To grab little respite from the crazy wonderful madness that is New York City we slipped into the Public Library building on Bryant Park, not realising it would be one of the most amazing places to shoot. It was about 10am in late March so the sun was fairly low in the sky allowing the sunlight to stream in through the tall windows.
The building has a number of reading rooms, this one for periodicals was wood panelled with wonderful long tables, the combination of the very dark wood and the bright sunlight was sensational. It was very quiet with no one talking in anything louder than a whisper so I felt I couldn't spend too long clicking away but I did manage to grab a few shots.
The second shot below was taken in the corridor just outside the reading room. This woman was just standing watching passersby on the street giving me plenty of time to shoot.
If I get the opportunity to go back to New York, I'll certainly be heading back to the library hoping the light will be as inspiring as it was on this day.
I'm participating in #pidbod 2013.
The class comprises a group of Coventry University undergraduates and a larger group of 'photographers' who participate online from locations all around the world. We number a nice round 150 in all, of whom about 15-20 are actual proper undergraduates - I'm guessing here because as is the nature of the thing I've not met them and probably never will.
The first week's task was "Pre-visualize and produce a self portrait [using only available light*] unrestricted in theme and technique yet still supplying a message to the viewer. You should spend time first understanding what it is you wish to convey before then looking at the composition and mechanics of the image and finally production.
* While you are required to use only available light you can still shape and adjust this light as you see fit. Street lights, laptops, computers and televisions can all be employed"
This is far from the most flattering portrait I've taken or had taken. However I'm pleased to say one small benefit of getting older is I'm slightly less concerned about others see me. It's interesting to hear how much some of my fellow, younger, classmates struggled over the way they portrayed themselves. And there's nothing wrong with that, we all need to feel comfortable with the image we show to world. Which seemed to be the crux of the exercise - would I take the same photograph if I weren't the subject?
I'm not particularly happy with my submission. It's fine in as much as it's a passable portrait, but I don't feel as though I pushed the boundaries of my imagination. Having said it's the first time I've exercised my photographic creativity in such a formal way and there's a long way to go another nine weeks in fact. I'd be interested to hear what you think?