Assignment 5 – Final selection and presentation

Out of the 120 pictures taken, 21 were shortlisted from which 10 were selected, one for each of the number of exposures that were taken to produce them. The annotated contact sheet can be found here.

For the final selection, I tried to find photographs that showed different aspect of the Barbican, both in terms of the space itself, but also of the activities undertaken within it by its inhabitants as well as the numerous daily visitors. I tried in as much as possible not to repeat elements in the pictures and as a result, some pictures had to be re taken, at a different exposure overlap level in order to accommodate another picture that I felt stronger about. The final set was arranged in decreasing order of multiple exposures, and this is the way I envisage them being presented, with the amount of fragmented information included in each picture decreasing over time. Some of the final pictures are confusing in the information they present, and I wanted to add some additional context by making the title out of two items: the number of exposures and a single word related to the original context (ie, something to do with the process of taking the picture). Some of the words are not evidently related to what we see in the pictures, and as such I do not see this process as helping the viewer to discern what my intention was, but merely to experiment with the obfuscation created by too much fragmented information.

The final pictures, with a brief explanation of where the title comes from, are shown in the table below.

IMGP4204

1/400s at f8. ISO 320. 43mm. 10 exp.

10 – Window

The title comes from the area in the Barbican from where the picture was taken, a covered corridor with large openings, resembling window frames. The church and tower partly visible are from St Giles-without-Cripplegate, and date from the XIV and XVI century, respectively.

IMGP4162

1/100s at f8. ISO 400. 43mm. 9 exp.

9 – Lunch

Framed between two concrete pillars, this picture includes people having lunch in front of one of the artificial lakes, something that many city workers do here regularly when the weather is right.

IMGP4218

1/80s at f8. ISO 100. 43mm. 8 exp.

8 – Middle

The title comes again from the area of the Barbican from where this picture was taken, the covered corridor between (in the middle) of two block of flats.

IMGP4219

1/200s at f8. ISO 100. 43mm. 7 exp.

7 – Privilege

The Barbican has many inner gardens that are only open to residents. The title makes reference to the private areas of the estate, which are photographed here from the public walkways (like the one shown on the left hand side of the frame) which run above them.

IMGP4286

1/40s at f8. ISO 100. 50mm. 6 exp.

6 – Strip

The Barbican has many covered corridors and this one is one of my favourite ones, as it does look like a tunnel with no end. When I first saw this image coming out of the camera, the first thing that came to my mind is how much it looked like a strip of motion picture film. Hence the title.

IMGP4227

1/200s at f8. ISO 400. 43mm. 5 exp

5 – Parts

The many covered walkways in the Barbican have cuts in their walls to allow light in, and on certain times of the day this creates interesting strips of light on the floors. The title here simply makes reference to the fact that the strip shown here, which was about 10 meters long, had to be cut in various parts (ie exposures) before it could fit into the picture.

IMGP4347

1/30s at f8. ISO 100. 50mm. 4 exp

4 – Off

While it is common to see visitors having lunch in the common areas of the estate, residents are usually seen “switching off” from reality either by finding a hidden corner to read a book and have a smoke or just taking a nap on the grass. This picture’s title makes reference to these activities.

IMGP4351

1/320s at f8. ISO 400. 50mm. 3 exp

3 – Communal

Another interesting aspect of the residents life is that they have allotments (pictured here), something rarely seen in modern blocks of flats, but more common in suburban parts of London. This adds to the sense of community in the place, and hence the title.

IMGP4343

1/50s at f8. ISO 100. 50mm. 2 exp

2 – Enclave

This image is composed of one of the private playing grounds of the estate and the busy street just outside. The middle of the picture gives the impression of a wall separating the estate from the rest of the city. I always found the Barbican to be a space of calm away from the noise of cars and people that surround it. Hence the title.

IMGP4249

1/250s at f8. ISO 100. 35mm. 1 exp

1 – Obstructed

The title here comes from the fact the picture I wanted to take for the 1 exposure shot, including the estate towers, was obstructed by features or objects and then, frustrated by my lack of success, I took this shot from a location I had not though about in the first place. After correcting the verticals, I ended liking this picture very much, as I believe it summarises the architecture of the place very well.

I envisage the final shots being shown in a book, with one picture on one page and the title on its opposite page. As the order of the pictures is meant to be descending in terms of the number of exposures, from 10 to 1, I set the book to open from right to left rather than in the traditional way. A PDF version of the proposed book can be found here.

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