Exercise 1: A single figure small

The basis of this exercise is to consider the placement within a composition where a single figure is not the initial focal point. This leads the viewer into the image further, especially once they spot the figure. It adds a dimension to the photograph which encapsulates the viewer and also is a very effective way of showing an areas context and size against a small figure. I took these images while in London, an often busy and bustling place I found myself on occasion on a quite street where these opportunities presented themselves.

The first image, depicting a man walking across the street with shopping was my initial attempt at this style of image, I found his single figure cutting across the road was an interesting view that as mentioned above, really gives a sense of scale of the road. I have placed him in the frame so that I could show the majority of the road while still giving it context by having one edge and the fence, this coupled with the lines of the road effectively give scale, context and a dynamic view when coupled with the figure.

This second image, showing a figure bent over sat on the floor, holding his head in his hand and clutching a phone, although not directly “small” within the frame, the figure cuts a small shape which beautifully shows emotion and desperation. I found this image worked well for this exercise because of the small shape of the figure, against such a large building. While the emotion he portrays leads you to looking for clues around the frame as to why, only to come back to the phone in his hand. I really like this image, I think it works well in the exercise in a not so obvious manner but also generally as a street photograph it is very emotive and the composition works well into adding detail.

This final image of the exercise showing a single figure walking into an underpass is an interesting image that uses the lines and composition to draw the viewers eye to the single small figure, although this doesn’t make it harder to find for the viewer I think that the use of the railings and lines in the concrete add to the interest of the image, which in turn adds to the dynamic and effective placement of the single figure. I like the lighting on the subject, by mainly only having the back of his neck and rucksack lighter it gives him an air of anonymity which added to the walking into an underpass alone is an eerie situation.

I enjoyed this exercise more than I though, I got more out of it which perhaps due to underestimating what was required, I think I have shown three relatively different variations on the small single figure theme that adds a narrative to each image while also looking at other aspects of the type of image.


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