Saturday, October 23, 2010

Assignment 4: Sunday 17th October

After spending a weekend at home in the UK, it was time to hit the streets again and have another prowl around Haidhausen looking for content for the current assignment.  The day was filthy, fortunate that the 5D is weather sealed otherwise I would have been stuck indoors.  The dismal weather seemed to promote dismal photography and I struggled to get my head around the conditions and visualize frames that would work with the assignment.  I like cloudy weather and the muted colours it brings, but shooting in the rain was new to me and I really found I had a creative block.  I persevered and here am presenting the best of what I was able to do.

First of all the rain really took out the colour in the world and reduced contrast to a minimum, brown became the predominant hue in much of what I initially captured.  As I arrived by train into the Ostbahnhof the following wasteland was visible from the train, so I jumped off at the station and backtracked:

Whilst Haidhausen is now a wealthy district predominantly occupied by apartment buildings, its heritage is industrial and most of the area housed factories.  Many of these were damaged by bombing during the war or fell into disuse.  Their removal left brown field sites which will ultimately be developed into more housing, each new building becoming more expensive and more exclusive.The photographs above are from such a site waiting to become new housing.  Running long one side of the open ground is a large expanse of rialway tracks carrying both suburban and regional trains:

This photograph is a another composition dominated by horizontal lines crossing the entire frame, a compositional structure I am drawn to, I think my years of physics and mathematics show through in the desire to create photographs with clear geometric structure.

As I walked through the wet and almost empty streets I captured a large number of street scenes, the following are the best of an uninspiring bunch:

The second of these images is the one that I am most satisfied with, the space in the foreground draws the eye into the frame, and adds a degree of depth, but it is still weak.  During one of the earlier photo shoots I found an interesting juxtaposition between stacked beer bottle/barrels and tower cranes being used to construct yet another new housing development.  I jumped on the tram and headed over there.  Getting off at the Ostfriedhof I had to cross a railway bridge to return to the brewery area and was immediately drawn to the geometry (that word again) of the railway lines contrasting with the random autumn colour:

Drive in! I really hate fast food and the architecture that they bring:

Finally I made it to my destination, the key decision is how much foreground to add to the images

To the left of the frame and out of shot is a lot more detail that I think would detract from the images so I have tried to keep it simple.  One of these images of the cranes and beer will make it to the final cut, not sure which.

If the assignment had been to find somewhere really interesting and make it look dreary I would be quids in, however, that's not the goal, so am not sure where to go with this now.  Some of the images, especially the first few in the small area of wasteland appeal strongly to me, but do they appeal to the examiners - my friends would mostly hate them, not enough colour or brightness and not at all pretty.  Need to think about this and plan my next Haidhausen visit carefully.

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