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~ Beyond The Shelter ~

By Lovebe_eyes
My first upload to Ephotozine. I have been creating a whole body of semi abstract work from inside a bus stop since 2018.

My last visit there in early March was prolific for me.. My favourite conditions, straight after a heavy shower, fantastic light and shadows back lit. Lots of people out for our annual "Grizzly" run..! People are vital for my vision for these images.

I use old manual lenses adapted to a Sony a6000.. Mostly I forget which lens I've used as it's ultimately about the image for me.. Though here it was the Tokina ATX 90MM F2.5 Macro /closeup / portrait lens.

Constructive thoughts welcomed. Thank you.

Raw file edit with Ps Express and Snapseed editing /enhanced. My only available editing programme.!

ISO 100
1/500
F11

Tags: Street People and street scenes

Comments


12 Jun 2020 7:01PM
What can I say. Welcome, and thumb up? Too bad your settings don't allow for me to give you a (very much deserved) Guest Editor Award (maybe because you put it up in the critique gallery?). I have no critique to offer. It's splendid

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dark_lord Plus
16 2.6k 684 England
12 Jun 2020 7:54PM
Hi Chrissy, welcome to ephotozine and to the Critique Gallery.

Because you've uploaded to the Critique Gallery (you'd have checked the 'Critique Requested' box when uploading) we'd like some more information so that we can comment and help you accordingly.

What is your reason for requesting critique?
What inspired you to take this photo?
What were you hoping to achieve?
Do you feel that you succeeded or failed?
Are there any specific elements of your photo that you want help with?
Do you want advice on camera settings, processing, composition, or something else?
Do you have any particular questions you would like answered?

Because this is in the Critique Gallery it would also be interesting to know a bit more about how you processed this to mono.

All that said, it's an interesting abstract with the soft shadowy figures in the background which is very effective so I can't offer any specific suggestions and it would have got my vote in the main Gallery.

Keith
chase Plus
14 1.7k 418 England
12 Jun 2020 8:26PM
Hi Chrissy and welcome.
This is a good bit of photography, taken from inside a bus shelter, what a great result.
I find myself unable to offer any kind of constructive critique here, one that would have my vote in the main gallery too.
Very well done, I look forward to seeing more from you.

If you do upload into the Critique Gallery again, please try to answer a few of the questions above, it does help us to help you...you don't need any help with this one imho. Smile
Janet xx
dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1682 England
12 Jun 2020 9:06PM
And welcome from me, too, Chrissy.

Yes - it takes you a bit unawares, that lack of EXIF data with older lenses (I use a lot of manual lenses on my Alpha 7, so I know where you're coming from).

I had been shooting at my local bus stop fairly frequently: not since lockdown, and not for a while to come, I reckon. And the view through the perspex is generally less interesting than this - but I do understand the appeal of taking pictures in the same place in varying conditions.

Here, I wonder if you could have stepped back to use the metal structure of the bus stop as a frame for your image? You've framed very carefully, and square:and with plenty of attention to technical detail, in terms of the depth of field. f/11 and 1/500 are sensible, and suggest the light was bright, given 100 ISO.

You've given us a lot of non-technical background, and - given that the quality is much more than adequate - I shall comment on the figures, which are either artfully arranged, or well caught, depending on the control you might have had over where people stood. This creates a tableau, and a mysterious story. Like Koen above, if this was in the main gallery, I'd vote, and might well give an award. If this is typical of your output, you should post in the main gallery as well as the Critique Gallery. I'll be watching...

A heavy shower means the ground's wet, and reflective. Backlight brings out the scratches and graffiti on the perspex: so you know your territory, and have planned ahead. Good observation, and making use of local knowledge are a part of excellence in many branches of photography.

I note that you're working on a tight budget with an older Alpha (though a very capable one), manual lenses, and Snapseed. I'd be interested in your computer - or is it a tablet?

Any way round, this is fascinating, and I'm glad to have viewed it.
12 Jun 2020 9:57PM
Hey guys..

Thank you for your feedback. .. I want to reply to each person individually but I can't work out how to do that..! Doh..!
12 Jun 2020 10:06PM

Quote:Hi Chrissy and welcome.
This is a good bit of photography, taken from inside a bus shelter, what a great result.
I find myself unable to offer any kind of constructive critique here, one that would have my vote in the main gallery too.
Very well done, I look forward to seeing more from you.

If you do upload into the Critique Gallery again, please try to answer a few of the questions above, it does help us to help you...you don't need any help with this one imho. Smile
Janet xx

mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.2k 2248 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2020 8:42AM
Hello and welcome from me too.

This is right in my territory, I love it, I would be pleased to have taken it, in the main gallery it would get my award. For me it's about the strangeness of reality when you look closely, the way that reflections create a sort of alternative reality. And it's about personal vision, the photographer looking for his own image rather than following the crowd.

John suggests stepping back to use the metal structure as a frame - that would give a more objective, less intimate feel and would be a very different image. Here what strikes me is that you focused on the surface texture of the metal, so that it creates a separate plane. We seem to be looking at that alternative reality through a scratched, rain-spotted window, and there are dark figures looking back at us. 'We come in peace, take us to your leader', or something rather less friendly. So we hope that the scratched plane will keep us separated...

You know what you are doing, I don't think you need advice. I suggest that you upload without ticking for critique, there are a number of people on the site who appreciate this quality of work.
Moira
bornstupix2 3 101 1 France
13 Jun 2020 2:08PM
not sure about the dark base line....maybe crop it out and apply a faded outer frame....stuart
pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2149 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2020 3:12PM
Hello, Chrissy, and welcome to the Critique Gallery.
To answer your question, you can respond to critiques here, in the comments section. The alternative is to click on the critiquer's name, which will take you to their portfolio, then use the blue coloured option "Send Message" which you will find underneath the person's welcome message.

Commenting here in the Critique Gallery is the better option because many people read through the critiques in order to learn, and your feedback helps a lot. It's also gratifying for anyone who critiques to receive a response.

Pamela.
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4150 Canada
13 Jun 2020 6:03PM
Its a nice abstract.

I did upload a modification, incorporating the suggestion by Stuart to remove the bottom black area, and in addition increased contrast sharpened slightly.


Regards


Willie
paulbroad 13 131 1289 United Kingdom
14 Jun 2020 8:06AM
It's a Marmite shot. Once passed the technical bit, it's a matter of if the content appeals. It's difficult to fault the technique on such an image, so I look at content and I struggle. (Other members will expect this of me) I like to be able to see and identify what I'm looking at, so I cannot really criticise as I know from experience that many will like it.

Paul
saltireblue Plus
10 10.9k 63 Norway
14 Jun 2020 3:11PM
Love this. It's chaotic, hustle and bustle, no sense of order, yet somehow I feel I want to be in the middle of it all. Caught up in it.

I look forward to see what else you have up your sleeve.Smile
14 Jun 2020 9:41PM
So I'll try and respond to some of the comments. Forgive my slowness caused by limited health.

It's true that I didn't need to upload it to the critique gallery for help with settings etc but was unsure what to do with my first post..! That said, I'll do my best to answer what I was trying to achieve and what inspired me to take this photo.

Though It's better for me to describe how the whole series of images from inside a bus stop shelter came about and how I approach creating with a camera. The way I work has been spontaneous and experimental and definitely without pre planning and this is how these came about. I wandered into the shelter (which is only about 150m from my place) in the spring of 2018 and noticed the potential of the scratched graffiti in connection with the background. One of those photos ended up in my first exhibition (the only pic without people) of unplanned street portraiture and street documentary photography with Henri Carter Bresson being in part the inspiration for those.

Later that year, I tried again and during 2019 I realised the fantastic creative potential of that bus stop for semi abstract images.in different styles. Its position for great light, people, busses, sometimes quickly changing street life situations happening. So the series evolved as I tried out different styles, though always initially led by the good light and shadows, of course..!

My inspirations are so many..! The whole melting pot of (my) life..! From feeling an outsider observing from the edges and a semi urban upbringing but a deep love for nature. Inspirations are anything from stained glass and scupture to seeing dappled light through fronds of wild grasses on a summer day. To all the art I've been moved by. My draw to an impressionist, abstract style doesn't suprise me.. The celebration of textures , shapes, light and shadows feels at home to express things which are visceral. My attention is to express through a deeply personal interpretation.

On my basic mono conversion.. I convert the colour raw file to silvered B&W in PS Express, then tweak the blacks, whites, highlights and shadows etc. I then take the image into Snapseed for the fun stuff and further tweaking using Curves tool.. Brush tool for Dodge and Burn.. Structure tool to max and Drama tool to 70..! Lots of Tonal contrast added. This image has then had the "Faded Glow" filter added to give the tint that works with some images for me. I like that tint very much. Bless digital editing, couldn't achieve this otherwise..!

I'll respond to the other comments pretty soon...

Thank you so much for making me feel welcome here.
15 Jun 2020 6:52PM

Quote:It's a Marmite shot. Once passed the technical bit, it's a matter of if the content appeals. It's difficult to fault the technique on such an image, so I look at content and I struggle. (Other members will expect this of me) I like to be able to see and identify what I'm looking at, so I cannot really criticise as I know from experience that many will like it.

Paul



Hi, thank you for your feedback.

Aaah impressionist abstract work is definitely a Marmite thing, though that's good thing, I feel..! Lol.. Very much at the edges of photography which is where I very much am... It's true that I endeavour to get the technical right, not blowing out the highlights etc.. That said, the why of photography draws and inspires me much more than the how. Ultimately always Horses for courses, the wonderful thing about it.
15 Jun 2020 7:20PM

Quote:Hello and welcome from me too.

This is right in my territory, I love it, I would be pleased to have taken it, in the main gallery it would get my award. For me it's about the strangeness of reality when you look closely, the way that reflections create a sort of alternative reality. And it's about personal vision, the photographer looking for his own image rather than following the crowd.

John suggests stepping back to use the metal structure as a frame - that would give a more objective, less intimate feel and would be a very different image. Here what strikes me is that you focused on the surface texture of the metal, so that it creates a separate plane. We seem to be looking at that alternative reality through a scratched, rain-spotted window, and there are dark figures looking back at us. 'We come in peace, take us to your leader', or something rather less friendly. So we hope that the scratched plane will keep us separated...

You know what you are doing, I don't think you need advice. I suggest that you upload without ticking for critique, there are a number of people on the site who appreciate this quality of work.
Moira



Hey Moria

Thank you so much for your appreciation. You got me ~ Personal vision and going in the opposite direction to the crowd.. I can't help it, comes naturally to me...! 😂

I love that you've created your own story from the image, always the invitation... Quite a few see Sci fI and aliens in these "Beyond The Shelter" series.

I'll definitely upload without ticking the critique for the next images I post.

Chrissy
15 Jun 2020 8:51PM

Quote:And welcome from me, too, Chrissy.

Yes - it takes you a bit unawares, that lack of EXIF data with older lenses (I use a lot of manual lenses on my Alpha 7, so I know where you're coming from).

I had been shooting at my local bus stop fairly frequently: not since lockdown, and not for a while to come, I reckon. And the view through the perspex is generally less interesting than this - but I do understand the appeal of taking pictures in the same place in varying conditions.

Here, I wonder if you could have stepped back to use the metal structure of the bus stop as a frame for your image? You've framed very carefully, and square:and with plenty of attention to technical detail, in terms of the depth of field. f/11 and 1/500 are sensible, and suggest the light was bright, given 100 ISO.

You've given us a lot of non-technical background, and - given that the quality is much more than adequate - I shall comment on the figures, which are either artfully arranged, or well caught, depending on the control you might have had over where people stood. This creates a tableau, and a mysterious story. Like Koen above, if this was in the main gallery, I'd vote, and might well give an award. If this is typical of your output, you should post in the main gallery as well as the Critique Gallery. I'll be watching...

A heavy shower means the ground's wet, and reflective. Backlight brings out the scratches and graffiti on the perspex: so you know your territory, and have planned ahead. Good observation, and making use of local knowledge are a part of excellence in many branches of photography.

I note that you're working on a tight budget with an older Alpha (though a very capable one), manual lenses, and Snapseed. I'd be interested in your computer - or is it a tablet?

Any way round, this is fascinating, and I'm glad to have viewed it.



Thank you for the welcome.

Absolutely true, though I moved so quickly to adapted old lenses and was used to that with film SLR.

Aaah, I would love to see your bus stop images.. Yep same here, these were from 8th March... Yes this bus stop and it's location has been creatively fantastic for me.

The uncropped original does have a small amount of the metal frame work on each side, though I felt in this image it was best cropped out. It seemed to be a distraction especially as the metal work at the top of this perspex panel was out of the frame. I have included some of it in other images previously. I may do a re edit sometime to try it again though.

So true, I'm definitely not a technical photographer. .I do what's needed and leave the techie stuff to others who are much better at that than me.. Still always in manual mode though.

All the people in my images are created spontaneously without prior posing.. The eye, heart and head, plus the gut in unison..! Exactly, the Backlight is perfect for enhancing the scratches. Indeed very much about observation and a personal vision.I would say also this has been practice , practice, practice and experimenting rather than pre plan.. I don't really work to a plan, things just evolve or not..!. . I have kept returning to the bus stop and the work has evolved and hopefully become stronger over a year to 18 months. It helps that I live only about 150m away so I can pretty spontaneously go. Absolutely local knowledge helps and also I like the challenge of creating close to home.

Yep, very much a tight budget.. Still bought to many old lenses though..! Thankfully I'd bought a good quality Tablet in early 2015 before photography came back to me. The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2...Still going strong over five years later...Phew..! Proper computers give me the heebie jeebies..!!! 😂

Thank you so much for your appreciation, yes I'll post in the main gallery too.
16 Jun 2020 9:49AM

Quote:Its a nice abstract.

I did upload a modification, incorporating the suggestion by Stuart to remove the bottom black area, and in addition increased contrast sharpened slightly.


Regards


Willie Thank you

Yes, that works better with the crop. I often crop allowing for the small amount lost behind the picture mount if printed.

I'm interested in how much contrast you added..? In my basic editing programmes I usually add 10 in ps express and another 10 in Snapseed. Perhaps extra contrast won't detract from the soft abstract style as it's such fine balance. After all , I add loads of Structure to bring back detail lost by photographing through scratched, dirty perspex..!

For similar reasons I rarely add sharpening, though again open to trying that. .. This is probably because my love lies mostly in softer images and my influences from 20th century photographers where sharpness wasn't such a priority compared what it seems to have become in digital photography. I absolutely love the semi abstract colour street images of New York by Saul Leiter.

I would value your thoughts on this in connection with images for printing.

Chrissy

dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1682 England
16 Jun 2020 11:40AM
Thank you for taking so much time to respond, and fill in the story, Chrissy!

I wish I'd tagged my bus stop pictures better: I can only find two in a hurry. There's a hotlink there, in blue. Neither are of the shelter I use most, though the Halloween shot is its opposite number across the road.

It's an area with many fewer passers-by, and less risk of graffiti because it's a well-used road, in a residential area where people might well complain/call the police. And I think there may be CCTV, as well.

Much of what you've added will push buttons for several of us - the 'sharpness not an issue' thing will appeal to Moira as well as to me!

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pictures in the main gallery. You are definitely high on my list of 'interesting people'!
16 Jun 2020 10:28PM

Quote:Thank you for taking so much time to respond, and fill in the story, Chrissy!

I wish I'd tagged my bus stop pictures better: I can only find two in a hurry. There's a hotlink there, in blue. Neither are of the shelter I use most, though the Halloween shot is its opposite number across the road.

It's an area with many fewer passers-by, and less risk of graffiti because it's a well-used road, in a residential area where people might well complain/call the police. And I think there may be CCTV, as well.

Much of what you've added will push buttons for several of us - the 'sharpness not an issue' thing will appeal to Moira as well as to me!

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pictures in the main gallery. You are definitely high on my list of 'interesting people'!



You're very welcome.. Thank you for the Hotlink. .. If you come across the other images at any time, definitely let me know.

Interestingly I think the graffiti etched into my bus stop is old as I haven't noticed any new ones since I've been creating this series. All fantastically added to by weather and age so a mix of scratches etc and its position just set back from the promenade is perfect for light and people.

You got me..! A maverick at heart and always moved by soulful creativity. Contemporary photographer Sally Mann is right up there for me... Hard to view some of her work but she's always absolutely expressing from a deeply authentic place. Not forgetting Saul Leiter too, bless 'im. .!

I hope I don't disappoint with my efforts then...!

Chrissy
dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1682 England
17 Jun 2020 8:45PM
A bit of graffiti died a couple of years back when a lorry ran into the shelter, and it got replaced...

I may have to go out and shoot new pictures (after all, I don't have to get onto the bus, and it's very close to home!)

And I have realised that I used a picture of the bus shelter taken from across the road in perfect light for an article I wrote for EPZ a few months back - it's HERE if you want to take a look...

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