2d Same background, different model

This exercise is essentially the same as the previous one, but instead of taking photographs of the same person, here you must make portraits of three different subjects, but keep the background to the image consistent (see Irving Penn and Clare Strand, above). There are many ways of exploring this exercise. You could either select an interesting backdrop to use inside (studio) or perhaps select an interesting backdrop on location (street). Whichever you choose, try to be as creative as you can and be prepared to justify your decisions through your supporting notes.  
Again, present all three images together as a series and, in around 500 words, reflect upon how successful this exercise was in your learning log or blog.

I&P p.70

Library bench 5th December
Contact sheet 5th December


[8Dec20] Eltham High Street is the intended source for Excs. 2.2 and 2.4. The difference (at least the current intention) is that 2.2 will be taken without consent and feature cafe customers, this 2.4 will be users of the Benches outside Eltham Library who I will speak to first.

The contact sheet at right has examples of both. I did not speak to the library bench occupants on this occasion.


[13Apr21] The pubs reopened this week, outside service only. We booked in for Day 2 at the magnificent Rusty Bucket. Here are Ken, Dennis and Jan (my partner) celebrating Lockdown Relaxation Phase I.

There is no need for a contact sheet because that is all there is. I might take more on subsequent visits to expand the portfolio.


My main response to getting this exercise moving at last is relief as it has been troubling me for four months.

I did not have any particular intention to make these photographs today, but my camera is usually to hand. As there were only the four of us on the three available tables we chatted briefly about Covid and beer and I decided to pop the question.

Ken and Dennis were reluctant at first but when I explained the reason for the request they agreed. I am pretty much used to asking people now for permission to photograph them — I cannot say that I enjoy the process particularly and I doubt that I will do it often once the course is over but I can do it when necessary.

I would be quite happy to make portraits of anyone who took the initiative and asked me to do so. I would reserve the right to be more creative with lens choice in the process, while ensuring that conventional portraits were also produced, if that was the requestor’s intention. I feel no compulsion or any particular enthusiasm for photographing portraits of strangers.

I&P Exc 2.4 References

Boothroyd, S. and Roberts, K. (2019) Identity and place [I&P]. Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.