Exercise 2.2 People and Activity – Without People

This is my third go at activity 2.2 and one more is to follow. I am putting the effort in to thoroughly explore this section of coursework so that I can develop myself.

The initial Part of the brief states “The first project in Part Two starts by asking you to photograph people engaged in an activity, where the activity is the main subject rather than the people themselves. You’ll then look at some aspects of composition in more detail.”

I have made the photos for my planned attempt at the exercise and in doing so I have realised that it was possible to explore people and activity by providing reference to each, without including the people. This has been inspired by reading Creative Photography. In the section People at Work, Davis explore how it is possible to create portraits that are based upon the evidence of people.

North York Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway



Davis, H; 2010; Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques; Indianapolis; Wiley (p78-83)


7 Replies to “Exercise 2.2 People and Activity – Without People”

  1. These are beautifully composed and executed photographs that clearly evidence the recent presence of people. Each tells a story on its own and together they indicate the roles and responsibilies of those who keep this lovely steam railway running. I especially oily rags and the empty chair in the pit beneath the engine being worked on. The lighting is perfect to my eye, catching as it does the trailing edge of the rags.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it, Richard. A strong set of photos each telling a powerful story behind it – work that provokes thought! Lovely lighting and fabulous composition. I love each one of them. Two of my ideas that I recently explored were presented by you and Sarah – first one – images through the passenger seat by Sarah, I called mine – “through the windscreen” and the second one is displayed here by you – what I called – “Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear”. So, I really like the picture taken of the mirror showing a slightly distorted view of the actual scene. I love the bag image with the orange work jacket – very powerful. Each and every image here tells a story so strong. Devoid of humans yet a strong presence felt.

    Really thought-provoking work – I was reading my tutor’s artist statement this morning and suddenly everything he said there made complete sense to me after looking at your work. So thank you. Well done. Great work as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I especially like your fourth and final images here Richard. The workbench photograph carries many hints of a person undertaking activity, from the chalked words (“Bungle’s Bench” perhaps?) to the glimmer of a work light from under the train. I think your final image would say to me this is the end of a hard day’s work on a steam railway even without knowing that in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

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