Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ferry landing. Finding the interesting shots and telling a story.


 The last ferry of the day arrives at Fulford Harbour. I have a few minutes to wait for the bus to arrive and my camera is in my hand. What would make this commonplace and dark scene interesting? Right away I discover that straight shots of the ferry are boring and the traffic zooming up the hill, shot at normal shutter speeds and high iso is equally uninteresting. Yes, my camera can capture usable standard images, but really, who cares? I imagine several possibilities and settle for a very slow shutter speed and low iso and pan with the traffic flow. Now this is more like it!

What I have done is to think about the final image and not about a simple capture of the subject matter. The scene before me is the raw material I manipulate in order to create the photograph. This is what we are supposed to be thinking about all the time of course but somehow it is more obvious tonight. Foot passenger's black silhouettes move slowly in front of the car lights so I pan with their movement during the slow exposure and exciting things happen. My shooting tonight is based on previous experience in similar situations and so while individual photographs may contain unexpected combinations, I am able to pre-visualize what I will get from my camera settings and how I handle the camera.

Car lights flash across the funky little store on the wharf and, quickly speeding up my shutter, I use them to light the scene.

The traffic has gone, the little community lies silent and my last shot tells the end of this five minute story.

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