Saturday, 10 November 2012

Forward planning

I have this thing about photographing signage and road markings. And another about the relationship between the man-made and natural environments. As I drive around I notice how these all come together. for some reason I find the symmetry of T-junctions visually appealing. I made the picture below a while back and have been thinking how to go about making more.

Today I was stuck for ideas. Not wanting to repeat myself at the sandplant I set off with no idea what I wanted to do apart from try something new. I decided it was time to start working out in a practical way how to approach the junction series. I think I have the concept plotted out, in as much as all the photographs should be composed in the same way. Precisely what that way is to be could only be determined by actually taking some photos. I selected a junction in favourable light and gave it a try.

Although I tried shooting from the side of the road but the straight-on shots from the middle of the road not only emphasised the symmetry, but also revealed more of the junction. This obviously raises a big problem. How to take photos from the middle of the road without being run down! Out in the country it was easy enough with clear views and silence to hear oncoming traffic. Sunday mornings are likely to be the safest times to get this idea 'on the raod'... Even so it will still mean working fast, my original plan to use a DSLR on a tripod for small apertures and slow shutter speeds has been ditched.

Safety and practicality aside there is the issue of format. The native DLSR aspect ratio of 3:2 is pleasing enough, but I'm drawn to the wider 16:9 format. I think because it suggests the view through a car windscreen. Then again a square framing has possibilities.

I'm still at the planning stage here. The composition I think I now have sorted. Or at least the placement of the tarmac in the frame. All shots will be taken using the same focal length and from roughly the same distance from the junction to provide a standardised perspective. The next task is to try out the small sensor of the X-10.

That camera will give me greater depth of field for a given aperture compared to a DSLR and should enable me to work quickly. It also occurs to me that if I use the screen to compose I can draw a 'T' on it with a marker pen to line everything up at different locations - the horizontal line for the far edge of the tarmac and the vertical for the centre road markings.

As with some of my other arty-farty plans this will probably come to nought. Not least because the pre-planning aspect is so alien to my usual way of working.

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