Exercise- A Public Space

For this final exercise, transfer your attention from an organised occasion to a semi-organised public space. Some of the most accessible and usable from a photographic point of view are public parks. Try to capture the sense of varied use- how people make their own personal or small-group activities within the same general area.

I chose to use a park in Harrogate for this exercise. I have gained much confidence in capturing street photography, and so this final exercise brought together all that I have learnt thus far in this genre. I decided to use my zoom lens, as I wanted to capture activity without making people feel uncomfortable and ‘spied upon’.

Firstly, we see that this little park area can be used as a short resting place whilst shopping. This little old lady happened to bump into a friend whilst she was taking a break; emphasising that it can also be used to meet with friends for a catch up. I used my zoom lens- which I have noticed creates a narrower depth of field at f5.6, than say my standard 18-55mm lens at the same aperture of f5.6. This is something which I have learnt through these exercises, as prior to this, I didn’t really use my zoom lens often. However I love the soft backgrounds that it creates, and so intend to use it far more often.

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Secondly, we see that this same area can be used as a place to eat lunch. These two young chaps appear to have bought a McDonald’s, and brought it to the park to eat whilst lying in the sun. There were many people eating pasties, picnics and snacks; showing that they chose to use this park as a place to meet and eat lunch. Sunbathing was also a very popular activity the day I was capturing these images; emphasised through these two boys sunbathing on the grass. The composition of just seeing the two sets of these subject’s legs makes this quite an interesting photo. I could have improved on the framing through cutting out the young girl in the corner whilst shooting.

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Thirdly, we see that this park was used as a place to busk. These young people were sitting drinking, smoking and hanging out playing music together in this park.

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Fourthly, we see that this park was used as a place for owners to walk their dogs, as seen below. The framing in this photo would have been better had the bin not been in the bottom corner of the frame. This further highlights that I need to pay more attention to framing when shooting; rather than putting all my efforts into solely finding interesting subject’s and getting accurate exposures and focus.

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Lastly, this park is used as a place for tourists to come when visiting Harrogate. This girl was asking these passers-by to take a picture of herself and her friends by a statue.

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This was a good exercise which has cemented my learning in street photography, and has shown me the importance of taking more time over framing and compositions.

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