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Monday morning

By Scutter
I keep my trusty D70 in the car. After the excitement of the first winter gales of the season over the weekend and associated photographic opportunities I came back to earth with a bump on Monday morning!

I donít like Mondays; the journey to work should be 40 minutes but on Mondays, especially wet ones, it always takes longer. And then of course there is the art of timing so that you miss the school run; 10 minutes late leaving home and you end up with a 90 minute journey time!

The view through the windscreen on this particular Monday epitomised the journey to work in Britain in autumn 2009. The French HGVs, the signs stating the bleeding obvious - travelling at 40 mph - dream on!! The unfair advantage the other carriage way always seems to have in terms of freely flowing traffic etc etc!

I thought this would be a suitable picture for the new Discussion Group.

ISO 400, 1/60s at f/5.6. Corrected WB to remove blue tinge caused by windscreen!

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Landscape and travel Humour and fun

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


17 Nov 2009 6:49PM
The moody sky is superb!! It really tells a story here!!
I love the way the Motorway has been framed by the two small hills!

My only things that I would find more impacting, would be too have more of a foregroud, such as full back ends of the cars infront and some tarmac, to give a nicer composition and lighting to the shot.

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Who would have thought you could turn the motorway into a shot of interest? It works for me though, the contrast of the illuminated warning board and the dark clouds works well, and you can't tell it's been shot through glass! Well done.

brian1208 Plus
13 11.1k 12 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 7:54PM
Looks like the M3 Winchester bypass stretch - what a joy! Wink

The black glowering clouds set the mood as does the continous stream of traffic on both sides, all the way to the vanishing point and the high bank sides adds to the sense of entrapment.

Makes me glad I'm in my final career as an OAP Smile

I wonder if a black and white version will have any more impact?
Tooth 11 5.8k 227 Ireland
17 Nov 2009 8:24PM
An interesting take on a day to day experience, and the brooding clouds certainly do well adding to the sense of gloom. MY main problem with it is, in terms of this, i thing the whole thing is just a bit too bright and punchy. Brian above mentions blasck and white - maybe, but i think even just turning down the contrast and de-saturating a bit would add morew to the atmosphere

Scutter Plus
8 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:30PM
Scott thanks, good point regarding foreground. My excuse is that I was driving at the time (should I have confessed that?) and the true foreground was my own bonnet!.

Vinai - thanks you. I hate dirty windscreens and there was so much rain that it was spotless Wink

Brian - well spotted (so you too have queued here Wink) On days like this I DREAM of retirement Smile.
I do like your mod. I tinkered with a mono version but the colour popping works well I just popped the warning sign but doing Norbet Dentressangle's HGV (what a cracking name - beats "Eddie Stobart" hands down) and the signs as well looks much better!

Although I am sinking further into depression!! Smile

Stephen - edisted this a syou posted as I was writing! Fair comment - have a go if you want (I will if you dont!!)

mcgannc 7 389 3 England
17 Nov 2009 8:50PM
I love the fact you have managed to capture so many feelings in what should be on the face of it a very ordinary shot. I don't want to like it as it summons up that dread of heading out to work on a Monday morning (the M1 into Leeds is remarkably similar) but I love what you've captured - maybe I'll view the journey differently next Monday!

Scott_Scot 11 4 4 Scotland
17 Nov 2009 8:56PM

How do you cope????

Round here a busy road is one with a cow or two to move!!! Smile

Monday morning is great. A lingering breaky, then a stretch and a breath of good clean air. Filling the heart with anticipation of the day and week to come. I love it. Wink Wink Wink

Scutter Plus
8 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 9:08PM
@ Scotty - ahh well how do I cope??? a very profound question! Seeing the funny side of it and taking a photo of my predicament I guess!! And of course knowing that come the spring I will be gadding about on foot in fields again!! Smile


PS In the Forest we do have cows, ponies & pigs to deal with! in truth knowing that is where I live is what makes me cope. Smile
brian1208 Plus
13 11.1k 12 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 9:51PM
Its a funny thing this critiquing business.

I was just relaxing in the bath reading a Sci Fi story based around Evolutionary Psychology (one of my favourite black arts) when I started to think about why I had done the mods that I did.

It struck me that what I had subconsciously done was to replicate what I do as a driver, tune out everything but the essential input ie: so long as there are no brake lights to gain my attention then I will only be aware fof the warning signs and road change directions. (I had originally "popped" the road signs on the other side of the barrier but decided it didn't fit the image - probably because I wouldn't look over there in real life under such foul road conditions)

The bright red ND lorry has the same visual cue as a red brake light hence that also appears on my "cognitive screen".

Oh well - back to looking at pics, I finish my book later Smile
Tooth 11 5.8k 227 Ireland
18 Nov 2009 12:23AM

Quote:Stephen - edisted this a syou posted as I was writing! Fair comment - have a go if you want (I will if you dont!!)

OK so, did one very quickly decreasing brightness, sat and contrast, though I' sure it could be done more subtly with other tools. My version is only one set of settings - could be increased or decreased as desired, so just to make the point.

Bri - interesting thioughts, and I'm coincidentallty reading a book about the workings of the brain, and how it does exactly such things. So maybe a mod on what the professional driver's brain really sees as important would be interesting.. Smile

Davesumner 9 28 300 Australia
18 Nov 2009 7:09AM
This image just reminds me why I moved to Australia, happy winter.

I love the sky and the lines of traffic but for me the electronic sign just spoils the whole image. It seems to create a visual block where I can't see the traffic line leading off into the distance.

If the sign wasn't there I would say this was a superb image but for me the sign makes it a good image.

By the way, what is that shiny stuff that reflects the light. It seems to be falling from the sky and is all over everything? Smile Smile
Scutter Plus
8 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2009 10:03AM

Quote:........ It seems to create a visual block where I can't see the traffic line leading off into the distance...?

That is interesting Dave because I deliberately placed the sign in the shot to convey the message of a blockage, not going anywhere etc etc! Smile

PS We are getting plenty of that strange shiny stuff at the moment!
brian1208 Plus
13 11.1k 12 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2009 10:55AM
Stephen, you focused my thinking a bit more on the value of this type of thread.

Most people most of the time look at their immediate environment and react to it without conscious thought, we look but we don't see.

(This is essential to life as you wouldn't be able tyo function if you spent all your time looking and analysing what was around you before carrying out any action)

When we take a photograph we may be using the same sub-conscious process to select what we capture but the moment we deliberate about an image, particularly when we formalise it, for example by using a tripod, we start to see and analyse the scene in front of the lens.

The process of critique takes us even deeper into this analysis and, maybe, this makes us empathise with the thought processes of the photographer.

(And I thought that I was just grabbing pics! Smile )
Scutter Plus
8 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2009 6:31PM
The comments on this are really interesting. I have been musing all day about them (well I did do some work too Smile). When I took this picture I was driving - was stationary at the time (giving plenty of time to deliberate Brian!). The picture was taken to show the joys of driving to work on a wet Monday morning. The HGV and the slow down sign were there to halt your eye and interrupt your view of Twyford Down and its infamous cutting. It is particularly interesting that some have been irritated by the signs spoiling the view (I agree they do) I am pleased I succeeded in doing so!

Perhaps by colour popping one could show the picture from the driving POV and from the landscape POV?

Probably getting far to deeply involved in my own shot now but I blame Riprap for making me think harder when I look at a picture Wink! For which new habit I am grateful Smile

Eviscera 10 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2009 6:56PM
Now , if I hadnt read your vision (blocking the landscape view) It would leave so much more for the viewer to disect.

One dimensional thinking is the record shot , the "I was there affair."

Two dimensional thinking is this image , the juxtaposition of the sign , the spray and mood of the day.

Weather the elements gel.

This level two process allows compositional freedom of reign.

Three dimensional thinking is to leave an open mind for the viewer , as an outlet for discussion , the "why are they evacuating" , the leading lines to the hills , the clouds , the oppresive brake lights etc.

The fourth dimension is its mutation , your real creation of sense of place and conveyance. Your own critical assement of time and place.

Add a dollop of mood music , subliminal thinking and you create all based around the first dimension.

Images present themseleves , chase them and you are lost.

Well thats my bit this week !
riprap007 12 1.6k 37 England
18 Nov 2009 10:43PM
ahhhh clear road... in comparison to the M6 Wink enjoyable image and mods narratives a plenty
ade_mcfade 12 15.2k 216 England
19 Nov 2009 10:44PM
I take my camera in the car a lot too

not the easiest place to take shots from is it!

does tell a story in a way - though imagine it with the other lane empty... that'd be amazing, everyone's heading one way... why?

I'd probably crop off a bit of the left - that red truck is quite dominant and maybe putting it a bit more to the side would help.

Also, if possible, could you get the whole of the back of the cars rather than just the tops, then get the fumes plumeing out of the exhaust pipes? That'd add an extra dimension, pollution!

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