September 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm #1060
This is not a typical club-photography image, but I’d be grateful to hear your reactions / thoughts, if you have any…
(You may need to view it full screen – see your View menu – to accommodate the height without scrolling)
Young woman with a white bag
October 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm #1071
- This topic was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Ian McNab.
Well well Mr McNab a lovely image indeedy. Most would overlook this as just another busy street scene, but the rule of thirds etc is well exstablished in this Chester? street scene. Love the tones and how the highlights hit the subject very nicely. The high vantage point helps as well. You should be pleased with this one. Would I change anything. No!October 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm #1072
Thanks, Meg. Yes, it’s Chester (photographed along Eastgate from the clock tower). I was experimenting with using composition (Golden Section rather than thirds, but a similar idea) and tonality to focus attention on a particular element; and alternating dark and light areas, like landscape painters do, to enhance the sense of depth.
I got intrigued by how the formal means for emphasising particular parts of the image (composition & tonal contrast) also impart a sense of meaning and significance to elements that would otherwise be unremarkable – the woman and her white bag. It was also interesting to have a go at doing in a photo what Breugel and Lowry do with large groups of figures in paintings – helped here by the fact that the directions of movement are aligned with the street.October 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm #1075
As Meg says a lovely image. I like the twist of the street and angle of view very much. The b/w treatment brings out the details and gives it class that colour never could. I only wish that there were a little more distance between the woman and the man and 2 other figures behind her so she was a little isolated in the business of the street. Also possibly that she had turned just a little.
Without the title would I have picked her out as the focus of the image? I am not sure… as I instantly had to hunt for her after reading it in order to understand the title which made me expect a portrait. The composition does seem to draw your eye naturally to the area where the woman with the bag is standing. The rest of the people are almost forming a circle around her. But …. did the title rob me of the natural effect / direction that the image would have led me on it’s own? I’ll never know (maybe I’m not that bright?) and you only get one first impression as they say. I do suppose that the point of the title is to lead the viewer anyway and it certainly did that perfectly. Excuse my mental meandering Ian I do like it very much especially the more I look at it and I hope that some of this makes sense. It was just my gut reactions 🙂
October 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm #1077
- This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by D. Williams.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply, D. I do agree with you that a bit more physical separation of the young woman would have helped; but in photography you only get what you get. At least there’s figure-ground contrast between her pale coat and the dark clothes of the man behind, and between her black stockings and the sunlight road.
And about the title – well, you may be right that it gives a hefty nudge to the viewer. But I was also taken with the mildly surreal contrast between the singularity of the title and the multiplicity of people in the photo. I hope you don’t too much mind my having my cake and eating it! 😉October 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm #1078
I like your picture of ‘Young Woman with White Bag’, Ian. Lovely and crisp, B&W, light and shade, pattern of the bricks, people dotting about as you suggest like a Lowry.
I like it despite your title which as Dolores says has you immediately hunting for the white bag. I couldn’t find it initially so just concentrated on enjoying the lovely tones and the patterns. Great.October 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm #1079
You can have as much cake as you like Ian … it’s very clever photography that as always from you, makes the viewer think! 😉October 2, 2012 at 5:54 am #1080
Tom >>> Thanks very much for your thoughts on the photo. Glad you liked it. I think you’re completely right about photo titles: if they don’t make sense, ignore them and concentrate on the work – that’s what really matters, after all!October 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm #1215
I first saw this shot on your Flickr site Ian. After reading the title I searched and quickly found the lady with the white bag, then my eye kept coming back to her. Because of her position in the frame and the white bag she becomes the prominent figure. These type of street scenes are always interesting as people are interested in looking at people so they spend some time looking around at what’s going on. Being in black and white it removes any colour distractions that would compete with the lady.October 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm #1216
Yes I like it–could imagine a 20×16–holding my gaze for a long while.October 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm #1219
Peter >>> Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m very happy you found that the image worked in the way I’d hoped it would. I put a lot of work into getting the effects you describe so well, so it’s good to get confirmation that the effort was worth it!
Ken >>> Thanks very much. But if you start wanting me to print stuff at 20 x 16, you’re going to have to lend me your Hasselblad!
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