Take nothing but pictures
Leave nothing but footprints

Exercise 8: A sequence of composition

Objective:
To take a series of pictures in a public situation that form a series and tell the story of the scene

The brief describes how this exercise is about recording the way the scene is approached, from the moment the possible photograph is seen to the final best image.

For this exercise I selected to take my shots at a small music festival I was attending with my girlfriend run by the company of one of her friends – Pengfest. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late so I missed the initial setting up of the festival but I did manage to one of the bands setting up.

In total I took 330 photographs on the day – from almost the moment we arrived until late in the evening. Everything from wide band shots to the audience to the small details that most people don’t really pay attention to (such as when a band is setting up)

Choosing a small selection for the sequence was hard – there are a lot of shots that I like that I’ve had to leave out from the exercise post – although I will be posting a much larger gallery of pictures.

Most of all what I wanted to achieve though was a sense of the occasion. I like to think I’ve hit that objective.

As always, click on a picture to see a larger version and scroll through the gallery.

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/9, 1/250 sec at 200mm

8.1: Chris at the mic

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/1250 sec at 160mm

8.2: Belting it out

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/8, 1/500 sec at 70mm

8.3: Bring it on

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/7.1, 1/160 sec at 200mm

8.4: Getting the sound right

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/3.5, 1/2000 sec at 200mm

8.5: Just chilling and chatting

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/800 sec at 200mm

8.6: Mates relaxing together

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/6.3, 1/640 sec at 130mm

8.7: Snapping the snapper

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/6.3, 1/500 sec at 200mm

8.8: Never too young to have fun at a festival

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/320 sec at 200mm

8.9: Setting up the gear for the gig

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/500 sec at 200mm

8.10: Creating order from a mass of cables and pedals

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/6.3, 1/200 sec at 200mm

8.11: Soundman extraordinaire

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/800 sec at 200mm

8.12: Fine tuning before the start

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/500 sec at 200mm

8.13: Final adjustments

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/800 sec at 200mm

8.14: Chris pointing something out to the lovely Clare

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/500 sec at 70mm

8.15: Classic rock pose

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/4.5, 1/800 sec at 130mm

8.16: Another classic rock pose

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/2.8, 1/1600 sec at 180mm

8.17: Just cool

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/3.5, 1/2500 sec at 135mm

8.18: Staying chilled

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/3.5, 1/1000 sec at 200mm

8.19: Chilled and having fun

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/3.5, 1/1250 sec at 160mm

8.20: A festival isn't a festival without tents

Shot on a Sony A900 + 70-200G at ISO400, f/8, 1/400 sec at 70mm

8.21: A small but perfectly formed audience

Shot on a Sony A900 + CZ24-70 at ISO400, f/9, 6 sec at 45mm

8.22: And then it was night

Shot on a Sony A900 + CZ24-70 at ISO400, f/9, 4 sec at 45mm

8.23: A beautiful mix of colours and sound

For the last batch of pictures I ventured inside the marquee with my iPhone (artists don’t always paint with the finest oils) to capture the atmosphere inside.

Shot on an iPhone at ISO250, f/2.4, 1/15 sec at 3.85mm

8.24: Music, smoke, dancing, experience - nothing like it

Shot on an iPhone at ISO400, f/2.4, 1/15 sec at 3.85mm

8.25: There really is no other experience like this...

Conclusions drawn from this exercise

Expect the unexpected and try and be ready for it.

In any public event, while it is possible to plan the shots you want there will always be something that just happens. If you’re not ready with the camera then you may miss the shot – possibly never to see it again.

Preferred image

This is a very hard decision to make.  All of the shots are different and stand out in there own individual ways.

Some of the shots such as 8.9 – 8.12 show the detailed preparation need to get the sound just right.

Some like 8.2, 8.15 and 8.16 show the energy and excitement in the performance.

The people shots are a real mix but all to me show different emotions – relaxed, excited, loving, curious.

My personal favourite is 8.1 – Chris at the mic. The pose and expression leave an open question about what Chris was thinking and feeling – with the possibility that there are as many interpretations as people who see the picture.

Personal take-out

I loved taking these pictures.

I don’t normally take many people pictures and this shoot opened my eyes to the possibilities of candid (and sometimes not so candid) people photography.

I left out so many pictures that could have been included and will be in a different post, but of the over 300 pictures that I took these tell the story I wanted to tell of the day.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 23:43 and is filed under 02. The Frame, OCA Learning Log, TAOP Exercises, The Art of Photography. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.