For the final part of my Interpretations assignment I went along to the railway station in Scunthorpe to take some photographs during the rush hour. Due to the number of people in the town working shifts the rush hour is not as noticeable as it might be in other towns and cities but there still plenty of people getting on and off the train at 6.00 ish.
With only three passenger trains coming through each hour, and two of them coming in at the same time, I only had a short window in which to take my pictures. I positioned myself ready for the first train but it stopped much further along the platform than I anticipated. Consequently I found myself in the wrong place and only managed to get a couple of photos of people marching towards me.
On the other, busier, platform I sat on a bench behind the people waiting to get on. I decided that I wanted to stay low and try to capture the movement of either the train or the commuters. I had my camera on multiple exposure and rattled off a few photographs. The very last one I took was my favourite.
On the way to the railway station I took the opportunity to take a few photographs of the cars queuing and going through one of the busy crossings in the town. I didn’t have a tripod with me so they have all been taken with my camera resting on my hat on my camera bag. Unfortunately without my tripod I couldn’t get into a clear position to be able to shoot the traffic without the wall obscuring much of the road.
For this part of the Interpretations assignment I have chosen to photograph the stars, after all, they are beautiful and timeless.
It has taken me several weeks to find the correct weather conditions but tonight was a very clear evening with no moon meaning it was dark enough to be able to catch the stars in their glory.
Living in the middle of a town it is far too bright to photograph the night sky properly from my street or garden so I drove out of town to a very dark quiet road and parked up in the track entrance to a field. I set the camera up in the car and then set it on a tripod where I wanted it before closing the car up and turning all the lights off.
I took several shots on different settings until I settled on some photos that I liked. I set it to manual focus and focused it to infinity and tried the shutter speed on both 30 seconds and bulb. As it was very dark I also had to point the camera in the general direction of the sky and again experiment until I had the trees in the right place. I also wanted to capture as many stars as possible without getting any star trails so I set the ISO to 1600.
This image taken with a faster ISO and shorter shutter speed is my favourite and has captured the Milky Way.
I quite like this image too as I appear to have caught a shooting star at the bottom of the shot.
For the A Dangerous Place part of the Interpretations assignment I arranged to go out with the Street Pastors in Scunthorpe for a couple of hours.
It was a great experience but proved to be quite tricky to photograph. The uniforms have fluorescent branding on them which would blow out if I used a flash and the speed at which situations changed meant that I would need to hand hold the camera and use a very high ISO to keep images sharp. I also wouldn’t have time to set my camera manually for each shot.
Although the streets were quiet on this occasion I was aware that trouble could start and escalate suddenly and the presence of a camera may exasperate any situation. I was also aware that any person who needed the Street Pastor services would also be considered to be vulnerable and probably wouldn’t want to be photographed so I used my camera with discretion throughout and asked for permission to take photos whenever I could.
There were no troubled incidents while we were out on the streets this time, but the Street Pastors made several rounds of the town centre, collecting bottles that had been left in the street and that could have been used as weapons later in the evening, sweeping up broken glass so that no one can fall on it, or walk on it in bare feet. I watched as they spoke with each of the door staff to get the lowdown on what was happening around the town and checked in with the Nite Safe team – trained door staff, not attached to any one premises, who have additional training and additional powers.
The Street Pastors did find someone who was unwell, possibly suffering from an angina attack and whom they cared for until an ambulance arrived.
A Dangerous Place
I had planned to get some documentary style photographs of the Street Pastors and the work they do and thought they would probably look best in black and white to give a more reportage feel to them, but I quite like the night time colours and, in the end, have decided to leave them in colour.