for this assignment (revised versions can be found here and here), and decided that I wanted to experiment with what would happen when the threat faced by the man inside the car became more eminent. This led me to add a third character into the image, that of the hooded man at the distance in the first short story.

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Using the same illumination ideas developed for the first attempt (see my notes here), I took an additional set of pictures where I tried to play with the idea of adding the hooded man in various poses outside the car, seemingly interacting with the man inside or just passing by rapidly. The character inside the car, likewise, is played with different expressions in reaction to what is happening just outside. The character peering through the window upstairs, which is now slightly more prominent thanks to the use of a narrower wide-angle lens, was directed to look surprised at the events unfolding in front of her property. Her expression and face was rendered with more clarity on this occasion. The images were combined in post-processing and converted into black and white, unlike the originally submitted colour picture, because the unbalance of colour casts was too great between the different parts of the image and this was becoming too distracting. Some of the sequences developed from these images are shown below, while annotated contact sheets can be seen here.

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Figure 2 – Image composed of the car character looking lost in his mind, prior to being approached by the hooded man. This is a preface shot, before any of the other characters in the story make an appearance
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Figure 3 – In this image, the hooded man character is about to leave the frame, possibly after having interacted with the man in the car, who follows him with his eyes. There are no hints at what happened before the image was taken, but given the concerned expression of the girl peering through the window in the background, we could assume that the interaction was not amicable.

From the sequences developed, I have chosen the image in which the three characters “converge” with their glance, which I believe is closer to my original intention of developing something to explore personal perceptions of trespass and our prejudices when dealing with strangers.

 

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Figure 4 – Final image selected for submission

The revised notes for the assignment can be found here. A revised self-assessment can be found here.

 

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