The Photo Booth…

Posted on May 11, 2016


I visited John Ryan the CEO of Oxford House in Bethnal Green on Monday with a view to discussing the idea of a ‘vox pop’ video for the prospective exhibition in November. Following our discussion I produced the following brief for the work which has a working title of ‘The Photo Booth…’.

The Photo Booth brief version 1There are several groups that use Oxford House who might be willing to participate in the project. We decided to approach them with a view to securing volunteers. I was particularly interested in a group of younger people (16-18 year olds) who take part in a ‘Challenge’ programme directed social awareness. This group will be working at Oxford House in July. The idea of a ‘young’ (and prospectively futuristic) view of the issues raised by Booth appeals to me.

John and I also did some reconnoitring with regards to location for the shoot. The favourite is the old chapel. This is a still photograph of John sitting where I would anticipate the interviewees would be placed in the video.

John Ryan Chapel-1

John Ryan, CEO Oxford House in the Chapel at Oxford House Bethnal Green

This venue is not without its technical challenges. The place is quite dark. This is good because it is moody and evocative, but bad from a lighting perspective. The still photograph above was made at ISO 4000 on my Sony A7s. This is a little to high for the quality I want. So I need to investigate some lighting….I am thinking of an LED panel with small soft box to light the face and shoulders of the subject. Also the windows are high and throw a strong highlight on the top of John’s head. I will probably need to use a diffuser to soften the light. I plan a full reconnoitre with some test filming in June.

Things are moving on. In a couple of weeks we meet again with Peter Kenway of the New Policy Institute to see if they feel they can produce relevant survey data to provide a modern day counterpoint to Booth’s work. The idea is that we will incorporate wall panels with this kind of information as part of the exhibition.