EYV Part 5 – Assignment 5 – Photography is Simple
Lucy Courtney 513637
BA (hons) Photography Degree
Take a series of 10 photographs of any subject of your own choosing. Each photograph must be a unique view of the same subject; in other words, it must contain some ‘new information’ rather than repeat the information of the previous image. Pay attention to the order of the series; if you’re submitting prints, number them on the back. There should be a clear sense of development through the sequence.
Assignment notes: In your assignment notes explore why you chose this particular subject by answering the question ‘What is it about?’ Write about 300 words. Your response to the question doesn’t have to be complicated; it might be quite simple (but if you can answer in one word then you will have to imaginatively interpret your photographs for the remaining 299!) Make sure you word process and spell check your notes as they’re an important part of the assignment. For this assignment it is important that you send a link (or scanned pages) to the contextual exercise (Exercise 5.2) for your tutor to comment on within their report.
EYV – Assignment 5 – Photography is Simple
The subject I chose for this assignment is ‘My Journey.’ After visiting the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, I recorded the journey to and through Lime Street Station. I chose this subject because Liverpool and the Wirral are places I know well, as I grew up there. I have family still living there and its a place after my own heart. The fact that I was visiting a gallery too, made this subject something special, as visiting photography exhibitions is such an enriching experience for me. Going from one place I enjoy, (the gallery) to a place that warms my heart, (home).
Additionally, it was interesting to record the difference in the railway stations. One is a large modern busy, bustling affair, while the other, annexed as the last photograph in the series, is a very small countrified, quiet cottage type station. The architecture between the two couldn’t be more different.
The series is all about the journey that took me from the gallery to the very big busy Lime Street train station, then onto the train, with the final image of the station on the Wirral, a little quiet station on Grove Road. This last image is there as an epilogue to the narrative, needed to show the difference in the two stations and the serenity that is felt when one gets home.
I took the photographs in RAW, and processed them using Lightroom. I chose to change them to monochrome, because the day was rather wet and dull. This meant that as I moved along on my journey, the light changed. Some of the shots were taken indoors, some out doors. They all had a different lighting source. In addition to this, the varying bright colours found in people’s clothing, grey colours on the street and muted colour in the traffic out side, together with and artificial light on the platform, meant that the series would not be as effective and I wanted it to flow. I used my Canon EOS 1200D Camera for all shots.
Image 1 – The Journey Starts – Walker Art Gallery
Making my way out of the gallery and crossing the road, I turned and took a few shots of the gallery, before walking down the road toward the station. It was wet, with grey cloud. Pigeons and seagulls flew over head. The view point I took, made the shot look like it was leaning to right, but the tall lamppost was my anchor, to make sure that the perceptive would look right in the finished image. In the top centre of the image is a seagull that eventually came to rest on the tall lamppost.
Image 2 – The City Scape
As I made my way down to the station, I could have been walking down any road in any city. So I needed some feature that helped the viewer identify with a specific location, Liverpool. This shot shows the Liver Buildings in the distance, which is well known.
The concrete jungle, depicted in the cacophony of mixed up buildings in the lower 3rd of the shot, adds the hustle and bustle normally associated with busy city life, while the lone figure in the balcony to the right allows the viewer to follow his gaze to the Liver Building. Additionally, the symmetry, reflected on both sides by the large buildings, leads the eye to the centre of the shot.
The negative space in the upper part of the shot, gives a little breather to the confusion and clutter seen in the bottom of the shot. The many square shapes and lines in this shot make it interesting, allowing the circle of the clock and the shape of the Liver Building to stand out.
Image 3 – The Station Sign
Finally the sign for the station came into view. The busy road in front of the station with its line of stationary cars, waiting for the traffic lights to change, so they can be on their way, made an effective foreground for this shot, leaving the buildings in the background to give a little depth. The road at the bottom of the image acts a platform for the stationary cars directing the viewer to the clutter in the centre of the image and to the station sign.
One of the seagulls I had encountered in image 1, seems to have followed me down the road and decided to take centre stage in this shot. Behind the sign, is Lime Street Station, just peeking around the corner, inviting the viewer to cross the road and turn the corner.
Image 4 – Lime Street Station
Crossing the road and turning the corner, brings Lime Street Station into view, with its magnificent curves and arches, giving this glass building elegance. The figures in this shot give a sense of transient movement, with people moving in all directions, coming and going. People reaching their destination or just starting their journey like me.
Image 5 – Inside Lime Street Station
The bright lighting inside the station is such a contrast to the dull grey skies outside. The crowds inside are all in their own little worlds. Either travelling alone or standing/sitting in groups, talking, eating, texting… some rushing, some waiting. Some people with shopping bags or suitcases, some with nothing at all.
Movement is shown in the blurred figures, which is brought about by the slower shutter speed setting. But all are oblivious to the fact that I am there, recording their movements, like an invisible spectator in their lives for that moment in time.
The large clock ticking away, telling the time, making people either sit down and relax or rush to the information board to find out if they missed their train.
Image 6 – Where to Next?
Lines and squares, neat lettering, displayed high in the arena of this bustling station. Directing people to various platforms. Shouting at them to hurry or wait. Sighs from the travellers as they see their train has been cancelled or late, others forming a nice neat line in front to this board, heads raised high, looking on anxiously, as if some great catastrophe was about to swoop down in their lives. Then just as suddenly as the information on the boards changes, the people disappear in all directions. Me too, straight to the lift for people with mobility problems, down the lift to my platform.
Image 7 – The Corridor
The lift doors open to an echo bouncing along the corridor that links the lift the platform. The artificial light casting shadows on the floor and walls, gives an eerie feeling. All the lines lead to the way out, to the platform that will bring the train to take me home.
The lines draw the eyes to the exit at the far end of the corridor, but are distracted for a short time, because on the left hand side there is a sign which reads, ‘If you need assistance to board the train, Please press the green button on the Help Point‘; the sign and the help point, pull the eyes to the left, before moving down to the angled wall and bouncing out through the gap to the platform.
Image 8 – The Platform
In this image, initially, the eyes are drawn to the vanishing point, where the bright lights from the train are just coming into view, by-passing the figure halfway down the platform with a child in a push chair. The lights in the ceiling also help direct the viewers gaze toward the on coming train, but eventually come back to the figure with the pushchair.
The tiled floor, railway lines, ceiling panels, bill boards and lighting cases (to the left) come together to form the illusion of distance, when in fact this platform is not a very long one. its takes only a few carriages. The perspective is changed due to the view point the shot was taken.
Image 9 – The Train
As the train comes to a stop, there is movement on and off the platform. The leading lines that had taken the eye to the vanishing point in image 8, now come to rest on the stationary train.
The eyes move around the circle of light, (made by the reflection of the head lights) that form an arch to the right hand side of the image, while the ceiling lighting hovers over the figures, bringing the eyes back down the platform and the people who are coming and going.
Image 10 – Grove Road Station – Wirral
The car parked outside Grove Road Station signifies the final part of my journey home. Whereas the cars outside of Lime Street Station were waiting to move on, this lone car was there to take me to my sisters house and complete my journey.
The green foliage found here adds the suburban feeling that this cottage like station offers. Its old brick walls are a million miles away from the modern glass and metal architecture of Lime Street.
The contrast between Grove Road Station and Lime Street Station is significantly immense. This quiet small station does not offer the hustle and bustle of Lime Street, nor the busy cluttered surroundings, nor the masses of people, but the serenity that is home.