I have been asked to find a scene that has depth and take five or six photos from a fixed position. I must used different focal lengths and not change my viewpoint. once I have completed that I must create my own image to go at the end of the sequence.
After studying the brief I began to write down any ideas that came to mind, the one that I really got excited about was to take the photos in a tunnel. This would be a big challenge for me as I have never photographed in tunnel/underpass before and I have always been fascinated with how photos of the tube and the underground in London have looked as I have never personally been there before. In Ireland they don’t have trains that go underground and the only time I have ever experienced something like that would have been when I was five in Paris.
Planning and execution
I know of an underpass near where I live so I decided to head down, I brought my tripod and a book to write down my focal lengths as I went along. I started to set up, I hadn’t actually planned what I had wanted to do when I got to the underpass so I did a lot of surveying as to what would look best. I then decided to stand further back and zoom into the underpass rather than be in the tunnel where as I later found out was too dark. I set my camera to Aperture- priority mode and got to work.
The following photos are of the underpass, I used a tripod and different focal lengths in each image.
Image 1, Focal length – 18mm
Image 2, Focal length- 24mm
Image 3, Focal length – 35mm
Image 4, Focal length – 45mm
Image 5, Focal length – 55mm
In each image although the viewpoint never changes the photo itself seems to crop and we get a different a perspective. We can also see more detail as each photo zooms further in. In the slide show below we can easily see that when the photos are put together it looks as though we are walking closer and closer to the underpass. Its as if we are there in real life.
As previously stated I have always had a fascination with underpasses, tunnels etc. There is just something about the saying “there is always light a the end of the tunnel” yes, it is very cliché but there really is some truth to that. I always seem to associate it with mental health, there is so much stigma around mental health and we all have mental health whether it is stress or depression and so many people know of that saying because they have at some time felt like there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
I went on to research if any photographer had gone down this path and I didn’t find much, but I did come across a photographer in America, Tonya Johnston. She had named one of her works “Light at the end of the tunnel” I personally find it beautiful and says a lot more than meets the eye.
I also went looking for some London underground photos and came across Luke Agbaimoni, a British free lance photographer who also does portraiture and weddinging photography. He specifically did a project called “Tunnel Vision” which I found fascinating.
My final image
I was asked to create an image that will go together as a set with the above five images, I decided to get a toilet tube roll and make my own tunnel. I held it up close to the lens and then I also got a cardboard box from my cupboard and tried the different shape in order to match my actual photos of the underpass. I did quite a few test shots before picking my final one. the following are the test shots…
Test image 1 with toilet tube, Focal length – 55mm
Test image 2 with square cardboard box, Focal length – 35mm
Test image 3 with square cardboard box, Focal length – 45mm
My final image
Final image with square cardboard box, Focal length 55mm
I choose this image because it really gives an impression of an underpass. I found it hard to recreate the image as the only way this would work was if it was right up close to the lens. Although the image is focused on the box more than the other end I still find it very effective and in the previous images using the actual underpass, I feel the main focus is the underpass itself not what is at the other end. I also feel the first image of test shots is very effective but there is no sense of an opening of the tunnel its very much just a circle, therefore did not use it as my final image.