Dales National Park Authority – Public Consultation bypass proposal
Hawes is a thriving, picturesque market town of historical interest, with the added attraction of two museums and its own waterfall in the village centre. On market days and busy summer weekends Hawes’ narrow arteries can get seriously clogged with traffic. Conflict with traffic in various forms is common throughout the town – commuter traffic, tourist traffic, heavy goods vehicles, farmers auction traffic, local community and business traffic and limited parking. This is now threatening the rural character of the town. The protection of the unique character of this Dales market town can best be achieved by the provision of a bypass. To gauge support and objections for a bypass the Dales National Park Authority (NPA) propose to hold a public consultation exhibition in early March 2016.
To produce 12 full colour quality photographs for consideration, 8 of which will be selected by the NPA for use on exhibition boards as part of the public consultation exercise. The images should show the existing situation in the town, specifically the following;
- Historical village setting
- Narrow streets and pavements
- Heavy goods vehicle usage
- Market day congestion
- Farmers Auction Mart traffic
- Conflict between pedestrians and vehicles
- Safety issues
- Traffic impact on the environment
The deadline for photographic submissions is January 15th 2016.
Submission – 12 photographs
This image displays tension and impatience as the public jostle for space to move freely. Even the ancient cobbles are giving up to the strain of vehicles.
I seized the moment to capture this couple in camera, subservient to the motor car, having to dodge clear of the vehicle as it mounted the pavement.
I took this shot late in the day to capture pedestrians taking their chances to cross the high street as commuters queued to squeeze through the town’s narrow arteries.
Panning with my camera creates movement and here I am able to give the impression of speeding vehicles at this busy junction. There are protective railings in place but no marked crossing point for pedestrians.
A risky low angle, close-up shot of the farmers auction mart vehicles rumbling towards me through the picturesque, cobbled street. Pedestrians walk cautiously in single file.
With no lay-by for the bus to pull in to, this image captures members of the public forced to venture into the road to board the bus.
I took this shot to highlight the close proximity of the vehicles to the shoppers and visitors and the overwhelming presence of the livestock transporter as it makes its way to the farmers auction mart.
This shot clearly demonstrates traffic congestion and its potential polluting effect on the town. I wanted to invoke an unwelcoming, static setting with cold, grey overtones.
The signage in the top left of the frame indicates “one way” and yet the traffic appears to be contradicting this. The three lanes of vehicles facing towards an oncoming car depict a confrontational manner. I was keen to include the woman walking in the road, her manner suggests that she is resigned to the chaotic conditions.
By using a low camera angle I have captured the vulnerability and high risk to public safety as a result of HGV movements through the town.
This image uses scale and composition and includes a “figure small” producing a dramatic image. This quaint cobbled street setting can easily be overpowered by large vehicles.
The juxtaposition of pedestrians versus vehicles in this image highlights several of the key concerns – congestion, a vehicle mounting the narrow pavement and the safety of pedestrians.
To best convey the points in the brief, may I recommend the following 8 images for the exhibition boards?
How well did I succeed in my aim?
I have completed the task I set myself, in that I have produced 12 images that convey the key issues as laid out in the brief. I believe I have provided a clear visual representation to support argument for the need of a bypass of Hawes.
Something I had not expected was that the confidence I have built up from the street photography exercises proved to be a huge boost. I was also able to recall my earlier learning of “capturing the moment” to produce to true look and feel of the impact of the heavy traffic and congestion in this rural setting. Likewise I took care to consider the framing, composition and natural lighting conditions which varied considerably throughout the day.
Not being much of a disciplinarian, the task of following a client brief, sticking to it and producing good quality images to meet the requirements of the brief is a good result for me!
Unforseen difficulties and opportunities
Challenges: This assignment was more time-consuming than I had anticipated. Initially I was out shooting for the best (and worst!) part of the day. I had pre-planned the shots I was aiming for and was therefore able to set up my camera and tripod and select suitable viewpoints. However, the main challenge I had omitted to plan for was the inclement weather – gales and heavy rain! This meant abandoning the project on two occasions.
Positives and opportunities: I had not expected to be able to get so close to the issues and concerns of the local people. My brief was created from a personal gripe rather than from any known source. The feedback and comments I gathered were an added benefit and added meat to the bones of my assignment.
I had a couple of ideas going around in my head prior to commencing the project. However it was during a day trip to the village on a busy sunny day that I had a “light bulb” moment to use this situation to my advantage and build my brief around it.
Overall a challenging assignment because of the choice of subject I gave myself. I did not have the flexibility to shoot what I wanted, when I wanted. Nor could I prepare or stage a scene to shoot. Moving away from my comfort zone and having to think creatively with what I viewed as quite a dull and unexciting project, served me well in respect of testing and stretching my skills in photography. My indecision and lack of confidence in the work in progress, meant I took longer than I should to finalise this assignment. I still need to learn when to stop, submit my work to my tutor and just move on!