Exercise- The user’s viewpoint

For this exercise, choose two or three buildings or spaces designed for a particular activity that is undertaken from a specific, distinctive position. For each location, take one or more photographs that attempt to capture the user’s point of view. Consider height, orientation and lens focal length.

The first building I chose was a farm shed. I took the images from the same angle as they would be viewed from a person’s perspective upon approaching and entering this shed. Firstly, we see the shed taken with a wide-angle lens; showing the whole shed in the frame. All images are converted to black and white- in fitting with this old-fashioned and rustic little building.

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Next, the subject would be entering the building. Again, this image is taken from the perspective of the subject. The door is slightly ajar, and the emphasis is on the door lock, which has clearly just been unlocked and opened; taking the subject inside. The sense of mystery is heightened through the shallow depth of field which focuses solely on the lock; putting the background to the right of the frame in blur, leaving the inside to the viewers imagination.

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The subject is now inside the building. My aim was to show only elements of the inside of the shed because it was so small. A wide-angled shot would have shown the whole shed all at once, and in a very bland and un-interesting way. This was something I wanted to avoid. This is in stark contrast to the technique I would use to capture a larger building- such as the garden centre I captured in my previous exercise. There were so many aspects and elements to the building that a wide-angled shot was a necessity. Therefore, when capturing this small shed, I focussed on capturing the main aspects of space individually. The room was extremely dark, and when shooting I could barely see a thing! The only bit of light getting in was through this window; blocked by the netted curtains. This evokes a further mysterious effect, emphasised through the angle of view, as the subject appears to be approaching the curtains to look through them. The background is enveloped in darkness- continuing to leave the rest of the room in unknown blackness.

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The main use for this shed is to store tools; therefore I showed this by getting a close frame of this saw, which was wedged into the roof. Again I captured the image from a human-height perspective in order to further emphasise how this room is used. These images are beginning to form a narrative- telling the story of this little shed nicely.

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The subject has got what they entered the building for, and is now approaching the exit in order to leave. This piece of spare chain is hanging from the ceiling; blocking the subject’s exit. This rather eerie looking chain with cobwebs attached is the central focus; with the background falling into blur. This again creates a sense of mystery, and eeriness in this little building; giving the viewer a sense of the unknown.

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Building 2- For the second building I chose to use a little boutique shop. Again I captured the images from the angle as would be seen from a human perspective. This was another small space, so in the first image I chose a narrow depth of field in order to focus solely on the first scarf in the corner of the frame, whilst putting the rest of the image in blur; so as not to show too much detail in the opening shot. This image gives the viewer a sense of the kind of items displayed in this shot; with the main focus being on the scarves.

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The next two images focus solely on specific items sold in this little shop, building up a very specific idea of the quaintness of this space, and the boutique collection of products sold here. Both these images are again taken from the subject’s perspective; as if they were actually shopping for these items. The idea is to make the viewer almost picture themselves reaching into the frame and grabbing the items; putting themselves right in the middle of the shop itself.

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