Assignment 1: test shots

Yes, I know I’ve only just started the exercises and I’m jumping straight to Assignment 1 prep but bear with me. I’m just testing out the idea at the moment. My idea is to use as my subject my local pub The Sun Inn and how it acts as a hub for various community activities.

The very day I had this idea coincided with me and a friend hosting a fundraising pub quiz at the pub in question. I took the camera with me and when I wasn’t hosting the quiz itself I wandered around taking photos (having obtained permission from the landlord of course).

Here’s a selection of test shots.

Now, I don’t necessarily expect any of these to make the final assignment. For a start, there’s no real theme or narrative, and the images themselves are not necessarily the best ones I can produce over a period of time – they’re simply the first batch to test the concept.

What I’ve learnt:

  • Pubs are dark! And even at f/1.7 I needed to bump the ISO up to 3200 in order to maintain handheld shutter speeds – which led to more noise than I’d like (which is, if I’m honest, one of the reasons I thought these looked better in b&w)
    • I didn’t take a flash last night but will do so on a subsequent visit
    • My concern is that flash will distract the customers too much – we’ll see
    • To minimise the distraction will try an off-camera (corded) flash, on minimum power, with a softbox
  • People are often quite wary of a stranger taking photos in a pub!
    • Might be easier in a more cosmopolitan place but in a sleepy North Yorkshire market town it does mark one out as a weirdo…
    • Last night I think I might have had a better chance of getting away with it as I was hosting the quiz – on a random night I might need to keep explaining myself

I’ll be shooting on and off over the next 4-6 weeks and will get plenty of opportunities to refine the project.

I think the main point of this was to get used to shooting in the pub, work out the technical challenges (e.g. lighting) and start to form ideas on what shots I will want to capture over the next few weeks.

Oh and the quiz was a great success :-)

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