Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleaford station

click photo to enlarge
One day I'll count the number of photographs I've posted that have a person as the main subject. Ignoring the occasional self-portrait the total must be less than five out of the 878 on PhotoReflect and 60 on PhotoQuoto. In fact, I'm struggling to remember more than one!

However, I do like to include people in photographs for interest, scale and as strong compositional elements. I regularly post shots that feature people for one or all of those reasons. Moreover, I find that some photographs, and landscapes in particular, benefit from a human figure, though I think many photographers appear to hold the opposite view. I also like, where I can, to take photographs of urban scenes that include people, though my images are never just about the people. One of my own favourite shots of this sort is a very Victorian looking view of Greenwich Park in London. When I say "Victorian-looking" I mean that in terms of its feel rather than the details.

Today's photograph has something of that feel too. It shows passengers waiting on the railway platform at Sleaford. The station in this Lincolnshire town - like most British stations - is a Victorian construction. The oldest Tudor-style stone building dates from 1857, and much of the rest, of brick, from 1882. I stood with this range of buildings behind me to take my shot. The photograph shows the ornate Victorian cast-iron and wood canopies and the more modern information board and monitor displaying train times. However, it wasn't just the architectural details that prompted the shot, it was the four people spread along the platform and the light from the low sun beyond. The brightness added silhouettes, shadows and halos to the scene that appealed to me. Like the image of Greenwich Park this one has a feel of some of the Victorian paintings by minor artists that one sees in regional art galleries - views of the local high street, station or horse racing course. The one thing that is quite different, of course, is the number of people in the image. In the nineteenth century this station would have been packed with waiting passengers, but at the end of a cold January day in 2010 there were only the four.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.2mm (48mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On