Top of the Food Chain

Pizza Rush
Pizza Rush | Portland | 2017

I was waiting on the opposite side of W. Burnside Street in Portland for a pedestrian to pass in front of this advertisement of a Pizza Parlor. As Burnside is a street with heavy traffic, the problem was to catch a subject in perfect stride in front of the sign just as there was a gap in the passing cars. In the course of 10 minutes I snapped three photos, of which I liked this one the best, as the guy (who was in reality heading to Powell’s books that is just across the street) was in a perfect stride, his legs mimicking the triangle of the pizza slice. I was fine with the shutter speed of 1/80 sec which gave me a slight blur on the subject (you really need about 1/125 to freeze a moving person). I would be interested in your opinion whether you would have preferred the subject to be pin sharp. Let me know in the comment section.

Image specs are 1/80 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 500. Taken with the Olympus PEN-F and and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom.

Have a great weekend!


Related Posts:

Late Summer Family Street Fun

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

Street Photography Quick Tip (11)

StoNur on the Road – Shibuya Crossing

25 thoughts on “Top of the Food Chain

Add yours

  1. Omg this is so well written. Followed 🙂 I also aspire to spread awareness of neurological diseases through the love of FOOD in Singapore, Nigeria and other parts of the world 🙂 Do also follow my blog post and check out my posts at Here’s to a great friendship. Appreciate it ❤️

  2. Now I’m not technical, as you may know, but I first looked at this and didn’t really notice nor consider any slight blur. The movement is evident to me in his posture. I noticed the triangle effect (with the arrow as well) and thought ‘ooh that’s clever’. I also thought back to your Johnnie Walker photo (pedestrian unconsciously mimicking sign, if I recall). The bottle in the backpack didn’t bother me either. It’s perfectly natural for it to be there. 🙂

  3. I think you captured the movement. A little more blur may have made it’s intentionality fully clear, but I’m not sure I would have liked to see any blur to the legs and it makes the triangle much more obvious.

  4. I am (almost) never concerned with ‘pin point’ focus when out in the street! I like your shot, it gives back the street feeling, that’s what matters the most to me!

  5. I know the feeling. When photographing a sign I prefer to have a person in the scene also. It is a challenge but I enjoy doing it.

  6. I think you got the blur about right. It works for me, since you are clearly not going for a street “portrait”, but looking for some movement in the shot. Much more and you might start to lose some of the humaness in the face. Next time, could you ask him to move that white bottle from his back-pack – hahaha.

    1. Thanks, Scott, really like your comment. I never realized the water bottle was there, amazing how selectively you see. Should have cloned it out, piece of cake 😉 ! Have a greta Sunday! Marcus

  7. I’m surprised you got as empty a shot as you did! There’s usually a steady stream of groups taking selfies in front of that slice 😁

    1. Well, it was late last Sunday afternoon after the grizzly weather, and after the Timbers fans cleared into the bars 😉 Have a great and sunny Sunday, David. Nuremberg is rather “portlandish” today 😉

  8. Nice shot – I’ve spent a good bit of time standing in front of a scene waiting for just the right person to walk by. As good a way as any to waste a few minutes.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Always those compromises. But I agree, a wee bit more blur would (to the photographic purist) make your intention absolutely clear. Now one might think it is a fault. (But then, who cares, the visual language is clear enough

  10. My question is why you didn’t use a quicker shutter speed? Did you want to have a slight motion blur?

    From my mobile the slight blur is detectable but not significant, but I think if the blur was greater then the shot wouldn’t be as effective. The reason being is that the shot works for two reasons. One is the triangle created by the man’s legs as you stated, the other being his rear leg creating visual harmony with the line of the triangle.

    I’m new to trying out street photography, but have seen a fair bit. In my opinion street photography is a genre where we can be less concerned with photographic “rules”, and more concerned with visual effect, narrative, emotion and gesture. Sharpness needs to more precise with close portrait street photography, but isn’t necessary for the shot you took.

    1. Yes, I wanted a slight motion blur, hence the 1/80 of a sec. The thing is, I wonder if I should have used an even slower shutter speed, for an even more blurry effect, to make it more clear the blur was intentional. The way it is now one is more likely to think the photographer just screwed up.

      I’m glad for your comment, you have a very analytic view, probably why you learn this when studying photography.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Up ↑