Street Series

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Ghaz1, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    Street Trishaws

    NOTES:

    I remember fondly, shooting with b&w film on a fully manual film camera. Prefocussing, setting a small aperture, checking the lightmeter and the best part was always thumbing the lever to advance to the next frame... the sound, the smooth motion and then CLICK! An image was taken. I'd have to wait till i could process it in the darkroom to see what i got. Then came the painstaking process of printing the photo on an enlarger in the darkroom. It was ok, to see the image form on paper like magic but i hated the dodging and burning to get a good tone. Nowadays, it's all done on PS. And as you can see, i have a deep facination and perhaps obsession for skies! People expose for shadows or highlights, i expose for the sky! (Not as a general rule of course but when i see a nice sky with intense cloud formations, not much else matters really to me).

    COMPOSITION:
    Firstly, tilting the horizon is always risky business. Viewers are so programmed to seeing a sharp, horizontal horizon (horizons must be horizontal hence the name!) that once tilted, it sort of looks weird, misplaced or just plain WRONG to the eye. I did it anyway here because i wanted to emphasize the curvature of the road as the trishows came streaking by from the corner, kind of making them look like they are going downhill and at speed. Of course another problem is how much tilt to put on there. Too much and it would give the impression that the trishaws would tilt over so i hope my tilt is "enough" for dramatic effect and not overdramatise the scene. Hopefully the action below is reflected in the drama above as well which to a large extent is perhaps the more dominant story in the picture? What would have taken hours in the darkroom and plenty of low contrast photo papers, is done in maybe 30 mins in PS?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  2. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    Male/Female

    NOTES:

    There are many different interpretations of street photography, perhaps because the genre is constantly evolving due to the rapid advancement of technology. Nevertheless some dominant principles still remain well... dominant, to me anyway. One thing i try to look for is the interaction between the human subjects and their surrounding environment. If i can find that symbiosis, then the picture simply clicks and demands to be taken.

    COMPOSITION:

    THis is a tricky one in terms of the available light and what i wanted to achieve. Firstly, i saw the sign pointing to the left with the male/female symbol and then this couple just stepped out of the tunnel into the frame. That would have been the moment right there and i took my shot but when you've got a nice interplay, you don't stop there. I kept them in the frame and when they looked towards the sign to establish a firm connection with the pointing arrow, i knew THAT was the moment and took another shot. Nice. However, when i viewed on PS, i felt the elements were there but the message was still unclear.

    Normally, it would be good to eliminate distractions and focus on the couple, but this is street and there's more leeway in terms of composition vs intent. Hence, i kept the background of the tunnel and pushed the contrast as much as i could to put it in shadows to imply the couple exist in their own world, nobody else matters, they're in love and love is blind.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  3. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    Old Rider

    NOTES:

    Another form of street photography is the documentary/photojournalistic type where the purpose is to tell a story or record an important event or highlight a social issue. It would take a series of photos to do a comprehensive job but sometimes one strong picture is enough. Two that comes to mind are the national geographic picture of the Afghan girl and the vietnam era picture of the naked Napalm girl. Anyway, we can't all be war correspondents and take those kinds of pictures but the fun thing about street photography is that we can still apply the same ideas/concepts/themes to highlight issues in everyday life, the things that would otherwise remain below the surface of societal consciousness.

    COMPOSITION:

    My aim was actually to capture the building across the street, Aldy Hotel which is a well-known landmark in Malacca. It's right in the centre of town and considered a tourist hotspot. As i was setting up for the shot, i saw this elderly gentleman on his bike struggling to keep balance with his fully loaded bike and a look of grim determination on his face. Change of plans. I had to capture him and quickly. Firstly, do i pan and shoot or prefocus and anticipate. I decided to do the latter because of the message i had in mind. I wanted to juxtapose this man's struggle to eke out a living as best he can against the glitz and glamour of a tourist landmark.

    So, knowing an object coming at 90 degree angle into the frame would require a fast shutter, i set it for around 1/100 sec at f5 to keep the image sharp from front to back but with a bit of blur to the cyclist to imply that he doesn't quite fit in with the surrounding but must carry on with his existence nonetheless. This is not a formula, just some common sense and a lot of luck. If he was rendered a total blur, i'd have chucked the picture in the trash and regretted the lost opportunity but lady luck was on my side and the moment was captured. Looking at it again, i noticed many supporting elements - the old trashbag of cans to be recycled, the parked cars versus the cyclist's rickety old bike, the loaded basket, the signage "... Wine, Pizzas Pastries Grill..." and dramatically, the nearly flat tires of the bicycle.
     
  4. belongus3

    belongus3 TPF Noob!

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    Very interesting shoots...gives u a depth view
     
  5. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your comment, belongus3. Here are a couple more pictures i've taken recently. In colour this time:

    Kite Flyer






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  6. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    Family

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    Family 2

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    Glass Cleaner

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  7. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    In Motion

    [​IMG]

    NOTES:

    I didn't know there were so many joggers in the Civic District. You could shoot an entire series on just the joggers. The challenge then would be
    to portray a recurring theme in an original/unique way. You could do this by combining several techniques and post processes. For the image
    "In Motion" i used the bleach bypass, a PP tool that is fast becoming one of my favourites. Next i added vignetting to give it a lomo kind of look
    and to centralise the focus on those two in motion joggers. Then i corrected my verticals and reduced the contrast a tad to bring back some details in the background to show the sharpness of the surroundings in contrast to the blur of the joggers in motion.

    Shutter speed was 1/50, enough to hand-hold and keep the surroundings sharp and as the joggers are moving in almost parallel to the frame,
    their blurred motion would be captured and exaggerated.
    __________________
     
  8. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    Contemplative

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    Watching the Boat Pass

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    Follow You





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  9. AlexL

    AlexL TPF Noob!

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    i like your photos!
     
  10. Ghaz1

    Ghaz1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Alex. Here's another one i've just processed:

    Underpass

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Steve Reddin

    Steve Reddin TPF Noob!

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    To be honest, I've only one comment to make. By the time I got to the bottom of the post I'd already forgotten what the first photograph was about. Unfortunately I'd seen so much, noticed almost essays under the images and I'd lost interest and just wasn't bothered to go through them again and start to comment. I'd suggest posting less work and you might get more critques.

    Steve
     

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