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Arndale Centre

 

For this assignment I was tasked to produce six photographs that show Luton is Heaven, tall order perhaps, and six photographs that could be described as Luton Hell. (see part 2)

For this environment based assignment I decided the only variable I wanted to control in my otherwise ‘chance’ shots was the weather. As such I attempted to shoot my ‘heaven’ pictures on a sunny day and my ‘hell’ shots on a wet and miserable day. The thought process was simple, sunny days could aid the uplifting appeal, miserable days would enhance the depressing images hopefully depicting some sort of hell.

My approach to the subject matter was also simplistic. I would initially shoot from high up for my heaven shots, and low down in the ruins and derelict buildings for my hell shots.

The first shoot (Heaven) I went to the top of the Arndale car park, and walked from one end to the other as the sun started to go down giving a warm glow to my shots. Many of Luton’s newest and impressive glass tower blocks can be seen from here and the light bounced all around causing all manner of wonderful reflections on otherwise drab and dull building sides. Descending to the new glass front at Georges Square the light play was again fabulous with the dramatic blue clear sky overhead. As the sun started to set I wandered back towards the university along Upper George street, trying to get the positive feel here too but began feeling a bit vulnerable as my expensive camera was drawing unwanted attention. The ordinary people of Luton are a little camera wary!

None the less the shoot was a lot of fun. I mainly used my Nikon D800 with my favourite Tamron 70 -300mm zoom lens more than any other I had with me as it meant I could pick out possible shots of the interplay between the buildings and roof tops, switching occasionally to my Nikon D7000 and its Nikon 12 – 28mm wide angle for stair cases and reflection shots.

In processing the images I again tried to keep things simple. Blue skies and sunny days almost begged to stay in colour. A wet and miserable day on the other hand  (my version of ‘hell’)  I considered would look best in black and white, principally as removing all colour would allow the textures of the surfaces to reveal themselves better. As these textures would be broken windows, peeling paint and other evidence of decay, the feeling of hell would, I hoped, be enhanced.

Town Hall

Town Hall

Luton Mall

Luton Mall

Glass Towers

Glass Towers

Galaxy Centre

Galaxy Centre

View from Georges Square

View from Georges Square

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