Tutor feedback - "The contrast between the 1955 view of the police and your image is startling. I would like to see more detail in your shadow areas as they are blocked up. The civil defence image could do without the figure who appears to be standing on the officer’s shoulder".
My reply - [police] This is a serious failing. I will rework the images. I do recall that I was playing with the Canon on that day, trying spot metering and later abandoned it because it is a hindrance when grabbing shots rather than photographing still subjects carefully.
[civil defence] There are several images to choose from. I will rework this too.
Fig. A1 is from the Assignment 4 submission set and comparing the originals A2 and A3, the latter is noticeably lighter and includes details of the equipment stored on their legs. A2 was used because the subjects are more 'conversational'.
I have reworked the image from raw and I believe that the problem arose because I was too heavy-handed with the contrast. There's a good lesson here, I must be more careful and more observant.
I do not find "the figure who appears to be standing on the officer’s shoulder" particularly obtrusive, but I'm happy to comply. Figs. B1-5 are the photographs taken on the day, B2-5 all have the shoulder manifestation, and B1 has one I do find obtrusive and the officer's eyes are closed.
In fig. B6 I have removed the shoulder event by extending the building wall and also the figure on the right by a simple context-sensitive fill. Fig B7 is cropped to 6x7
The reworked fig. B7 is a definite improvement and I should be more aware of this. I often say that I prefer cluttered, distractive images, but perhaps that is too glib.
On the ethics of manipulation, I have no qualms about this particular process, it is a straightforward aesthetic choice applied to my photograph, taken with the willing cooperation of the subject and with no detriment. It was established in C&N Exc 2.3 (poetry illustration) that I incapable of image appropriation. I cannot think of a circumstance in which the’need’ to manipulate one of my own images to anyone’s perceived disadvantage would arise or that I would do so. That said photographing anyone who puts themselves 'in the public eye' at an unguarded moment of disadvantage is quite appropriate.
Incidentally, I have no objection to inserting false skies into landscape images, partly because this has been done since the very early days of photography and also because there is no harm involved or compromise of documentary intent. I have not yet done so on this site but may well for the Level 2 Landscape and Digital courses.