I was was quietly pleased to bump into this charming person, who was a tourist guide for the North Bank. Out of the seven shots I have ended up taking for the assignment, he was the only person I had confidence in going up to and asking if they would pose for the ‘freeze’ shot, before taking the long exposure shots of people rushing by. My lack of confidence in not going up to the other ‘still members of London’, was not because I was afraid to ask them but more that they would simply say ‘no’ and the opportunity would be lost. However, with this particular tourist guide, I felt it was worth trying as I might get a better expression. I think I got an expression, which showed his professionalism, without necessarily showing I had asked him to pose for the camera. Therefore, I could also make sure there was a large gap between the ghosts of figures passing by in the long exposure shots and himself as he posed for the camera in the decisive exposure.
I was much happier this time round with the obviousness of the ghostly figures in this shot, compared to Photographs 3 and 4, even though this was also a night shot. There were more tourists moving in obvious patterns (straight towards or away from the camera) as well as the lighting quality being better on this street leading up from the Strand to Covent Garden. This street is named: ‘Southhampton Street … from Covent Garden Piazza to the Strand … was laid out between December 1706 and May 1710’ – (London County Council, 1970).
A small touch, which was only noticeable upon closer inspection but which I felt added to the atmosphere of the photograph, were the presence of ‘semi-ghosts’, evident sitting or standing on the right hand side of the frame by restaurant or cafe seating and doors. I also liked the overall composition, where the tourist guide was separated form the tourists by the map bisecting vertically the near middle of the frame. The tourist guide looked smartly-dressed yet approachable, which I supposed was in his occupation but him standing next to the map gave him extra authenticity and in some ways, he looked as much a part of London as the map. This was typified by his bowler hat – ‘an icon long associated with the city of London’ (Long, 2014).
Camera settings for Photograph 5 were:
f/3.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, focal length 20mm and no neutral density filter. A tripod and cable release were used.
f/11, 8 seconds, ISO 125, focal length 20mm and no neutral density filter. A tripod and cable release were used.
Long, T. (2014). The History of the Bowler Hat. [online] Gresham.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-history-of-the-bowler-hat [Accessed 18 Nov. 2015].
Sheppard, F. (1970). Survey of London: Volume 36, Covent Garden. In. British-history.ac.uk. (2015). Southampton Street and Tavistock Street Area: Southampton Street | British History Online. [online] Available at: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol36/pp207-218 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2015].