The “dance of personal space”.

On a recent trip to the very wonderful Gower Peninsular in Wales I walked down to the Coastwatch station near Rhosilli.  There is a tidal island called the Worm’s Head near the Coastwatch station and there’s a causeway that opens, and closes, with the tide.  When it’s open it’s possible to cross and visit the Worm, and it’s well worth doing.

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The causeway was just about to open and there were quite a few people waiting to go over.  It’s always interesting when lots of people are in the same area as they, mostly, ensure that they don’t intrude into the space around other people.  I call it the “dance of personal space”.  In this image it looks as if they are frozen to the spot and waiting for a signal to start again.

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If the people know each other they get much closer to each other than they do with strangers.  Here, in Avignon, this group of Chinese tourists have formed smaller, closer, groups/pairs, but those groups are keeping an appropriate distance from each other.  I was pleased that the all people on the right-hand side of the frame were looking to the left, which keeps the composition tight.

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These three women, in Arles, knew each other, (I saw them together later), but at this moment they seemed to be trying to give the impression that they didn’t know each other.  There’s quite a bit space between them, and an avoidance of eye contact. Even though they aren’t looking at each other, there is still a route round the image via the carved animals at the top and the small amount of vertical wall on the right hand side which leads to the seated woman.

Find a comfy seat and get out to watch the dance…

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