What’s it like to view where you live as if you were shooting it as a travel photographer? That’s the question I set out to answer in an hour in Wantage.
60 minutes, one camera, one lens and the self-set challenge to view the familiar differently.
After about the same time editing in Lightroom and Photoshop here are the results.
It happened to be Wednesday and market day in Wantage. It’s always good to ask the stall holder for permission to take some photos as it usually gets a warm response and gives more time to frame the shots as you want them.
On the other hand, there’s also merit in some candid shots which give a natural feel of life going on normally. This one just looked better converted to monochrome and it needed some lightening of the shadows to bring out the detail inside the van.
I like textures and this relief mural on the side of Sainsbury’s caught my attention. I’ve walked by here so often and given this little notice but the conscious effort of seeing through the lens of the travel photographer does force you to notice more.
And just beside it was this notice which left me wondering if this was official graffiti. Curious.
grounds of faith
Another shot that looked better converted to monochrome. The parish church in Wantage seen from the graveyard to the east. This meant shooting into the light, but it created the contrasty result I was looking for.
reflecting on wines
Opposite the church I noticed a building with two windows above which were the slogans “Wines” and “Spirits”. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition with the church and that there are gravestones reflected in the window; warning perhaps of the perils of over-indulgence?
John Betjeman bust
Staying with the theme of the parish, this bust of John Betjeman sits on a plinth outside the Vale and Downland Museum. The inscription on the plinth describes John Betjeman as a poet and parishioner. It was always going to be difficult to get in one shot the bust and the inscription, so I shot them separately and blended them in Photoshop. I think it works reasonably well as there was little contrast on the inscription to work with and, at the time of shooting, the lighting didn’t exactly help.
I’m not sure who was doing what repairing but this sign just looked intriguing and the shadows and brickwork added to the texture in the shot.
And finally, I liked the way the sun cast strong shadows from the canopy covering the walkway outside Sainsbury’s. This was just screaming out for a mono conversion to maximise the sense of contrast.
But wait, I hear you say, isn’t Wantage known as the birthplace of Alfred the Great? What about him? Oh, all right then, here you are…
Alfred the Great