I have not done part one of this exercise as I don’t own or have access to a manual film camera.
For part two, I decided to walk to ‘Manton Pit Top’… the landscaped remains of what was the slag heap at Manton Colliery in Worksop. It’s the highest vantage point around here… and in truth, the only publicly accessible spot with any kind of view that I can think of in this area.
Having said that, while walking there, I happened upon this spot where the view is quite good given the surroundings. I took in the scene, and as luck would have it… the traffic was doing other than just moving in a slow procession of tedium. I could really have done with a tighter shot at this moment, but as a 24mm prime was on the camera, that’s what I had to go with.
Cropping the image produced this… not sure if it’s more interesting or not really.
It’s by no means an interesting picture, but really, sticking to the conditions of the exercise, in this town… you’re not going to get an interesting picture. The next image will rather prove my point.
So I climbed to the top of the ‘pit top’ and took in the view. With binoculars or a telephoto lens, some parts can be quite scenic. With this 24mm lens… not so much.
On looking directly ahead, I was aware of the parallel lines running through the scene in one direction, and thought of Rhein II by Andreas Gursky https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhein_II (though this lacks the purity of that image, not to mention having entirely the opposite purpose).
There was not a lot of movement to take in, and none at all up close, as the nature of the setting dictated that anything near me was not going to move much.
On paying attention to the traffic on the road, I took the shot as a white van became parallel with the white dome at the sewage works in the background.
I understand that the purpose of this exercise was to practice awareness of one’s surroundings… of ‘looking’…. so that you can recognise a ‘moment’… and be prepared to photograph it. However, I found that the requirement of finding a high vantage point hindered me in achieving this goal. It was a distraction, and upon reaching such a vantage point, I found being there to be even more detrimental to the exercise.
Truth be told… when I… to coin a Worzel Gummidge phrase… ‘have my photographers head on’… I see and experience the world in a different way. I’m constantly ‘looking’. It’s a very pleasing state of awareness. This exercise broke me out of that entirely, and the only reason I wouldn’t say the trip was a complete waste of my time was because I used the walk to explore some locations I’d not been before, and took some photos that were unconnected to the exercise, but that I was reasonably pleased with.