I’m sure you know the feeling. You’re looking at one of your photographs that you actually like – but wonder if you should have taken it in a slightly different way. With different settings, different composition or in a different light.
Foremost, my photographs need to satisfy me myself. If someone else likes them, that’s a bonus. But that also means that I’m my own worst critic. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s always good to reflect what I could have done better.
I do like this street photograph that I recently snapped. I like the contrasts and shadows coming from the late afternoon sunlight. It was like a stage, ready for people to enter and play their role. And the two girls who walked into the courtyard while a tourist snapped a selfie did just that.
There is a lot going on, the walking girls, the standing man. Three “players” on the stage of life is a perfect number. Remember, uneven numbers of subjects are more harmonic to the eye than even numbers.
I also like the gestures, all three holding cellphones in different ways. The girl touching hear chin. The middle girl slightly bent forward in her walk, the standing tourist taking the selfie slightly bent back.
The settings are fine, 1/640 sec ensured all motion is frozen, the tonal range of the monochrome image is well balanced.
I was shooting at the far end of my zoom at 100mm focal length (200mm full frame equivalent on m4/3), as I tightly wanted to capture the action and the gestures and expressions. Still, hindsight, I should have given the tourist a bit more room. He is positioned much too tight at the edge of the frame. I should have zoomed out a bit. Probably 90mm would have sufficed to give him more “breathing room”. I don’t recall if there were some “disturbing” elements to the right of the frame, that I unconsciously zoomed in tight to eliminate a visual distraction. But I could have always cropped into a wider frame in post-processing.
Street life happens instantly, the sweet spot of a situation is always a fleeting moment, often just a split second. So it is important compose and press the shutter intuitively. So it is well worth thinking consciously about those things when editing your previous shots, so next time it is part of your subconscious decision making.
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Wish you a great Sunday!