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Bewitching Melodies

By AlanBW
Please view large if you have the time.

I came upon this scene in Latvia when Tricia and I were exploring in the fascinating capital city of Riga. Wed headed for the main centre and were taking in the full glory of this very beautiful city, diving into churches, gazing at superb architecture and as always peering into side streets and alleyways looking for things of interest. It was in just such a side street that I noticed this young and highly talented cellist take up his spot outside a budget hotel and begin to entertain the passers-by with a range of bewitching melodies. As often happens, an admiring crowd gathered and I had to wait for an opportunity to take a shot. Luckily, a large organised tourist group suddenly moved away, led by their female guide holding aloft a folded umbrella and with a clip-board held under her other arm. The tour group shepherdess headed into the adjoining square, her sheep followed dutifully and suddenly the photographic opportunity was on. As I shaped to take the shot, the youngster looked up so there was momentary yet spontaneous eye contact, but not a flicker of a smile such was his intense concentration. It was not until I checked the shot that I realised I had captured another image as well, for reflected in the window to the right there was the slightly distorted reflection of a woman on a bicycle!

The boy continued playing and another large group stopped, so we made a strategic withdrawal. As luck would have it, about an hour later we were heading towards a magnificent baroque church and outside sat the same young cellist, filling the airways with his beautiful music. He recognised us and with a cheeky grin, held out his hand as we approached. We were more than happy to donate a few coins as the opportunity to do so before was upstaged by the arrival of the second tour group. We spent quite some time in the church and expected to see the young maestro again as we left, but hed disappeared, no doubt having in mind a larger audience somewhere else.

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Woman Travel Boy Reflection Candid People Riga Latvia Black and white Cyclist Cellist Cello Portraits and people

Voters: TripleDshake34, riprap007, Adrian_Reynolds and 160 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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18 Sep 2007 3:21PM
Great mono. Well done
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
18 Sep 2007 3:25PM
excellent eye contact (thanks for the detailed description) and yes, an almost surreal bonus of the cyclist
18 Sep 2007 3:28PM
I'm glad she didn't smile Alan, this is a excellent image, with and enigmatic feel to the subjects gaze, Adrian
GalleryGirl 13 4 2 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 3:28PM
This is a great capture Alan - two for the price of one! Thank you! barmymarny x
VintageRed 15 15 1 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 3:31PM
Its the eye contact that make this i think,
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Sep 2007 3:44PM
Many thanks Danny, Nicholas, Adrian, Marilyn and Nick - Alan
TelStar 16 116 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 3:46PM
A beautifully caught moment. Lovely tones and that magical eye contact.

GlynnisFrith 14 23 3 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 3:46PM
Like the fact you have caught the person in the window as well
nice one
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Sep 2007 3:54PM
Cheers Tel and Glynnis, much appreciated - Alan
wbk666 15 61
18 Sep 2007 4:16PM
i find the window distracting and would have preferred a narrow "portrait" crop of the musician but its still a great shot.
18 Sep 2007 4:18PM
Excellent image Alan,
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Sep 2007 4:28PM
Thanks Wayne and Fred - Alan
jaktis Plus
17 84 Sweden
18 Sep 2007 4:33PM
I find the reflection rather amusing, contrasting his seriousness

Grim1 14 49 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 4:35PM
What a great moment capture - his expression is wonderful - almost looking but not seeing as he concentrates.
imander 14 388 7 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 4:36PM
fantastic shot and composition also the story is great
danbrann 16 640 17
18 Sep 2007 4:43PM
Tremendous candid Alan
Possum 14 148 England
18 Sep 2007 4:45PM
So not your average busker. Just love the look of concentration on his face - and also the surreal sight of the cyclist who looks as if she's IN the window.
AnthonyR 15 5 Wales
18 Sep 2007 4:47PM
Absolutely superb Alan, an excellent capture.

ChristineL 16 39 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 4:48PM
a super capture Alan, I think the reflection of the lady on the bicycle really adds to the composition,
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Sep 2007 4:54PM
Cheers Peter, Cori, Ian, Danny, Allie, Anthony and Chris, thanks for your wonderful comments - Alan
Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
18 Sep 2007 5:16PM
An excellent candid Alan, like the intense look of concentration you've caught on the young maestro's face, and catching the passing cyclist was a real stroke of good fortune. If the young boy in your photo becomes famous one day this photo may become priceless, great stuff yet again, Ed
SandraKay Plus
13 233 4 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 5:28PM
Lots of detail in this excellent mono - including the dirty walls, the frayed jeans and also the lady on the bike. Must admit, I thought it was a girl playing the cello from the thumbnail. His expression is superb.
Nettles 13 England
18 Sep 2007 5:37PM
That huge instrument looks out of place with such a young person. A superb capture with great eye detail.
Love the incidental cyclist, perfect timing, well done, a great image.
Rende 14 38 4 Netherlands
18 Sep 2007 5:42PM
Beautiful shot with lovely serious expression. He looks like a natural; I can tell because I grew up with the cello, my father being the principal cellist of the Northern Philharmonic.
AlanBW 15 20 England
18 Sep 2007 6:01PM
Many thnks Ed, Sandra, Annette and Rende - Alan
rocky41 16 174 England
18 Sep 2007 6:23PM
great pic...../Wink\
ginz04 17 281 20 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 6:32PM
Alan this is excellent quality - good content lots of interest
18 Sep 2007 6:49PM
BRILLIANT! one of your very VERY best. The picture of the girl is great, but to capture the Woman passing on her bike reflected in the window,-------------- AWSOME!!! Just love it.

John Smile
robincoombes 13 1 5 Wales
18 Sep 2007 7:27PM
Love the view through the window, excellent shot

rmr 13 1 Wales
18 Sep 2007 7:32PM
excellent capture
well done
helenlinda Plus
13 374 22 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 7:38PM
Super shot
anthhope 15 1 England
18 Sep 2007 7:50PM
Alan, well timed.
kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
18 Sep 2007 7:51PM
a fine opportunity not missed also very well composed with good information.
elcid 16 150 England
18 Sep 2007 7:52PM
Good shot and a great story, as always, nice one mate. Your comment on my last upload realy got me thinking ( Beer plant ) Like it.

Mike_Smith Plus
13 751 1 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 7:59PM
Super shot works well
18 Sep 2007 8:04PM
Lots going on in this photograph which really work well.
myrab 14 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 8:23PM
Super, super shot.
paulb20 Plus
14 12 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 8:33PM
Great candid, well done Alan.
GrahamBaines 13 39 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 8:57PM
Excellent image Alan, wonderful photo.

nickyv32 Plus
13 135 England
18 Sep 2007 8:59PM
What a great catch. Lovely shot.
Nigel_95 Plus
15 262 2 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 9:04PM
Alan, I'm with John (lifesnapper) above. This is my favourite upload by you so far, and it's an excellent conversion too. Till I read the description, like others, I thought the main subject was a girl.

TonyFrith 14 3 6 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 9:04PM
well I still think it looks like a girl ,he wouldn't like that. my brother & I were often mistaken for brother & sister when we were young ,he was the girl
Hop-A-Long 14 52 1 England
18 Sep 2007 9:06PM
Excellent capture Alan. Love the mono you have used. Great shot.
fossilized 16 79 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 9:25PM
Like the serious expression and eye contact.
norton 17 2 6 Jersey
18 Sep 2007 9:34PM
Great B/W image the detail and clarity are superb.
Well captured Alan..........

18 Sep 2007 10:07PM
Fab shot Alan, I thought he was a she when I first saw it... Lovely image, those eyes have really connected and this looks like the sort of shot that wherever you were, those eyes would follow. helen x
derekv 13 3 England
18 Sep 2007 10:38PM
Superb shot. Took me a while to suss the reflection.
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
18 Sep 2007 10:49PM
Just super.....what a fine candid...or two!
franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2007 11:18PM
A superb capture Alan, works really well in b/w.

proz 16 205 United States
18 Sep 2007 11:26PM
stunning shot , tack sharp
JimV 14 6 3 Canada
19 Sep 2007 3:31AM
You've described the situation so well Alan, I can only add a lame 'well done' always!
Rgds., Jim
chrissd 15 304 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 6:11AM
just stunning Alan, really caught the moment Smile
Rogerex 14 32 12 Australia
19 Sep 2007 6:44AM
Nicely toned b&w shot. Another interesting one Alan.
AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Sep 2007 7:08AM
Thanks for the kind comments folks, very much appreciated - Alan
fentiger 19 920 24 England
19 Sep 2007 7:13AM
All the elements come together to make this a great environmental portrait. Extremely well done!

Dave87 14 42 5 England
19 Sep 2007 7:33AM
Love your portraits taken in these far away lands. Again this is a real cracker.

imagio 14 12 1 England
19 Sep 2007 8:05AM
Superb image Alan, looks great in mono, like the look from the cellist.

DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
19 Sep 2007 8:24AM
Top shot - the eye contact is a big plus and the reflection adds a wonderfully surreal quality. Great image. Bruce
StevenPrice 16 30 2 England
19 Sep 2007 8:28AM
Excellent Alan like the B&W treatment.
AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Sep 2007 8:30AM
Many thanks Albert, Dave, Bernie, Bruce and Steve, much appreciated - Alan
wyatturp 15 2 England
19 Sep 2007 8:31AM
Alan this looks super , the eye contact makes the picture.

bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
19 Sep 2007 9:52AM
Looks good in B+W Alan. Great 'double capture' in this one.
19 Sep 2007 10:27AM
I like to watch and listen to musician playing in the street. They are usually pretty good.
This young boy is amazing in his assurance and self confidence. The reflection of th ewomen is fun. Great photo.
AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Sep 2007 10:32AM
Many thanks Doug, Brian and Jean-Noel - Alan
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
19 Sep 2007 1:43PM
fantastic bnw photography..great eye contact and love the reflection of the cycling woman...that's makes this excellent photography for me!

top notch

Gary_Macleod 16 166 Scotland
19 Sep 2007 2:44PM
top shot Alan

cats_123 Plus
17 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
19 Sep 2007 3:59PM
great story, to go with a great shot
AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Sep 2007 4:13PM
Thanks Ollie, Gary and Jeff - Alan
dianah 14 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 5:51PM
How lovely to see someone so young playing this wonderful instrument. Such a superb capture.
19 Sep 2007 6:56PM
Great catpure, love image and fantastic mono work.

AlanBW 15 20 England
19 Sep 2007 7:53PM
Many thanks Di and Noemi - Alan
xinia 16 54
19 Sep 2007 8:01PM
love the mood captured here and the direct gaze of the boy
Pegon 15 78 1 England
19 Sep 2007 9:43PM
A superb capture Alan, the shot brought back memories of when my daughter was learning the cello, I can still hear the screeches. This looks good in B&W, great reflection too.
graff 14 2 France
19 Sep 2007 9:49PM
A lovely shot.....however personaly I think the other human in the picture distracts....Oh well!
Rock 18 10 2 England
19 Sep 2007 9:51PM
Two superb shots for the price of one !

trissie 14 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 10:00PM
A great capture Alan, two for the price of one, lovely eye contact.

Trish x
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2213 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 10:26PM
Although the lady on the bike appears to be an added bonus, I would prefer a cropped version with just the boy and his instrument. It is such a wonderful image just on its own. The idea of such a young child handling and playing such a large instrument is awesome, and your picture is an absolute gem.
LisaRose 14 172 4 United States
20 Sep 2007 6:28AM
A very good candid.

AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Sep 2007 6:41AM
Many thanks Maggie, Pete, Graff, Rock, Trish, Pamela and Lisa - Alan
A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2007 8:07AM
superbly captured cellist with the candid lady in the window. excellent in mono.
20 Sep 2007 8:18AM
Quite unique and very effective in B&W. I like the expression in the boy's eyes.
Barbaraj 14 450 England
20 Sep 2007 8:57AM
A two in one candid and a good story line.
RobinF 14 83 1 England
20 Sep 2007 9:01AM
This is a glorious B&W with so much atmosphere and the lady cyclist adds an interesting 'quirk' to the composition. Brilliant and Charming Alan!

glyndwr 13 91 10 Wales
20 Sep 2007 9:33AM
Superb work.
Thanks for sharing this experience.

AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Sep 2007 10:20AM
Many thanks Alan, Mac, Barbara, Robin and Robert, very much appreciated - Alan
iajacks 15 24 England
20 Sep 2007 12:18PM
this is a cracking shot full of lots of great points of interest, the look on the face is very good,

well done ian
20 Sep 2007 12:32PM
Really beautiful, timeless expression
mhaseman 14 608 1
20 Sep 2007 1:31PM
Excellent shot Alan. Well done.
graceland 16 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2007 3:29PM
I think i'm going to take some People pictures after seeing this
AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Sep 2007 3:50PM
Thanks Ian, Graham, Martin and Robin - Alan
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
20 Sep 2007 4:07PM
Nicely exposed picture, and a good 'candid'
gerrymac 13 10 1 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2007 4:16PM
I like the way he / she is looking at you,great shot
AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Sep 2007 4:38PM
Many thanks Brian and Gerry - Alan
brownsilent 14 7 2 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2007 5:28PM
Superb shot Alan, I really like how he looks towards you, but I think he is not really taking in what's happening around him. Terrific capture.
Mikelane 13 1 Wales
20 Sep 2007 5:49PM
Simply wonderfull .Great capture in the window .Well done .
AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Sep 2007 6:02PM
Cheers Johanna and Mike, very much appreciated - Alan
20 Sep 2007 6:31PM
Great shot i like this very much
20 Sep 2007 6:35PM
Looks good in mono, excellent eye contact and as always an interesting description Alan.

Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
20 Sep 2007 8:19PM
Beautifuly taken shot the shot of the girl in the window as well...

daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2007 9:35PM
Well-described and making wish I could hear this wonderful talent. I love the shine on the Cello, and his expression.

Thanks for sharing this wondeful story.

Richard707 14 14 United States
20 Sep 2007 9:48PM
Nice one. I like the intensity of this boy's expression while he's plucking his cello and looking at you at the same time. I also like the window's reflection as it gives a sense of how and where this took place.
right place right time ...very beautiful shot
glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
21 Sep 2007 4:49AM
Nice shot, even the shot of the of the woman in the mirror on the exercise bike. Spot on! Click!!!

AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Sep 2007 6:55AM
Many thanks Phil, Val, Don, Daphne, Richard, Sharon and Greg - Alan
panda 16 5 1 England
21 Sep 2007 10:46AM
As a musician myself, I love to see youngsters taking it up, what is life without music? Lovely candid shot, and the lady on the bike is an unexpected bonus.

Regards Phil
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Sep 2007 12:11PM
Cheers Phil, much appreciated - Alan
McKenzie 14 22 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2007 2:24PM
Beautiful capture....
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Sep 2007 4:15PM
Many thanks Steve - Alan
gingerdelight 14 298 11 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2007 4:16PM
A lovely study Alan, and the reflection in the window is a wonderful bonus!
x Carol x
ChiliMan 14 135 17 Singapore
21 Sep 2007 5:47PM
Oh wow...pristine light and clarity as always...and such a great capture of attitude! (not attitude in a bad way, mind you)

The reflection on the window gives this such an 'everyday life' feel too. Very cool Smile

AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Sep 2007 6:09PM
Many thanks Carol and Andrew - Alan
22 Sep 2007 2:16AM
Another great street capture Alan!

summ3r 14 26 1 United Kingdom
22 Sep 2007 7:59AM
This is definatley one of your best Alan, the eye contact is superb and the reflection is a real piece of good luck as without it the wall would be a little boring, brilliant capture
JudeC 14 6 3 England
22 Sep 2007 9:50AM
Brilliant capture - JudeC
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Sep 2007 11:00AM
Many thanks Stan, Carole-Anne and JudeC - Alan
22 Sep 2007 12:48PM
Alan so many have said so much in praise that it's difficult to know where to start. I'm late on the scene because of yet another busy week, but this still deserves the highest praise. I did wonder for a minute just what I was seeing in the reflection!

Regards, Mike
evelen 16 5 England
22 Sep 2007 3:10PM
great b/w shot i like the way you have captured her face, i am enjoying my holiday been out taking lots of pictures ,with patricia, thanks for your comments. eve .
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Sep 2007 4:38PM
Thanks Mike and Eve, much appreciated - Alan
firzhugh 16 13 New Zealand
22 Sep 2007 8:35PM
beautiful portrait, like the pose and look
korni 14
22 Sep 2007 9:04PM
Fascinating portrait!!!
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Sep 2007 9:47AM
Thanks Cornelia and Sasha - Alan
sandrish 17 36 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2007 3:07PM
Excellent shot! Buy 1 get 1 free as well!!

AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Sep 2007 4:51PM
Cheers Sandra, very much appreciated - Alan
Carl40 15 18 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2007 9:32PM
Great BW image with good tone like the reflection of the woman on the bike
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Sep 2007 11:21PM
Many thanks Carl - Alan
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
25 Sep 2007 3:29PM
Is the lady cycling away from the player.Who knows.Great candid again.
AlanBW 15 20 England
25 Sep 2007 4:07PM
Many thanks Tom - Alan
Mavis 19 143 2 England
26 Sep 2007 7:10AM
I was distracted from commenting when I voted Alan and then I forgot !!
Wonderful to capture youth enjoying music . Well captured and lovely story . xx
AlanBW 15 20 England
26 Sep 2007 8:51AM
Many thanks Mavis - Alan
phototime 15 8 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2007 7:52PM
Fantastic portrait Alan,superb candid shot.

bayleaf 13 8 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2007 3:40PM
Superb portrait. Lovely. John.
AlanBW 15 20 England
27 Sep 2007 3:59PM
Many thanks Mo and John - Alan
KevinMW 14 14 Wales
27 Sep 2007 10:16PM
Wonderful Capture Alan.

newy17 15 273 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2007 6:26AM
two for the price of one fantastic shot alan.
AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Sep 2007 6:39AM
Many thanks Kevin and Ian - Alan
una 17 10 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2007 10:57AM
A great shot, pin sharp.
AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Sep 2007 12:31PM
Many thanks Una - Alan
30 Sep 2007 9:29AM
A very sophisticated and creative image


AlanBW 15 20 England
30 Sep 2007 10:08AM
Cheers Stephen, much appreciated - Alan
1 Oct 2007 2:06PM
one of a kind...lots of interest
AlanBW 15 20 England
1 Oct 2007 3:10PM
Many thanks Traci - Alan
Crazee1ady 13 16
1 Oct 2007 3:49PM
I love the way you tell a good narrative story as well as your pictures telling a story in their own right. Fantastic image with everyone above covering all the topics I'd cover :o)
AlanBW 15 20 England
1 Oct 2007 3:59PM
Cheers Jan, very much appreciated - Alan
angelamary 15 6 England
4 Oct 2007 11:33AM
I do like cello music... good catch! (Not sure the lady on the bike would agree!) Smile
AlanBW 15 20 England
6 Oct 2007 9:12AM
Many thanks Angela - Alan
Libby_M 14 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2007 6:27AM
nice shot
love the eye contact
great colour
AlanBW 15 20 England
10 Oct 2007 7:58AM
Many thanks Libby - Alan
mollye 14 3 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2007 4:52PM
Another great mono image love the eye contact alan and the reflection of the cyclist.
Great shot
AlanBW 15 20 England
10 Oct 2007 6:10PM
Many thanks Molly - Alan
Juliet 14
11 Oct 2007 1:33AM
Great picture Alan. Perfectly clear and shows the mood of the scene very clearly. It seems you had interesting trip last summer. I am very busy just now so have not much time to be here, but will be back soon I hope to see everything new in your portfolio. Nice to see you again Smile
AlanBW 15 20 England
11 Oct 2007 7:10AM
Cheers Juliet, very much appreciated - Alan
WillieH 15 2 Scotland
18 Oct 2007 10:07PM
Just adore this shot Alan, well captured love the tones love the image.

Cheers Willie
28 Nov 2007 11:26AM
A gorgeous candid shot. Love the eye contact.
AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Nov 2007 2:55PM
Thanks Willie and Tanya - Alan
John_Humphreys 15 69 2 Ireland
5 Dec 2007 10:48PM
A super picture Alan. Great eye contact with the subject and the woman's reflection in the mirror was a great stroke of luck. John
21 Dec 2007 4:17AM
Alas Alan, you have captured the somber innocence in the elegance of the cellist, his eagerness evident in the gaze of curiosity. The hair and the eyes do it for me, as if by magic the window is a mirror of what is happening in the city and the boy is the passageway into the quiet stillness of another time...

susanbarton 13 11 1 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2008 9:49AM
Beautiful picture and interesting story, I must always contribute if I take a performer or 'beggars' photo

Thanks again for your visit and comment

AlanBW 15 20 England
15 Mar 2008 10:31AM
Many thanks Susan - Alan
photophantom 13 108 3 Philippines
28 Mar 2008 7:05AM
Nice double images Alan. Great story.
AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Mar 2008 7:20AM
Many thanks Dennis - Alan
Sahyadri 13 61 2 India
30 Mar 2008 3:51PM
wow alan! this is a dream candid shot....
User_Removed 17 239 7 England
16 Apr 2008 9:41AM
really like this. perfect timing to capture the female bum leaving the scene. this is a rare image quite sublime. top drawer alan. goes into my favorites.

AlanBW 15 20 England
16 Apr 2008 11:09AM
Many thanks Sahyadri and Gerry, much appreciated - Alan
alexanderL 15 3
18 May 2008 9:41PM
this shot really works in B/W

jondee 12 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2008 3:34PM
great image.
oll1e 14 57 2 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2008 2:16PM
wow a great image Alan ,that bottom on the bike gave me a chukkle
RTDS 12 Cyprus
4 Nov 2008 8:57AM
Excellent capture.
Love the mono,awsome details.

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