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.
I 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:
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.
If 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.