I see Charlton lost in the cup last night…..

A number of people have been kind enough to say my photographs could be viewed as story prompts. I took this shot in the old town at lunchtime today. The two men are in the doorway of the vegetable shop. Custom is, shall we say, light. I wondered if they were looking at the sports pages. I invariably read a newspaper back to front. This is nothing to do with living in China. I simply start with the sport, move on to the business and usually ignore the current affairs at the front.  And so I imagined the pair of old friends looking through the results and noting with some sadness that Charlton Athletic had been beaten in the quarter finals of the FA Cup (soccer). Or perhaps they are going through the obituary column to see if any familiar names have troubled the scorer in the last few days. I definitely think there is a story to be told in this one.

OvermyshoulderI had 2 goes at this shot. I walked down the narrow alley and shot with the camera held in one hand at my side. The framing was ok but not quite what I wanted. I back-tracked and tried again and was lucky enough to frame it exactly how I wanted. I pushed the iso to 1600 to give me as much shutter speed as I could get. Motion blur is a real issue with these shots. And I opened the aperture to F2 and pre-focussed at about 4-5′. When I looked at the shot on the screen I had both men full length but an orange box was in the bottom right hand corner and I didn’t like it. So I cropped the bottom away as it added no value.

Not everything works to plan of course. This is an extreme example of motion blur:

Life's a blurQuite a nice effect but definitely not what I was trying to do.

And here is another, for want of a better word, cock-up. I had set the aperture to F8-ish and 1/750s for another shot. And of course when I went to shoot this I forgot to reset the aperture and speed dial. It looked pretty dark on the camera’s LCD. Back home however the histogram showed me I was only about 1.5 stops away from a reasonable exposure. That is recoverable in Lightroom and I decided then to use the dark effect to my advantage.

TunnelIf you think it looks vaguely distasteful it is in fact a lady about to pick up some rubbish she saw on the floor in the underpass. Good for her. I hoped she would walk away from me into the light at the end but in fact she walked towards me and I didn’t get a second chance here.

Before I finish I wanted to thank you for the excellent and thoughtful comments on my post yesterday. I had a fear that people would see the absence of images and just move on. Normal service will be resumed soon and the birds will be back as soon as my shoulder feels stronger. Otherwise I shall dip into the archive for you.




19 thoughts on “I see Charlton lost in the cup last night…..

  1. I tried those motion shots in Jakarta, all I managed to get was pictures of my backside or feet. Really must try harder, Lottie! I really like your street/people shots. They give us the viewer, a real sense of your locale. The photograph of the two men is a classic. I love the absorbed look on their faces.

    • I have a lot of misses too, Lottie as I showed with image 2. The trick is to use a wide-ish angle lens and crop! But I have a lot of shots with my feet in the corner 🙂

  2. The guys with the newspaper is a brilliant composition. You were quite right to crop it so that the newspaper collects the eye with a horizontal line close to the edge of the picture and returns you to the figures. I love the way it is also the focus for everyone’s attention (in shot and as a viewer). I find I have been looking at it for several minutes.

  3. I was sure they were looking at the horoscope – “your deep dark secret is about to be revealed. You will soon discover who your friends really are”. Which one has the secret – will the other remain his friend…tune in next week.
    Really nice b and b hat first one. Good to capture the woman doing what we all should. There is a woman at our lake area who walks the beach every morning with a plastic bag. She picks up litter as she goes. She made us think and so we try to remember a bag when we go.
    looking forward to more feathery photos. Must go and check to see what Arsenal is doing.

    • Alas Arsenal fell to the mighty Bayern. It could be the horoscope, Rod. The Chinese are very superstitious. I think my horoscope for the year was ‘You are going to lose a lot of money. HK will be a battle ground over universal suffrage. Your house will fall down. Expect showers later in the week.”

  4. And how I interpret this “writing prompt” of the two men reading:
    They’re life-long friends, one a confirmed bachelor, the other has been married to the first one’s sister for many years. But the last years were hard, sad, terrifying as she died one cough at time. Now, because the two friends are long past grief and desperate for distraction, they are reading a newspaper together. The classifieds. The posts by singles hoping to connect with other singles. This is new territory, and neither of them laughs nor looks away. They’ve agreed to both take the step, take a risk, at least once…

  5. Ahh, Charlton did lose, and I watched it.. mind you the outcome didn’t matter really, I follow Man United Andrew, and they’re having a bit o’ trouble at t’mo..(to say the least) . but saying that, I’m sure these two stalwarts are marking the loss of Charlton (P)Athletic … 😉 (sorry, couldn’t resist)
    I smiled at the last photo, and applauded, picking up rubbish is great in my book. even though she was ‘captured’ by yourself in a compromising looking position.. *cough* 😉 xPenx

    • One of my friends is a Charlton season ticket holder Pen. He has had years of treatment but to no effect. He is incurable. He is in a state of great misery now. The years are running out for him to see them win something. Anything in fact. Man U will surely return stronger. Moyes is a good manager.

  6. I think one of the reasons for the oldies leading in to a tale is that they don’t look Chinese at all – as if they’ve been plonked down in the wrong location. 🙂

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