[Ghaz1] Street Series


Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
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Sky's the limit



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!:bsmilie:) 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?

Anyway, this is why i did what i did. May work for some and not for others, but hey, that's the beauty of photography right? It highlights ourselves as individuals in a common endeavour but not necessary of a common view.
 

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Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
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16
East
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.
 

Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
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16
East
Juxtaposition



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.
 

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voxies09

New Member
Apr 11, 2010
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Singapore
nice photo there.. especially the male/female :D
 

Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
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16
East
I've had enough!



NOTES:

As human beings, one of the telling signs that reveal our innermost thoughts and feelings is our body language and facial expression. Capturing that moment of joy or sadness on the street is a rewarding experience.

COMPOSITION:

The picture hinges on the facial expressions of the boy and the girl as the trishaw rider points off to a distance, suggesting there's many more kilometres of walking yet to be done.

Convergence



NOTES:

Same scene but taken a few seconds later shows the same theme but with a different composition.

COMPOSITION:

This time, the boy's expression doesn't reveal much, but his body language is telling. Most importantly is that the other elements/people in the picture are converging towards the middle of the frame, from the other trishaw rider and the running boy in the background to the other family members entering from the left. Again, the pointing hands imply the walking that needs to be done and in contrast, pointing out of the frame in different directions. The boy's body is facing away from this scene and simply screams "I DON"T WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS!!!". The fan he is holding also highlights what is probably the source of his discomfort and mood - THE HEAT!
 

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scubagolfer

New Member
Feb 3, 2010
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I like this bestest .... :thumbsup:

 

Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
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16
East
The Upright Man



NOTES:

On the street, we see hundreds of people everyday. Subject selection is important simply because we can't shoot everyone so we limit our choices to those that stand out in the crowd especially if they make a connection with their surroundings or in this case, seem a bit out of place. I saw this man walking across the bridge, headphones in ear seemingly lost in his own thoughts. Then i saw him pulling that luggage bag along and i was intrigued. Questions flooding my mind included, "Where's the nearest airport?", "What's he doing here?", "Where's he going?" He was pretty close, i wanted to catch him in his reverie. Luckily my street-shooting camera is very discreet and made for moments like this. So having decided on a vertical orientation, raised the camera, shot, turned around and walked away. He looked right through me, not even blinking once at the instance of the shot. Previewed the picture a few minutes later and the feeling of elation that i had the shot "in the can" so to speak, was deeply satisfying. This is why i shoot streets, for moments like that.

COMPOSITION:

I like the way the indoor stadium's roofs point upwards, reflected in the pointed top of the bridge and the vertical lines on the railings as well as the bag handle he is holding. That was what prompted the selection of the vertical orientation and of course, to compress the space and emphasize the man.
 

Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
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16
East
Quirky Kiss



NOTES:

It's great to be in a place where practically everyone's a photographer and everyone then becomes a subject of photography. No shyness here and you get the quirkiest poses, expressions and candid shots.

COMPOSITION:

Simple vertical lines here and subjects are placed off centre.
 

Ttloong

New Member
Jan 2, 2010
353
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Nice series. Keeping coming as we need to know more about street photography.:thumbsup:
 

st0pandst4re

Senior Member
Feb 23, 2009
754
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16
Singapore
www.flickr.com
heys =) nice series!
i like the male/female one too!
just watch out for the slight halo (i think thats what its called) as a result of over pp-ing
;)
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,521
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The Upright Man

shot on 12/5 eh? :thumbsup:

Thanks so much for the excellent write-up. Helps us see the picture through your eyes.
There's some visible halo-ing around the man's head and legs. You had to PP to bring up the exposure on the man?
 

Ghaz1

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
744
0
16
East
Thanks for pointing out the halo guys! I was trying to convince myself it wasn't there and just an optical illusion. But we can't all be hallucinating right! I guess i must rename the earlier version as The Saint :bsmilie:

This is the corrected version.

The Upright Man

 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,521
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rainy Singapore
But in the uncorrected version, I find the bright sky distracting.

Sigh. Can't have your cake and eat it too!! :)
 

scubagolfer

New Member
Feb 3, 2010
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Remove the halo around the man's head ... just by making the pic brighter?
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,521
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36
rainy Singapore
Remove the halo around the man's head ... just by making the pic brighter?
You're asking why the halo somehow "magically" disappears by making the picture brighter? Or you are offering a suggestion...?

i assume it's the former.
The halo is caused when 2 different exposures are attempted to be blended together.
If it's just a single exposure, either:
1) The man is correctly exposed, but the background, which is brighter, is overexposed.
2) The background is correctly exposed, but the man is underexposed.

to overcome this problem, 2 different exposures of the same image are layered one on top of the other. The 2 layers are then blended together either automatically or manually. The difficulty comes about when blending around objects without linear boundaries (eg. human body vs horizon). Hence, the halo...

hope I've explained clearly enough.