Following on from out introduction to the film camera we were set a mini assignment. “Produce a cumulative portrait of a structure that cannot be readily portrayed in it’s entirety in one frame”. We were told that it would have to be a building of some sort but that was later changed and was replaced with any significant structure. The only other requirement was that it needed to be shot on Film, either 35mm or 120mm. This was to ensure that we had a good grasp of how to use the film camera and had gained some practical experience. This was critical due to the first major assignment that would also require us to shoot on film. Whilst mulling over the possible buildings that I could choose I felt that this was not about shooting a landscape image of a building but about capturing the essence of the structure through a series of images, telling the story of that location. After thinking about the buildings on campus I elected to go the new Cathedral as I believed this location would be able to offer me significantly impressive architecture and have the unique character to form a strong visual narrative.
The process to create prints from negatives starts with a contact sheet. This is simply a sheet with each of the images from the negatives. It is important that you can see the images clearly on a contact sheet so you always make a test strip first.
The test strip which is made by exposing parts of the image for an increasing amount of time allows you to determine a good exposure and contrast for the main print. Once you are happy with the exposure time you can make your contact sheet
My main contact sheet allows me to look at what each of my images might look like when enlarged and printed. This allows you to choose the better images to print and saves wasting time on lesser quality images. Once you have decided which images to print then you need to make another test strip to determine the correct exposure and contrast again.
My first image of the Cathedral was taken out the front., I looked for elements of composition to create greater interest in the image but this is just one of a sequence that I hope tells a bit about the building. The first image provides an introduction, something so the viewer understands where they are.
The next image was intended to show the cathedral in all is magnificence. I not only wanted to ensure that this particular faith was identifiable but also wanted to ensure that the architectural design was well represented.
The next two images were of iconic areas of the building. Two huge windows, one a series of stained glass depicting biblical events and the other a more ethereal creation which also acts as the main entranceway. These are both excellent examples of art and architecture combining to represent a very memorable part of the overall building.
My final Image was of the my thoroughfare and the areas that links the old building to the new. This well traversed area demonstrates the busy nature of the location with a constant stream of people passing by. I felt this showed that this cathedral was an active part of the local community and an important structure in the area.
Having shot a roll of film at the cathedral I wanted to try something a little different and decided to shoot the student bar. This was a modern part of the campus yet I felt in had a unique appeal that could work on film.
The university bar is a modern contemporary design which offers a comfortable relaxing environment and has a youthful energetic feel. I wanted to try to capture this so the first shot I took was of the bar itself. I considered an external shot but the bar is an integral part of the hub and as such does not impose its own personality on the exterior facade. Concentrating my efforts indoors a chose this angle for the bar as I felt the repetitive patterns of the pumps and the lighting would have made the overall composition more interesting. The Bar is the heart of the business and this is where the vast majority of its patrons dwell.
The bar is L-Shaped and continues around the corner where there is further seating and a games area. Again I used the repeating patterns of the tables and also the long corridor feel to this part of the bar.
Exiting the bar to either leave or use the facilities takes you through a strange back set of undecorated stairways and corridors. Although it is more like traversing a fire escape the upper level does over look the bar which makes for an interesting view.
My final image is of one of the corridors that can be used to exit the premises or use the toilet facilities. One of the traits I have found with Square One is that the bar is almost always empty. It is rare that I have seen many students actually using it for their leisure time. That is why I chose this corridor as my final image, in a way I really liked its long neat lines but it is also so barren and empty. Equally, with the corridor disappearing off into the distance it also suggests something about the bar in so much that as a student premises run by the university for the university it is not run on a business model purely designed for profit. Most businesses suffering with such a lack of custom would be struggling to survive but this bar, with the deep pockets of the university financing it means that it has in effect an almost infinite longevity. A bit like this corridor.