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Bus stop goodbye

By supervm2
I have taken this photograph as part of a project for my city & guilds level 3 course.
I have tried to recreate a photograph taken by Trevor Watson from the 60's.
It was a very cold day last month so I used 2 soft boxes to add some light.
I think it could have been improved by having the lady hold the arm of the man and had some people in the coach and driving the car.
other wise I think it is a good effort to recreate the image.

Tags: Photo journalism General Transport Landscape and travel Portraits and people Flash and lighting London buses

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


mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2013 2:18PM
Googling Trevor Watson images brought back some memories, but I haven't been able to locate the picture that you were aiming to recreate - can you post a link perhaps?
Viewing this in isolation, without that background, I'm not really seeing any bond between them. I guess he should look as though he's trying to grab a last kiss (the slightly raised foot and angle of the body are good), but his face seems to be drawing back not straining forward. He could just as easily be an optician examining her eyes; and she looks very static, she's so carefully balanced on that one leg. Yes, if she was reaching out for his arm it would say more emotionally, and also make her pose less rigid.
It does make me want to know more though.

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banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
10 Mar 2013 2:52PM
The image looks very much posed, and lacks any spontaneity or emotion. His mouth is not in a position to suggest a kiss. The man look disinterested completely.

The couple are a little soft, - the camera seems to have focused behind them slightly, so they could be sharper. Crop to an A4 by removing the excess lower area.

Colour tone looks quite warm, - dont know if its intentional?

Apart from the actors, you done well to place the scene in the time period with the dress and props.

Loaded a mod.


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2013 3:18PM
Here is original,,
not as rude as some!
paulbroad 10 123 1244 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2013 4:23PM
Willie makes a lot of observations. I am not going to look at the original, I'm looking at this one. The sky has a warm cast and I would crop off all the sky and a strip off the right with some off the foreground. In other words, filling the frame more.

Not a bad image when just the content is studied but it does look posed.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2013 5:25PM
Thanks for the link, I vaguely remember this one now. I asked for it partly because I was not certain if you were aiming for passionate emotion or for posed irony, or a mix of the two.
It is worth looking at the original. Look at the angle of his head, and of hers, and how much closer their faces are.
Also look at how much more space the figures occupy within the frame.
You don't have to copy the original but there's a lot to learn from it. I think you need to reshoot. Move in closer and direct your models to get more involved with each other and loosen up the body language.
By the way, I love her shoes.
10 Mar 2013 6:56PM
Thanks for the comments.
It is posed and i take on board all the points however it was a very cold day -4 and about to snow.
It took 2 weeks to arrange the bus for the shoot so i will not be able to re shoot.
this is more about using the techniques i have learn on my course. I had to do research and this shot came up on my search.
the course is also about planning the shot setting the props and the lights etc.
Then writing about the good and bad of the image.
Let you know if i pass
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2013 8:35PM

Quote:It took 2 weeks to arrange the bus for the shoot so i will not be able to re shoot.

I'm sorry if my suggestion was impractical!
My advice then would be to look at Willie's Mod carefully, and maybe consider a crop to give the couple greater importance in the frame (if cropped images are within the rules).
The written narrative will be important, I hope that we have given you areas to think about. I hope it goes well!
iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2013 12:03PM
The original is a tighter crop (or the poster for sale is) and clearly suggests to me a bus on a London street and a passionate last kiss as the man leaves on the bus. This could only be reproduced with a huge effort as platform buses have gone from service. Even then allowing someone on the platform as the bus moved off was probably staged. It was common practice to jump on or off at traffic lights if the conductor was busy collecting fares. I live in Southsea and an old Routemaster bus (your type) runs along the sea front on sunny Sunday's. Unfortunately it's has grotty doors fitted to stop such passionate behaviour.
Your project sounds interesting, all the best with it,
Photo it's self looks good to me.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2013 12:19PM
Can I just come back and add that recreating/reinventing classic pictures is a very educative exercise - I've seen it done a few times and it's fascinating to follow the thought-processes. It isn't (or at least shouldn't be) just about the original set-up, the lighting etc. It also needs consideration as to why the original has proved to be successful - what is the spark that engages viewers? Learning from that, developing it.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
11 Mar 2013 8:07PM
Good luck!

One thing that bothered me was the hand he is using to hold the bar, its the wrong hand. Looking at the original, it became so obvious, the other hand allows the man way more room to lean into the kiss, and is a natural way to stand when gettin on to the bus.. But I imagine he never actually used a bus like this, so wouldnt know


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