A-level revisited / by Neil Alexander


After the fiasco that has taken place with the exam boards moving the goal posts as far as my AS-Level in photography were concerned, I've decided to bite the bullet and re-take the AS, so that I can then go on to doing the A2. I tipped up on Monday to college only to feel a little like the mature student amongst all the kids. Though it wasn't like that at all, having already done (and got a good grade in) the AS once, it was a bit like going over old ground.[more] Fortuitously a couple of the other guys who are in the same boat, also managed to pay a visit to the A2 class the next night, and found it far more to their liking. After a brief phone call, I'm on it too. So I already have an assignment already. Its "Boundaries". For my first interpretation of this, I decided to look at boundaries & transport, so I ventured out this morning to shoot the edge of a motorway, a railway platform, and the perimeter fence of the airport. All of which I successfully managed to do without too much farting about. Not bad as I only got the assignment Friday.


Whilst at Mobberley station, I decided to have another play with my new SB-900s & Pocket Wizards. There ain't many trains through there at daft o'clock, so apart from the Signal man offering to make me a brew, I was on my own. The sun had already risen, but it was cloudy and didn't look like it was going to make an appearance which was cool as I wanted to use the CTO filters with the SB-900's to give me a controlled sunrise on the platform. I spent ages faffing around with setups and the lights themselves (I took me 30 mins to figure out that I couldn't manually zoom the strobes with the diffuser on - obvious enough I guess & I felt like a bit of a dumbass once I figured it out!). So in the end, I placed one SB inside the waiting room gelled, and zoomed all the way out hanging from one of the rafters on a gorilla pod to look like a waiting room lamp, and the other one behind me on a lightstand up at about 8 feet, also gelled and zoomed to give me a dawn feel. With more time, and possibly another strobe I could have achieved exactly the effect I wanted, but I'm not far off here.