The subject has nothing directly to do with the course so far although I did have a vague notion of a connection with the forthcoming decisive moment coverage and assignment.
My first thought was to head up to town for the main armistice day ceremony adjacent to Downing Street, but (a) that would have involved to much effort early on a Sunday morning and (b) I would probably not have been able to get anywhere near the ceremony itself. The next option, then is to photograph what is happening locally on Eltham High Street. I walked up (buses on diversion, a promising sign) at 10:15 and headed past the small groups lining the High Street, towards the cenotaph.
The snaps are below. Here are some observations.
- It occurred to me on the way up that this is one of the rare occasions on which I have photographed something where every shot has only one chance. Apart from family weddings (where I am taking snaps, rather than being in any official capacity), nearly everything I photograph is inanimate and static. I thought that I ought to try and take the morning seriously and seek to cover the event comprehensively (I didn't manage that).
- The most significant lesson I learned (too late to do anything about it) is that position is paramount. This is, of course, a truism as what the lens is pointing at determines the shot, but with my regular subjects I can move position and I can reshoot. There was a group of photographers at one side of the cenotaph and I positioned myself with them: we were all too close and got on one-anothers' ways. A single photographer chose the other side and he would have got the better composed shots, though they would have necessarily included my gaggle of photographers which, for me at least, would have been unsatisfactory.
- It is important to consider camera settings before setting out on a project. I will give some thought to custom settings on the G80 for future outings.
There was quite a lot of exposure variation. I had the camera set on spot metering which is good for most of my work, but not this. The bagpipe band was unexpected. The photographer in fig. 2 is the one who positioned himself best at the cenotaph.
Fig. 5 is the first good image - and interesting grouping of older faces.
An group of local worthies and an unexpected phalanx of scooters bringing up the rear of the parade.
The Master of Ceremonies, first seen in the background of fig. 5 cut a dashing figure, here instructing the worthies in their duties.
The chap with the medals in fig. 20 read Benyon's For the Fallen ("They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: / Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. † / At the going down of the sun and in the morning / We will remember them.") before the trumpeter played the last post. Fig. 20 is the better image of him but does not include the trumpeter and the people surrounding him. It needs to be combined with figs. 21 and 23 (below), but by then the standard in fig 20 has been lowered which causes a pretty discontinuity.
The black bin-bag in the picture is protecting the PA speaker from the anticipated rain.
† Whether this should be "contemn" or "condemn" is a matter of dispute, see the conversation.com [accessed 11th November 2018].
Fig 28 is a stitch of figs. 25-27, combining the image of the girl peering round the monument with that of the trumpeter she is trying to see.
The MC had just dismissed the parade and I quickly snapped a series of images to stitch this panorama before the crowds arrived to lay individual tributes and take their selfies.