Yesterday proved to be a fruitful one. I spent two hours in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, in the middle part of the day. The weather was cloudy and cool, but it didn’t deter the Mancunians from eating their lunch out and about in this public space, which created quite a few opportunities for me. With the principles and objectives in mind – plus, I think, informed subconsciously by looking at and discussing so much street photography over the last week to ten days – I tried to be selective and careful. I estimate that I probably pressed the shutter around 40 times in those two hours; and that was in relation to maybe 15-18 different scenarios that I spotted and tried to capture. I’m not saying there isn’t still plenty of room for improvement, but I think I am much better at sizing up situations, taking my time to think about the possibilities for framing, where to shoot from etc – even if that sometimes means missing the shot altogether.
I would say that I more than achieved my objective of 2 images that could make it to a final selection. These are, probably, the best of the photographs that I took.
But these might also prove interesting.
They need more thought and analysis, perhaps, but I’m pleased that I have managed to get quite a reasonable selection of decent quality images that capture people eating their lunch in public whilst – reading; thinking; socialising; talking; etc. I feel that these images present this activity in a realistic manner, observing a phenomenon that is very common in today’s world – a quick lunch on the fly – but that they do it in a ‘non-negative’ manner (in comparison with some of the other images that I researched and presented earlier in the blog). (Incidentally, all have been taken without the subjects being aware, with the exception of the last one above, where I did ask their permission. I got the impression that this guy was sampling sushi for the first time.)
Some of the images that didn’t make my initial cut appear below.
Nice symmetry, but it doesn’t have enough interest/impact.
I like lots about this one – the sort of narrative between the four people, two absorbed in eating, two reading, and the fourth just appearing on the scene at the edge of the frame, unseen by the others. Unfortunately, I’m not happy with the technical quality. There is just a little bit of hand movement, meaning that the shot isn’t sharp enough for my liking.
Another that I like, but the only person eating is the girl on the right; it might illustrate eating alone amongst a crowd, but at the moment I reject it on the grounds that it doesn’t really meet my own criteria – we’ll see.
This one has some good interest, but is also, probably, off-brief. The girl on the left was still eating as I sized up the scene, but she finished, answered her phone, and then chose to suck her finger, just as I pressed the shutter – an interesting moment to capture, but perhaps not quite in line with what I was after.
So, a productive session, and I think I’m underway for the assignment – perhaps well underway? I’ll probably go back to the same location, I think, for another session. At present, I like the idea that all my images might come from the same place, but we’ll see.