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. 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 10 full colour quality photographs for consideration 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.
Following tutor feedback and my reflection, and taking care to include the above points in the brief, I have reviewed and re-selected my images. I have also added captions based on the comments I gathered from the public (listed under planning and preparation tab).
Submission – 10 photographs
How well did I succeed in my aim?
I have completed the task I set myself, in that I have produced 10 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 my increased confidence, built up from the street photography exercises, proved to be a huge boost when moving through the busy town to capture candid shots. 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 step in the right direction 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 and therefore lack of activity in the town. 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 personal experience 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!