A SEQUENCE OF COMPOSITION
For this exercise I chose to visit a local Antiques Fair in order to capture scenes of action around the stalls. As it happens when I arrived there was little activity and dealers were desperately trying to find things to do before closing time. I used the opportunity to try to capture the atmosphere and story behind the situation and I used the camera’s viewfinder to find images which reflected the sense of time moving slowly and people’s attempts to occupy themselves.
I took the photographs as I moved around and found images as they appeared. Some of these recorded the people and some the stock on the units as both elements contributed to the overall scene and its ambience. As a result I found subjects that I would otherwise have missed the significance of such as the box of clocks and watches with the sign, the doleful dog sat alone on the shelf and the dealer intently studying the carriage clock.
Tumble weed time! What can you do when there are no buyers and browsers? You can look for things to look at or look for things to do!
I started off by capturing the emptiness of the space before focussing down onto some of the detail.
Or you can have a post mortem on the poor sales!
These two dealers came out of their units to fill the space in the hall and their own boredom.
Still Life. Nothing moving – not even the pheasant!
I moved on round the units to see what was happening there and found little activity.
This stall was unattended it was so quiet.
At least I can stop this cushion from wandering around!
At least this dealer was back on his stand but he was really struggling to find something practical to do.
All polished and ready to go but no buyers.
This stand was also unattended so I focussed on the stock all prepared for the non-existent buyers.
Does nobody want me? I’m so bored I could die!
Another inmate of a stand that had not found a home that I caught in order to highlight the quietness of the scene.
Even the quilts are not being disturbed and are fast asleep!
Another item on the same stand just sitting there waiting for some action.
I can watch time passing. And if I can’t do anything else, at least I can stare at the stock.
Moving on to another stand I came across this gentleman who was desperately trying to fill his time usefully.
Time seems to have stopped. Maybe I can see if I can any of these working to find something to do.
While on the previous gentleman’s stand my viewfinder came across this excellent subject which I couldn’t resist as a means of depicting the fact that time seemed to have stopped.
I could always do some more polishing in case someone comes along.
This stand was unattended (the dealer was looking at someone else’s unit) but it was clear from the evidence that he had given up on selling and had been planning to do something else to fill his time.
Or I could start packing up early!
The dealer’s partner stepped in to prepare for packing away some of the smaller items.
Or I could read the papers for the third time!
On the same stand, there was evidence in the form of already read newspapers that time had been going slowly for some time and that they no longer held much attraction.
Nothing to do but start packing up. At least it will give me something useful to do.
Moving across to the other side of the hall, my viewfinder found a dealer taking action and starting to pack up although the Fair still had time to run. I focussed on her for a short while as she put a few things away.
And another unsold piece goes away.
The dealer packs away another item as I capture the only significant activity in the area.
I wonder if I should leave a few bits out in case some late buyers come by.
I focussed in on some of the detail to show the way that the process was moving forward and the items were being queued up for packing.
Must be careful with this. If this gets broken in transit that will be all the profits gone.
Moving on to the next item this shot shows the risk that is taken in transporting these fragile items around to these fairs and the care and labour that is required to ensure that they are not damaged.
Getting ready to pack up. It doesn’t matter if I cover the table. There’s no-one to see it anyway.
Moving back to the earlier dealer’s stand it was clear that his earlier intention was still not being put into effect as the cleaning / packing equipment was still sitting there unused.
Why did I bring all this stuff? I wish I knew what the buyers were looking for.
to another stall I had visited earlier, I found that the dealer had returned and had decided to
give up on the day and start packing up.
At least I’m doing something and it will mean I can get away on time.
Again I focussed in on the detail in order to capture the process as it went along.
I can’t believe I am having to take all this stuff home again.
The care and time required to pack away the unsold items so they are ready for next time is an important and unpaid part of the process of attending Fairs.
OK. I’ve had enough! Can I go home now please?
I had spotted this lonely dog earlier and now my viewfinder took me back to him as he seemed to encapsulate the atmosphere of the occasion.
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I enjoyed doing this exercise once I got over the disappointment of finding no buyers and activity and deciding to change my storyline to record the story in front of me. This led me to find subjects that I would probably otherwise have missed and enabled me to see the scene in a different way. I learnt that it pays to be flexible and creative when one’s original purpose is not going to work out.
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