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Life in the City

By tpeck68  
New York taxis rushing past. A perfect chance to try out some slow panning and blurred shots. The effect I wanted to create is hustle and bustle, the feeling of being in NY.

Tags: Photo journalism General Specialist and abstract Landscape and travel


paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2014 3:34PM
Sorry, not for me. I think you need something passably sharp. This doesn't say life in the city to me, it says mistake. You need a focal point.


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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4044 Canada
15 Feb 2014 4:14PM
Welcome to EPZ Tom.

The typical shot from NYC that shows the pace of the city is one long vertical shot, packed with the yellow of the taxis, - the intention being to show just how many there are, and in the context of NYC by including known landmarks.

Very different approach here. Its not necessarily identifiable as NYC without the description.

The shot does convey movement and speed, and is almost like a painting. This is especially apparent in the lower part, where you can easily imagine brush strokes.

Its quite close to being abstract. I like abstracts, so for me it works, but I would also tweak it a little, - perhaps more abstract, certainly a crop.

If you scroll up this page, click the modifications tab, you will see any modifications posted. View large if the option is presented.

Enjoy the site,


dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 598 England
15 Feb 2014 4:20PM
I can see what you were trying to do, but this is one of those techniques that takes a number of takes at different shutter speeds and camera movements.
You'll end up with a lot to delete but you should get a few that work. Unfortunately, this is one that hasn't come off. Following on from Paul, if the word Taxi was sharp(er) that would provide a place for the eye to fall while the straks would still suggest movement.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.7k 2093 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2014 4:30PM
Hi, welcome to the site, I see that you just joined yesterday. I hope you'll enjoy it here.

This does convey the impersonal bustle and speed of city life, the way life passes in a constant blur of activity. I'm particularly enjoying the very limited, austere palette, just yellow and a splash of red against anonymous grey.

Following on from the above - if the word taxi was sharp it would add a lot. As it isn't, I think it detracts. The interest for me is in the centre/right of the image, the streak of red tail lights and those reflections on the road surface. I've never noticed the latter in a light trails image, they look like coloured chalks on slate.

Not just the blurred word taxi on the left, but the light patch top left is a distraction from the dark atmosphere.

So I want a crop to lose that left side. Less context, more concentrated atmosphere. A square would include everything that I'm enjoying here and is also a very satisfying frame for abstract.

Mod to follow.
Edit - PS I'm amused that you used red-eye reduction. Not a good idea for timing, though.
Sooty_1 9 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2014 8:11PM
I'm quite surprised that with the flash firing, nothing is sharp. Normally you would expect one sharp frame among a blur of background. It looks too blurred overall, and the only thing linking it to NY is the yellow taxi. In the same way everyone shoots London buses, I find it a bit hackneyed, I'm afraid.

NEWMANP 11 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2014 9:46PM
i love the abstract and creative qualities here, maybe the action needs emphasizing so i uploaded a well cropped pano to get rid of the heavy base (shame because the colours in it are nice) but its an in-balance with it in. also lost te bright highlights above and added a bit of glamour glow in nik software.

id like to have taken this one
Coast 11 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2014 9:18AM
It goes to show how beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as we are all different (which is a great thing) and that one mans (or womans) paradise can be another mans (or womans) hell!

Welcome to EPZ and I hope you get lots of fun and advice from being here.

For me I am in Phil's camp. I love abstracts and believe this is well done. The mod that Phil has already uploaded makes it a stronger image and I agree I would have been very happy to have taken this.
There is enough here to show that it is a yellow taxi and that in itself brings NYC to mind.

That said I would take heed of the advice given. Check camera settings to ensure the camera is set to achieve what you are setting out to capture/create (redeye reduction would have caused a delay in the shutter releasing so you may miss the moment you intended in a shot like this). You may have taken many images at the time and selected this as your best. It is an absolute benefit of digital that the cost of shooting lots of pictures after the original cost of the equipment is nil so you are free to experiment to your hearts content. Sometimes though with the immediate view on the camera screen it is easy to feel you have got what you want in one or two attempts only to find back home on the larger computer screen that you didn't quite get what you wanted. So be brave and keep experimenting with technique and exposure.

Keep posting.


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