Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Person at Work: PCSO Fiona Gamble

Fiona Gamble is a local Police Community Support Officer. She looks after a very small, rural area surrounding Falmouth, patrolling mostly by foot. Last week I spent the day with her as she worked, documenting her day with my Minolta 7000 AF and Olympus OM2-N. This was a very enjoyable shoot, however two of the three films that I shot were virtually unusable - due to both my exposure errors when shooting, and technical faults during processing. I did manage, however, to retain one successful roll of film; ironically it was a cheap 125 ISO film which I pushed to 400 for the day. Nevertheless, the results were good and I managed to salvage half a roll of film at least from the two that failed.  

I was to meet Fiona at the Penryn Police Station at 8:00am, at which time she was carrying out her daily incident briefing - the process of sorting through different calls, duties and crimes she had received since the day before. It was really interesting gaining access to the police station, and I took a few shots inside - unfortunately they were on the defective films. At around 8:30 am we were in her patrol car ready to do a rural area sweep, which involved travelling to various small villages nearby and performing foot patrols - much of which consisted of her saying hello to children and OAPs.  According to Fiona, there had been several break-ins reported from numerous isolated houses - farm houses, country mansions etc. - so we travelled to a few nearby to tell the home-owners to be more vigilant. 

The rest of the day was spent sorting numerous odd-jobs, one of which included visiting a family on a council estate after their eleven-year-old daughter had been receiving "threatening" texts from a class mate. This was extremely interesting, as we physically went inside their house - a rather cluttered and dirty council house with a, shall I say, "interesting" family in it. Whilst Fiona talked with the girl's parents, I was allowed to photograph as much as I liked. Unfortunately, in my haste, I forgot that the film I was using was only 400 ISO, and the negatives processed horrendously under-exposed due to the low-light conditions of the living room which I had not compensated for. This was extremely frustrating as I was really excited to see the results. However, I have learnt from the mistake and shall not be making one like it again any time soon!

Anyway, above are a few usable pictures I managed to salvage from the rather sporadic shoot. Considering that I did not have a lot to work with, I am pretty pleased with the results.

This marks the end of my first assignment, and we have already been given our second: The Establishing Image. More on that to follow soon...


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