Back Modifications (2)
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Give us a chip

By phader
This is a scene from Liverpool Central Station. The guy on the left is a member of staff looking enviously at the guy on the right's fish and chips...

I quite like this, and shot it 'from the hip'. All comments much appreciated. Have basically only played with the levels/contrast - any advice on how to improve the mono appreciated. (I'm afraid it was a jpeg mono in camera - trying to get used to shooting in mono - and now fed up with RAW for the moment!) First pic submitted for ages and ages...

ISO 800

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Black and white

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


colmar 10 42 35 Scotland
20 Jan 2010 1:32AM
Good shot from the hip image, have you tried "playing" with the red green and blue levels after converting to mono . This may allow a greater control over the look that your after Colin

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phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 7:41AM
Thanks Colmar, yes, had forgotten about that little trick! Will have a play!
johnnyboy114 9 231 106 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 8:53AM
This is a brilliant capture and works superbly....the look on the guys face and the eye contact is a picture in itself and the stark contrast of nothing and no-one else around really brings this out. Cracking shot
phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 9:26AM
Johnnyboy, thanks a lot! I was pleased that these two were alone actually, I like the waiting and watching that's going on. Thanks again
edsephiroth 11 169 9 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 11:39AM
Really nice example of street photography there! It's funny at first glance (especially given the title, which is an important additonal factor which can be overlooked - thinking of decent titles is a skill in itself), but then when your eye actually moves back to the guy on the left, it suddenly feels just a little intimidating!

From a technical point of view, there's not much to criticise - you arguably could have increased the contrast or added some very mild grain, which would both give a grittier look if you wanted to go for the "intimidating" look, but it certainly isn't necessary. Nice shot!
phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 9:35PM
Ed, thank you for your comments 'necie example of street' is high praise indeed. titles - I'm afraid I went tongue in cheek (though authentic, I reckon) on this one, rather than arty and serious!

Contrast, grain - really helpful. I have a really nice new lens, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and the photo seems to me almost unnaturally sharp (grain free) for an underground shot, so I'll play with that, too.

Great, folks, I remember why I love this site - real critique, very helpful.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3835 Canada
20 Jan 2010 10:42PM
I like the shot for a few reasons.Its split into two parts by the column; the rhs has a tunnel disappearing to the horizon, while the lhs has the stairway disappearing down. Each side has a charachter that connects the sides.

I know it looks like hes envying the fish "n chips, but if it like the subways here in Toronto, the staff are on alert for "jumpers", people who jump in front of trains coming into the station, - apparently within 7 metres from the tunnel entrance is considered the danger zone. So perhaps thats what the chap on the left is doing, - but it would seem like a waste of a fish supper!

It can be sharpened quite a bit, which will bring up the contrast, though the basic shoot is quite good.

Ive loaded 2 mods, both are cropped from the rhs, mod1 is more contrasty using the curves tool, and mod2 is a graphic pencil effect overlaid on mod1 at about 59% to give if a more graphic, artsy feel.

Hope this helps,


phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2010 11:09PM
Wow, interesting! Thanks, Willie!

Intrigued that you thought it should be sharper! I'm inclined to agree with Ed that a little grain might make this feel more natural somehow. But I take the point on contrast, definitely.

Although I enjoy the lines going into the rh bottom corner in my crop, I think your mod 1 really makes the whole thing more immediate.

With all due respect, I'm afraid I'm not quite convinced by the pencil version... But I guess that's just taste!

Thanks for your critique,
very best wishes,

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3835 Canada
21 Jan 2010 5:18PM
Your original is likely pin sharp Andrew, but the version on my screen is definitely soft, - I used 86% as the amount, Radius = 0.8, and threshold = 3 in USM. When you re size an image, it loses sharpness, so a second sharpening is often necessary.

Glad you like the crop, wanted the wall right in the middle, - the artsy version is just that, artsy!

NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2010 5:34PM
this is a nicely observed piece of social documentary, technically it shouldnt work, being split down the middle but the rather fortunate balance of figures and the fact that the eye can ascend the escalator move around the corner and go down along the platform makes the flow work well.

if you use photoshop, there are many ways to convert from colour to mono and my method of choice is in the channel mixer. however before i make any conversions i always have a little play in black and white and try all the presets to see which colour channels give the best range of tones.

i agree on the sharpness and suggest a secondaty sharpen after reduction to 72dpi and before saving to web. just gets the best on the upload.

great shot works well, be interesting to see the various channel conversions though
phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2014 8:34PM
Thank you, Phil! Albeit belatedly!!! Smile

Nice to be back on this site!

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