Learning Log – Assignment 1 – The Square Mile

Mind Map

I find it more productive and absorptive to write down my ideas by hand instead of typing them into a computer so I produced a mind map detailing everything in my head with regards to assignment one. I started by thinking about by concept and back to my childhood. I also thought about landmarks around Brighton and decided that using landmarks was how I was going to pinpoint the location for the benefit of the viewer.

Time of Day

It also helped me to decide what time of day I would be shooting. I thought about shooting at night, however I felt that this would give a different and possibly a grittier and overall darker outlook of Brighton which is not reflective of my childhood so I decided against it. In the future if I were to base a project around nightlife in Brighton, I do feel there would definitely be some interesting scenes to capture, however, quite possibly harder and more dangerous to portray so I think I will have to get my confidence up to speed for that one!


After deciding on my points of interest and the time of day, I thought about equipment, I chose my full frame Nikon D750 and decided I would stick to the same lens (a standard 24-85mm zoom lens) for ease and speed. It would also mean, since I was moving around that I would work quite light, without having to carry around a lens bag on top and I wanted to remain practical for this task and concentrate on capturing the perfect moments as opposed to being concerned with what I was shooting with.

I chose to shoot on manual mode as it comes quite naturally for me to do this. However, on reflection I wonder if perhaps aperture priority would have been the better option? I may have captured more moments, in a quicker time and not missed any shots if I wasn’t worried about checking my settings so much.

Research on photographers

After a small amount of initial research I wrote some names down of the photographers I wanted to look into further and the genre of photography my direction was going to take. In this case I would categorise it as “Street Photography”

I looked at the works of Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, Mary Ellen Mark and Tom Hunter.

Photo Above – MARTIN PARR

There is a lot to look at in this photo, making it the type of shot you will view for a while to take it all in.The shot is captured with perfect timing, centering on the horse galloping along the beach, seemingly a bit out of control. I like the way he has used the audience in the picture, rather than stepping in front of them and focusing on the horse alone, it adds context to the story and makes you think about them as opposed to the scene they are watching. There is a strong contrast in the above image, making for a good black and white picture. I love the anonymity of the photo and without seeing the people’s faces you can see the anticipation in their postures. The aspect of person sitting further down the beach in the middle of the photo, makes it look like he is really small. The texture of the pebbles in the foreground lead you eye very nicely into the photo and make a good contrast with the pale and uneventful sky above. It also breaks the photo up into sections with different things going on in different parts of the picture.