Back towards the beginning of the summer break, I picked up an entry form for an exhibition to be held in October 2019 by the local village library. There are just a couple of weeks of the summer break left and I’ve only just got around to deciding to actually submit some work to it as I finally feel like I’m up-to-date with what was expected of us throughout the summer by the college (I’m probably not at all and have probably missed a lot of stuff).

The exhibition is very open with no set theme or requirements with work being able to be submitted as either photography or paintings/drawings etc. Each person is allowed to submit three pieces of work in any format so long as it’s mounted and no larger than A3 in size.

My Idea

I plan to submit three pieces of photography which are linked under one title but also have a subtitle of their own.

I imagine a small, local exhibition like this will attract the usual nature, landscape and wildlife images of trees, fields, sunsets, garden flowers, sheep etc. so I thought I’d try something a little more ‘urban’.

The title of my three images will be Village Woes and will be a snapshot of things most village residents complain about.

Three of the things I find residents of the large village I live in moaning about (and rightly so) are; dog poo not being picked up off the paths, cars speeding into and through the village, as well as the number of new houses being built on every side of the place.

My idea is to unleash the Storm Troopers of Everything Stops for Tea fame from year one of my degree course. I plan to create little protest signs for them and have them in compositions that carry a narrative to go with the exhibition title.

The images above show the way I’ll have the Storm Troopers set up within the images, so now it’s on to what I plan to have in the backgrounds.

For the speeding one, I plan to place them on the path under one of the illuminating ‘Slow Down’ signs that tell you to do so if you approach it too quickly. I’ll attempt to do a longer exposure to blur a car going past. I imagine I’ll need my wife’s help with this as people may take exception to having their cars photographed if they’re speeding enough to set the sign off. Not that I care so much these days about people’s reactions to me using my camera in their presence.

For the dog poo image, I plan to just set the little guys up on the path outside my house around the fake poo I bought. I’ll again ask the wife to help with this one along with our dog Marley. I’d like to get them in the background walking away from the scene as if it’s our dog that’s just done it and they’ve left it.

Luckily for me, but not the infrastructure of the village, there are houses being built at the back of the houses opposite our home. There is an entrance to a path that goes around the new builds where I can place the Storm Troopers on a fence with a part-built house and building site sign in the background.

How well these image ideas work and how well this series of images will be received by the few local residents that’ll probably see the exhibition is anyones guess. Either way, it’s killing the boredom of the incredibly long summer break from college.

Trooper Scooper

The first image is done and has turned out how I’d envisioned it.

I planned to have the Stormer Troopers in the foreground with the offending object but, after some time thinking through the shot, also came up with the idea to have a dog and dog-walker in the background. This is to help explain the narrative of the image further. Obviously, the main focus of the shot is to be the offending object of the dog poo, with the Storm Troopers taking on the role of the village locals who are sick and tired of having to deal with the problem. This is why they are in the foreground and are in focus. The background adds to the narrative but might be considered to be not as important and so is more out of focus. This was achieved with an aperture of f11. A few trial shots were done at different f-stops until I was happy with the amount of blur f11 gave me.

In Lightroom, I reduced the amount of orange a little as the houses on the right of the composition were a little distracting. A black vignette was then added as well as an adjustment brushing to the shovel the Storm Trooper is holding as it was lost a little bit in the shadow behind it. I think this makes it show a little better now.

Green Belt Building

Another day, another image for the village exhibition created. This second image for my Village Woes tri-image piece will be called Green Belt Building (unless I come up with something better before I hand in the submission form). 

The two versions could be mistaken for being the same image with different crops applied. This isn’t the case as I took several different shots to try and find the one I liked when I got them back to my PC.

I think I prefer the more closely cropped version as the amount of background blur works better in that composition. In the not so closely cropped version I feel that the buildings would need to be much more in focus as they dominate that composition. If I were to go with that version, I’d have to go out and reshoot. The closer cropped version works just fine as it’s obvious from all the clues in the image what it’s about and the amount of blur works and matches the Trooper Scooper image.

I should really spend a bit of time removing the Blu Tack from the foot of the Storm Trooper which is sitting down in Photoshop before getting the images printed but, other than that, I think this image works. I like the ‘Public Footpath’ arrow sign on the fence right underneath the two Troopers with the appropriate protest signs about fields and countryside. This strengthens the narrative of the image and is important to show where these houses are being built.

Rain Stops Play

Due to the crap weather we’ve been having during the run-up to the entry of images for the exhibition at Fleckney library, I haven’t been able to complete the series of three images. The missing image is titled Slow Down and is about cars speeding through the village.

Because of this, I’ve decided to pull out of the exhibition as I would just have been ‘making do’ with the two images I’ve already done. I will, however, be considering submitting this little series of images into the Open30 exhibition to be held at New Walk Museum, Leicester.