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Due to Covid 19, a taxi driver waits pointlessly for customers leaving bars

By philtaylorphoto  
20 March 2020.Bolton Town Centre. Due to the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic, the government have directed that all pubs, clubs, bars, gyms and other places are to close for an indefinite period from midnight tonight. Bolton normally has a thriving nightlife, but due to the impending ban, and instructions for social distancing town was empty, apart from the usual people of the night time economy..

An assignment for the Bolton News to capture life before the ban. Town was deserted anyway, and this taxi driver was waiting ages for a fare, as nobody was around.

Tags: Photo journalism Driver Bolton Clubs Bars Taxi Nightlife Town centre Pubs Coronavirus Covid 19

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dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1885 England
21 Mar 2020 9:20AM
He looks as though he's facing it with stoicism and maybe a touch of humour, which is the way to get through it, I suspect.
philtaylorphoto 20 334 2
21 Mar 2020 9:27AM
Always difficult, as people always smile for the camera.

A bleak night in what had already become a ghost town.

I'm not normally a fan of prime lenses, but the f1.4 was bought for those pitch dark events, and this was its first outing in anger. It will be off out tonight as a compare and contrast.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2467 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2020 10:46AM
A difficult subject to convey without the description. Is it primarily a portrait of the driver, or reportage on his situation? If the latter, I think a wider angle would serve better, for the empty street.
Good luck to him...
philtaylorphoto 20 334 2
21 Mar 2020 11:42AM
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2467 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2020 11:46AM
That's a good gallery, the sort of thing that local press excels at now. It does give the bigger picture, photos like this work better together than in isolation. Well done.
banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
21 Mar 2020 2:45PM
Great to get the eye contact too.
chase Plus
16 2.3k 592 England
21 Mar 2020 4:00PM
Eye contact is good as is the focus. The 1.4 has served you well here.
As a reportage image I would assume if this were published then there would be an accompanying description, which would be fine. Without one it would be difficult to guess the situation he is in.
He does look quite contented tbh, maybe not so much of a smile would help to understand his dilemma.
Nice gallery, thanks for the link.
21 Mar 2020 4:02PM
As a docu style street portrait this works very well. Find it actually a very good photo, showing both the taxi and the driver, and with all the light in the street providing the right mood. As a stand alone shot depicting the impact of the corona virus, it doesn't really work, but then it's part of a series (just had a look), and in that context it works better
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 787 England
21 Mar 2020 5:55PM
On its own it doesn't say much about the situation - we can see the street is empty at that point but it's only a small section of street. So it could be a lull in the early hours.

It's one of those cases where a picture doesn't say a thousand words, perhaps asks a thoudand words, so a caption/supporting description is needed. I think a lot of news images need that in order to fully inform the viewer.
Then the question becomes does the image complement the story? Is it about the person per se or is the person a small cog in the whole? Does the image sit ok on its own or with others to give a fuller picture?

Thr article you link to does answer those questions of course, those are my thouights and how I see this as a single image.
philtaylorphoto 20 334 2
21 Mar 2020 7:15PM
Yep, as an image of.a taxi driver it works. Maybe not a good fit with the context until you add the copy in. Then, there's local knowledge, a Boltonian would be aware that on the lit side of the street would normally be people flocking into a bar, but outsiders wouldn't be aware.

Tonight, I had back for the aftermath, and the darkened streets. Social distancing might be easier.
Zilba 12 5 South Africa
20 Jun 2020 12:36PM
Lovely capture in tough conditions, no distracting reflections, great eye contact and looks pin sharp.

Lovely narrative and a wonderfully intimate portrait. I read the other comments and while I do not agree with all them.
Given the Covis-10 context, the image makes perfect sense to me.

Regarding the wide-angle comment, yes, it could work (I love wide-angle and often shoot with a 10mm) but the image is tight, great colour saturation, sharp and grungy in all the right place -lovely shot!

Regards Bazil
philtaylorphoto 20 334 2
21 Jun 2020 8:58AM
Good comment Zilba.

I take your point about the 10mm, I've had to change my working technique recently, as my 16 to 35 was sort of becoming my standard lens on full frame. On this particular night I only took the 50, so it would force me to distance more than usual. As to those who talk enthusiastically about nifty 50s, and prime lenses I have gone through a change over the last 40 years, from carrying 5 fixed lenses to 3 high quality zooms. I do have a 50 and 85 1.8, but they are for ultra low light and studio portraits only.

It didn't last long, the next night when the streets were empty the 16 to 35 was on again.

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