Project 21: Making figures anonymous

Project brief:

The purpose of this project is to discover ways of including a person or people in a photograph of a place, while deliberately making them unrecognisable and as a result less prominent. Consider the techniques listed in the course notes, but also feel free to use any other method I might think of. Make between two and four photographs which use different techniques to achieve this. A successful image will be one that is primarily about the place, but in which one or more figures play a subsidiary role to show scale and give life – to show that it is in use.


P21-A: ISO 1600, 32mm, 1/80@f5.6

Using the ‘small and many’ approach, perhaps as many as 100 individuals have become anonymous human traffic passing by the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the Thames.  Taken as dusk fell in early January, hence the high ISO required.


P21-B: ISO 100, 24mm, 1/250@f4

These two women not only ‘face away’ and so make themselves anonymous but, by peering into the shop window, they draw attention to the quirky shops at this location, Gabriel’s Wharf.


P21-C: ISO 400, 82mm, 1/200@f7.1

Rendered anonymous by silhouette/reflection, (in a fountain), this man forms only a small part of the image.  Perhaps this image could say more about the location as although the wrought ironwork curves interestingly the sky may be too dominant in the image.


P21-D: ISO 800, 70mm, 1/400@f8

Three small figures running through the unusual foreground structures are anonymous due to their actual and relative size within this image.  The setting sun provided colour in the sky but also helped to keep the figures anonymous by virtue of the relatively lower light levels within the foreground.


In the context of the course as a whole, these aren’t my strongest images but then again they have been made primarily to satisfy the particular requirements of the brief – and I believe I have achieved its objectives.

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