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Tales from the Riverbank

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Hi everyone, as I said the other day it has been a heck of a week and although I now have internet, finding time to use it has just been an impossibility. I thought I would have got back to take a look at all your uploads the other day, not a chance, best lai plans and all that. I'm here now though for a while.

I am currently being driven mad by the smell of the chicken that is roasting in the oven, as you can guess it's a roast chicken dinner today, one of my favourites.
I will be getting out in the garden later, weather permitting to finish up planting the years supply of fresh veg out. There's nothing quite like having a living supermarket just outside the back door. I always say the veg tastes better, apart from it being fresh and straight out of the earth, but also because you get a certain satisfaction that no-one else had a hand in growing them.

Anyway, if I'm going to see your uploads I'd best get on with it.
Todays upload is from a trip to London last year. It sort of follows on from my last upload of people being out of place, which I have to say I am considering making a project out of.
This chap was on one of the beach areas that appears at low tide along the River Thames. He just looked so out of place as everyone else who was down there were wearing jeans, t-shirts, etc.
I then noticed how deep in thought he was, this opens a whole host of questions in my mind about waht must be on a persons mind.
The cigarette would suggest a short period of relaxation or escape in what is a very stressful day, but without actually asking him we will never know adding to the mystery.
I have him walking out of frame which is unusual for composition, but I was thinking that as he was heading for the steps to leave the beach he was leaving his relaxed daydreams behind and heading for a wall of stress.
As soon as saw the fellow on the beach a song by The Jam came to mind, it's title I have used for this photo and below is the chorus which I like to think sums up why he was there.

"True itís a dream mixed with nostalgia
But itís a dream that Iíll always hang on to
That Iíll always run to
Wonít you join me by the riverbank."

I hope you like it, any comments as always are welcome.

Camera:Nikon D300 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:50.0 mm f/1.4
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:21 Jul 2011 - 1:36 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/1.4
Shutter Speed:1/2000sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
Title:Tales from the Riverbank
Username:Hop-A-Long Hop-A-Long
Uploaded:29 Apr 2012 - 10:46 AM
Tags:Dreams, London, Memories, Portraits / people, Relax, River, Stress, Thames, Thoughts, Water
VS Mode Rating 101 (66.67% won)
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Voters:morpheus1955 · gwynn56 · CarolG · Rende · AnnChown · woolybill1 · cheesey · mrswoolybill · SlowSong · franken · jaktis · Herge88 · pluckyfilly · taggart · Maiwand ·
Unique Views:28
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)


29 Apr 2012 - 11:01 AM

Brilliant shot, he looks so out of place, but somehow not, I would guess he is a Londoner ( though these days who know's Smile ) Deep in thought trying to resolve a problem or just taking 5 minutes to relax before another onslaught of problems to resolve



A superb candid, Andy, he certainly appears to have a lot on his mind. Not sure that it looks a very relaxing and pleasant place to walk, though, not my idea of a 'beach' Sad. Carol


Excellent and intriguing shot Andy.


How right you are - there's a lot going on. I don't think any of us has to be an expert in body language to see he has a problem or some stress to deal with. I like the way he's positioned too - it works well.


Bravo to you for doing something different.

I get very worked-up when people (not you!) start harping on blindly about 'rules' as they are so often blind to the meaning of pictures and only concerned about the shape. I do not mean that these rules are useless; rather, that blind adherence to them and nothing else can produce some dreadful rubbish. If only they had been called 'guidelines' in the first place a lot more original art would be produced.

The Academic movement in the 19th century rejected all paintings that didn't conform to the 'rules' of the Academy (person walking out of shot, main subject not being on intersection of thirds etc etc) (English and French Academies by the way) so the only paintings hung at the Annual Exhibitions were those that did conform. Strangely, practically none of the Academicians' paintings are regarded today as worth remembering despite their technical excellence. For example, I seem to remember (not that I was there at the time, of course, not quite at any rate) that the whole body of French Impressionists was rejected by their Academy. But it's the work of the Impressionists that is remembered in the 21st Century . . .

What I'm getting at is that, if the chap illustrated here were standing at the intersection of thirds looking into the picture the composition would tick all the boxes but might just look uninspiring. Which it doesn't and isn't. The fellow looks worried, out of place and about to be even more out of place. That is meaningful. It makes us question why he is troubled. The tick-the-box uninspiring pic is easy on the eye, we don't have to think about it - - - and the next moment we have forgotten it.

Please note that it is however easier nowadays to spot that somebody is trying to sort out a difficult problem on his own than it was twenty years ago. He is not on the phone Smile

Vive la diffťrence!


Last Modified By woolybill1 at 29 Apr 2012 - 1:34 PM
mrswoolybill Critique Team 9828 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1314 Constructive Critique Points
29 Apr 2012 - 1:32 PM

Quote: I have him walking out of frame which is unusual for composition

Creative rule-breaking, and one of my favourite rules to break.
To explain - I'm not just a reckless anarchist, there is a reason why this works. Classic, conventional images of people looking into the frame or walking into it (from the left side, of course) satisy our expectations, they are what the brain expects to see. So we do not have to think any further. A lot of people want that.
This sort of image on the other hand raises questions, suggests that there are things that we do not know about, happening outside the frame and inside the man's mind.
Which is why this works for me.

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 29 Apr 2012 - 1:32 PM
mrswoolybill Critique Team 9828 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1314 Constructive Critique Points
29 Apr 2012 - 1:34 PM

PS If you'd like to enable Mods, I have a few ideas to develop this...


The Thames beach is a great place to get some great candid shots. I like this a lot. Just a city gent taking a stroll in his lunchtime. Normal for London. Smile


I hope that the taste was good, a good upload anyway. However the chicken was



He does look rather out of place being so smart and all that but the shot works for me

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