'The Underpass'

by Crosley John

the underpass crosley photography bw street seeking critique john

Gallery: Black and White: Then to Now

Tags: crosley photography b&w street seeking critique

Category: Street

Exif Information:
Make : NIKON CORPORATION
Model : NIKON D300
Date Time Original : 2009-11-14 09:32:49
Focal Length : 45/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/39
Exposure Time : 1/40
Aperture Value : 4.0
F Number : 4.0
Iso Speed Ratings : 320
Metering Mode : 5
Focal Length In35mm Film : 67
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows

Published: Wednesday 18th of November 2009 11:52:11 PM


Comments

Giuseppe Pasquali
Symmetry and ... broken symmetry! A very interesting work on this theme, with great natural framing. Compliments John, Giuseppe

John Crosley
The story (what else from me) I was walking under Kyiv's broadest street with a companion and a real estate agent. They and I were talking as we walked through this tunnel. I saw the 'end' (before the woman depicted made her 'cut' rightward). I put camera to eye, and just fired, after an extremely brief zoom adjustment. My camera already had been set for proper exposure as we entered the tunnel, but if the camera had been set to 'auto' just about any exposure that properly metered would have turned out a similar 'look' with lights, grays and darks, with the only unknown factor on 'auto' exposure would have been (1) whether the shutter speed would have been 'fast' enough to cause the woman not to be a blur; or (2) whether the shutter speed would have been be fast enough also to cause any photographer/camera movement at all to appear as blurriness potentially ruining the photo. This photo might have withstood a blurry woman 'subject' but overall blurriness probably would have been completely unacceptable. Luckily, presetting a camera for exposure, yields uniformly good results, even as one enters and exits such a small area as a pedestrian underpass. This is exposure metering by one of the big two camera manufacturers, and it was 'spot on'. In addition, even though this is 'desaturated' it looks almost identical to the in-camera display without desaturation, EXCEPT for a thin white/yellow line at tunnel's top where a lone light bulb projected its rays across the to of the tunnel, which is a great reason for desaturating, because although that 'light' shows, here, it is not distracting and doesn't have to have its yellowness explained . . . . The pedestrian walkway toward the end, showed some, but almost no information on the in-camera display, which was 'stretched' and 'lightened' just a tad in Photoshop Adobe Raw Converter and 'touched up' with shadow/highlight filter in Photoshop CS4. John (Crosley)

Ken Stoecklin
Another amazing capture, My eye traveled right down the darkness and to the figure...I actually had to blink to see the rest... Almost tunnel vision if you will. The tones and detail are handled perfectly.

John Crosley
Meir Handicap accessible? Not on your life. Both in Ukraine and Russia, handicapped people have been know to live years in their upper-story flats, without 'street' access, either because of no lift, (elevator) or because the one installed was 'not working' which can be common (at least at times). I was in a Kyiv apartment building the other day, of about 10 stories, where there was a rudimentary elevator from the top to the bottom - barely big enough for me with my lenses at my side to squeeze in. it had been added, my hosts explained, after the building was built in the late 1800s before elevators were common by a relatively wealthy man who had a wife who was more or less immobile and could not ascend or descend the 8 to 10 stories of steps (the flat I was looking at was on the fourth, but each story was really 'two stories' higher than the previous because of high ceilings, etc., and so from one floor to another was TWO long flights of stairs. The original top floor owner must have put a fortune into building an elevator (just for his wife) from the top to the bottom, inside the 'air space' in the giant top to bottom central stair well. Handicap accessible? Not in a developing country. Not by a long shot. Unless a loving relative builds you something to help you (the handicapped one) get mobile. Now,I'm handicapped and getting down stairs to this underpass and back up can from day to day be a real stress, (or even impossible sometimes) This was taken on a 'good day' (You can thank Lufthansa and an auto accident for that, -- the bad, not the good). And you thought you were just jesting. Handicap access is a real problem in such countries as Ukraine or other former Soviet Republics. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Audrey, If the average middle-class American went to Russia, Ukraine, or any other deep former republic of the Soviet Union, was centrally run and therefore more modern building areas are nearly uniformly alike among polities, despite different geographies, you would be overcome, I think, by a sense of unease and foreboding, as you tried to move around. From large apartment blocks of modern times or more distant times, there are hedges and shrubbery attempting to survive, and losing the battle, no street or building outdoor signs, no 'instant on-off' switches (the Clapper?), and almost a sense of dread for an American who is startled to find gliding past him/herself in the dark on a remote path, various citizens, intent on going from one place to another,walking by so silently, grimly almost at times. Also mysteriously and frighteningly (to an American used to street lights and clear walkways,) Sometime the shadow figure will have a cigarette or a clutch A mobile phone, then will glide silently past with nary a word of recognition. There may be many 'scary' figures walk by you as you stand in a building common area, near shrubbery or scrub trees, in nighttime darkness acting as 'landscape architecture' but often very poorly maintained (and impervious to winter's chill). So, there is a commonly perceived sense of foreboding or heightened sense of dread) as one walks in dim night light through such areas. In Soviet times these shadow figures were 'comrades' -- one for all and all for one, but we know better now. They can be scary to the US resident used to modern street lighting and well-defined paths, rather than ancient paths through forested areas, where people commonly travel; the prototype of the place the American guidebook would warn US residents against even in the the US as robbers, rapists and others with perceived evil intent are believed to walk thussly in such places. It continues through a simple urban under-street tunnel, as you have noted. You feel a 'sense of foreboding' for your escape paths are cut off, but you live i America, I think, where one in urban areas must carry a sense of fear. It is different in Ukraine; (or Russia). People going bump in the night probably are no diffrent than you, and because most still do not have autos, walking is not sign of poverty and evil itnent, but a means to get from Point A to Point B. Nothing more. Walkways, thus, were not seen as places of foreboding, but to a Westerner, they may be just that. Well commented. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Meir Samel Yes, this does look like something found in B&W magazine or perhaps 'Lenswork' with their emphasis on the zone system. But Cartier-Bresson who knew much of such things, being an aficionado of Stieglitz who championed Ansel Adams, surely knew of such things, but called himself a 'master of grays' and had no intention ever of filling out all the so-called 'zones' championed by Adams. Cartier-Bresson lived much and photographed among heavily clouded areas, such as Europe and SE Asia where obtaining such clarity - light to dark - was not always possible and often impossible. See his photos from a winter spent in, on, and around Moscow . . . for studies in gray, which accurately depict the winter weather, thereabouts. I saw those before his death when displayed with his top 2000 photos on the Magnum Agency web site, (which he helped found, before his death required their removal). I produce photos of more than one genre and satisfying more than one appetite. Maybe, as in the famous beer commercial, I can say 'Meir, this one's for you.' John (Crosley)

Meir Samel
handicap accessible?

John Crosley
Hi Meir (edited) You are exactly correct. (Edit on re-read: Even if you are blind, *partially*, you are not imagining things . . . . and you see more with one eye than most will ever see anyway.) The ramp-like and step-like affair, steps left, is for the use of those who have carts. Many Ukrainians (and Russians in identical step-like structures in Moscow Metro or underground) seem universally to have such ramps. They are indeed for the use of carts; as many people formerly and a substantial number now, still use carts, though the number is diminishing. These steps are particularly important to furnishing goods for underground kiosks, as they are used by deliverers to vendors, but this particular underpass has no kiosks; it is pure underpass, in my recollection. Good, intelligent eye, but NOT intended for handicapped use. There is a rail at the side of most steps, particularly useful if the steps are covered with glare ice. That's the extent I feel of handicap access. Thanks for sharing your insight. John (Crosley)

Wieslaw Mamon
John only to let you know that I love this photo so much, looks like you went hunting just for the light and for me this photo is one of the most intriguing visual poems about the power of light I've seen here on PN forums. No matter how popular the subject of tunnels is, everything works so perfectly here, the composition with nice geometry, the texture of the surfaces, the moment you've captured the woman and, above all, the light coming down here from two different sources. Of course one could find some allegories to the fact that at the end of the tunnel there are two ways up but I wouldn't look for any hidden meanings, just enjoy the light which rules here and creates spectacular atmosphere. Compliments, best regards.

Karl Schuler
You say safe passage. The photo could be out of a movie scene with some tension in the air. You mastered the light very well. Karl

John Crosley
Giuseppe, thanks As you are aware, just as the old darkroom trick of using an 'unsharp mask' to create the 'illusion of sharpness' was created by taking something less sharp and 'doctoring it' so it appeared sharp, it is the 'contrast' between the 'sharp and the 'not-so-sharp' that that often is my 'focus' for reasons noted below. There is an analogy in composition and framing to that of the unsharp mask. (not specifically, by the way, the Photoshop unsharp mask but the real physical unsharp mask used long ago in wet darkrooms. If one recognizes symmetry, the mind's eye will focus on that symmetry, and anything that 'breaks' that symmetry will appear to the mind (which seeks that symmetry when it recognizes it) will be the object of special focus or attention and by the very fact of 'contrast' appear to be greatly in focus or better, 'sharply in focus'. Just as old dinosaurs of certain species purportedly could only see creatures that moved, and all others were not 'seen' or at least recognized as 'living beings' by the meat-eating dinosaurs, the mind, including our much more fancy-schmancy human minds appear structured in a way that we 'see' certain things, and ignore others, though they may be clearly in view. If we see symmetry, we expect that symmetry to continue, therefore if anything breaks that symmetry, we immediately focus on it. At least that is in Western culture. Ask any Westerner, especially a US resident, to describe fishbowl and invariably they will describe the movements or appearance of this or that fish or other denizen of the bowl. On the other hand, a Japanese typically will describe the 'entire' bowl, and describe certain 'harmonies' and other relationships which they view, and not concentrate so much on individual fish. In that case, the matter appears entirely cultural. In any case, after long study of what makes certain of my photos and techniques 'successful' or not, I have a general theorem: If you place two things in opposition, it will focus the viewer's attention much more greatly on the item being shown 'in opposition' to than if it were shown without anything else there for comparison. That is often why there are comparisons in my photos (and in your great 'street photo' the fatter older woman, in front of the fancy boutique, compared to a mannequin which is the woman's exact opposite. It's technique you use too, and there used it masterfully -- to create a 'classic' street photo worthy of Photo of the Week. My first post here and my most successfully rated photo (Balloon Man') in this portfolio, shows smiley mice faces with arched eyebrows on balloons within balloons, all held in an artful array by a balloon seller. But what a Balloon Seller': a scruffy man, with a scowl instead of a frown, but even greater arched eyebrows than the comic strip character on the balloons. The man is more comical than the comic characters! That created, I think, greater interest in the man than a portrait of him would, plus it also created an opportunity for creation of a 'composition' which is harder to do with just a 'head shot' of a person. Here we have great symmetry, but a woman, mostly silhouetted, obviously talking on her mobile (cell) phone, in mid-stride is much more noticeable I think because she breaks the symmetry, and even more noticeable because the background is well lighted and the photo otherwise well-composed with good to excellent tones. However, the tunnel may have made a poor photo without an individual in it, for (1) giving the viewer an idea of 'relative size' of each - and thus a clue to 'scale'; and also because tunnel itself (outside of those who read B&W Magazine and who focus primarily on 'tones') is a more dull or uninteresting subject empty than one with a strategically placed pedestrian (as here). So, after analysis, when I create 'symmetries' then 'break them by figures, it appears to be my way of emphasizing the figure that is doing the breaking, and also showcasing the symmetry that is the environment . . . .here the tunnel. In any case, it seems to work. There are, of course, all sorts of 'devices' in photography, and the one of symmetry/broken symmetry is just one sort, although in other photos the same device can be used as a 'sub theme' where it is present but does not dominate the photo, I think, as here. Just a few thoughts, occasioned by your remark, as I am sure you have been studying those symmetries of mine (and the figures, things, etc., that 'break' them (and thus get great emphasis). My very best to you in now far-away Rome. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Raymond Borg Thank you for the kind comliments. It hardly looked any different on my camera display, and I had a guest who saw me take three such photos in less than a second, then show her these photos - it all looked to her 'so easy' how I did it. Little did this 'stranger' but guest, know . . . . . How hard it is even to 'see' such potential captures, much less bag them intact. Thanks again. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Ricardo M L d'A Thank you. This came out unexpectedly nice. I began taking such photos more and more when I saw earlier photos and how they came out, so there is some 'experience' involved. Thanks again. John (Crosley)

Audrey Lauriston
Beautiful shot with the symetry broken by the figure. I love the black & white tones. It has a mysterious & kind of oppressive feel to it. I am not used to underpasses, there isn't any where I live, so it's intriguing to me, with a sense of a little danger. Great picture. Cheers, Audrey

Raymond Borg
Very good capture. Great composition and black and white tones. Superb lighting. Congrats.

Karl Schuler
Thanky John, I appreciate your writing as much as your photography. I think you would fill a book in the time I would need to compose a page. Karl

Meir Samel
This is a BW photograph with every zone (or least 8 of them) like the ones one sees in Black & White Magazine or Lenswork... Count them. It is why the photo is so "crisp" and "snappy". Kind of photo I like. Another thing, There is an optical illusion here (as I see it). Looking straight a head it appears to me that there are going to be steps leading down to the subway. But if I follow the wall across starting from the steps on the left, there is no corner-seam and therefore there are no steps going down. The illusion comes from the darkness in the center making it seem as if there is a decent over there.

Ricardo Maximo Lopez D'Angelo
Great capture ... balanced and with great B&W tones. Best Regards.

John Crosley
Wieslaw Mamon I posted earlier a comment in reply to yours, but it apparently never 'made it' here. I am intrigued by the idea of a 'visual poem'. While I did not exactly go looking for the most intriguing or best light ever, when I saw this, I knew I had captured it. It looked almost the same on my camera display. In fact, I think all us photographers go looking for the most spectacular lighting we can find, and try to make it stunning, but it is a quest we seldom can bring to fruition. And one day, while walking with two others, I was acting like a photographer - I saw this -- the light at the end of the pedestrian tunnel - stepped forward of them, fired off several frames (almost all identical), and really made no adjustments other than a slight zoom adjustment. I appreciate the wonderful things you have written; they require no reply, really, just a note of acknowledgement. Thank you so much; I am glad you were moved by this photo, and I treasure that you have told me. john John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Karl, yes, really safe. (Some Thoughts on Security Abroad) But if you're a movie location scout, this would indeed make an interesting place for some 'dramatic tension'. Kyiv, and for that matter, much of Ukraine and former Soviet Empire is full of places that would scare most Americans/Westerners to death. One can be standing in the dimly lit courtyard or outside yard of an apartment complex and out of the shadows or from behind trees or through shrubbery, people, strangers, and without a word will emerge and pass. If they were bent on creating mayhem or murder, it would not surprise a Westerner, but in Ukraine and much of Russia such behavior is just the way of 'getting around' on traditional paths,where the Soviets (which built much of what they live in and on) were ignorant of the best means of getting from Point A to Point B and instead focused on building great boulevards at times where they were not necessary and nothing where large drives or walkways were needed. Those strangers floating noiselessly out of shadowy darkness and coming your way or just neighbors and more unaware of their skulky appearance than you, a Westerner, for 'street lighting' and other 'safety measures' are less necessary, in part, as there are not thieves and rapists lurking everywhere, as in some major areas of the Western World (US particularly as well as Latin America that I know of) but instead are the way the mostly peace-loving people get around. Of course there are dangerous Ukrainians and Russians but in Ukraine especially, one does NOT encounter them regularly, and it's really a pretty safe feeling place to be - -no footsteps following one as one walks late a night (loaded with cameras around a neck) stopping when you stop,and speeding up when you speed up, and cars that pass are more afraid of getting a 'straff" (citation) by militia (police) than they are in robbing you. Yes, there is crime and sometimes lots of it, especially in the days of the Mafia heyday, but that's been tamped down somewhat in Russia or moved 'upstairs' as some proclaim, and the streets now are more friendly there, and in Ukraine, things are just more peaceful anyway -- for reasons I won't try to explain -- but I have lived in both countries and do notice some difference, part of which is accountable by the differing years I lived in Russia (when petty mafia was rather full-blown) and in Ukraine (things increasingly prosperous until just recently with everybody looking to become more 'Westernized' in general (exceptions abound surely). But in a major city underground passage like this one, one is NOT likely ever to be accosted by anyone, other than a drunk or down and out widow asking for money. There never has been a time in Ukraine (even when two murderers were doing mass killings near me in Dnepropetrovsk, 8 hours away and I was photographing there blithely ignorant of same) that I felt unsafe in Ukraine, but I am also super careful walking along at night with expensive equipment. I won't hesitate to switch from sidewalk to street, or suddenly walk in the opposite direction, or do as I did the other day when a drunk hoodlum threatened a fellow American (not me) to shout 'MILITIA' at the top of my lungs. Yes, there are some hoodlums,and more so in Odessa (a port city noted for its humor) than in Kyiv,the largest city and capital). (To that end, I met one US motorcycle gang member with Ukrainian heritage who was returning to the US. He made the mistake of drinking, taking more than once a taxi with TWO men in it (a sure setup) and being drunk in public, and ended up getting robbed twice. Yet, I with expensive cameras, being more 'street' wise than this motorcycle gang member from the Northwest, do not get molested. It's partly your bearing on the street; if you look like a victim anywhere, you will be victimized,I think, as those creatures of prey look for 'easy prey' and that includes those who appear aimless or lost and fearful. I am never any of that, even if inside that is who I am; for if I project those qualities, then I too will become a victim, no matter where in the world I am. The same applies to anyone, unless they've been made a target for other reasons - e.g., political reasons, social reasons, etc., and that has no relationship to a discussion of Ukraine. In my experience, even accounting for difference in my years present, I experience Ukraine as being more peaceful and less crime-ridden than Russia, but then appearances may be deceiving. Mine are not statistical analyses, but rather anecdotal accounts, which are the most prone to being wrong. And anywhere, anyone can be a victim, even for no reason at all if the wrong person goes crazy or on a spree. All that being said, I'd never hesitate to talk in such a place, day or night, but I would always keep distance from strangers, especially strangers who 'speak to me' whether asking for a 'light' for a cigarette or any other purpose,for that often is a pretext for (1) luring you closer and (2) testing your resolve and the ease with which you can be made prey. Words for the wise anywhere in the world. That being said, I will not now photograph in Mexico and Brazil and in Africa places such as Nigeria are considered by me to be exceedingly dangerous and would require a local, armed guard before I'd attempt to go there with expensive equipment (though a Leica might pass muster, being small and concealable). All that being said, I was in a fast food restaurant populated by thugs last night in Kent, Washington (state) and as I entered heard one young thug woman ask a man who randomly walked in the door 'are you high?' I resolved to eat my burger and get outta there fast, as it appeared nearly everyone in the restaurant was 'high or seeking to get 'high' or looking for a target to tackle to get money to 'get high'. In some ways, parts of the US can be VERY dangerous, although that danger often is easier to read for Americans. In Europe in general, crimes of violence are less common than in the USA, and in major cities (Rome, Paris, London, etc., one is extremely likely to be made a pickpocket target - and even especially on crowded trains . . . . even in a place like prosperous Switzerland where a while ago, one man I know intimately was holding (touching) his laptop case on a train floor as he sat in a train aisle seat.' Just as the second hand was four seconds from the minute of departure (Swiss trains actually leave 'on the second of departure with doors shutting then) the thief swiped up the laptop and and simultaneously brushed with his body that man's arm, making him think he still had his laptop in case beneath his fingers only when he put them back, he discovered it was GONE! Gone out the door of the train, which shut those four seconds later, with the thief on the platform far gone by the time my acquaintance was aware that someone had actually swiped his laptop . . . and of course by thee time he could do anything he was on his way to another city. I've watched pickpockets at work in Paris. I prefer Ukraine. Less crime in my view. Sorry if this turned into too much of an essay about safety and less about photography, but some people who will travel will read this and avoid being 'taken' or harmed because of it, and that's a good enough reason for writing it. Trouble knows no boundaries or borders for those who act like potential victims. Thanks for the compliments. John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Karl, Thank you so much. Every once in a while some one suggests that the writing not only is unnecessary (it is NOT necessary) but somehow 'interferes'. Comments like yours however are the vast majority. When there is conflict, even minor over such things, I am pleased to see that some appreciate my writing. Look at it this way: If you want to look at photos, just do so, and do not read the commentaries. If you want to look at my photos and also read what you find interesting, that you also can do, but if I were to write almost nothing, to please a few, then there would be nothing for you and others like you to read and enjoy. (and yes, I write like the wind, usually in final form - sometimes at 66 words per minute, other times laboring over every word). Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know your feelings; most valuable to me in choosing what to do with my writing. john John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Ken Stoeklin 'Another amazing capture' - them's words to warm my heart and soul. I take photos to please myself AND my viewers, when they are 'in tune' with what I'm trying to depict - sometimes the twain meet and sometimes not. It is easy enough when a photo has the snappiness (see below) of this one. Ken, this is where I could somehow intimate I'm on the verge of becoming a 'great photographer, but really my contribution to this photo was to frame and take it. Now, I also take credit for presetting all the available settings on my Nikon when I went under this broad boulevard, so if something worthwhile appeared, I could just raise my camera, then point and shoot (point and shoot? With a DSLR? ) Of course, when it's set right. Just as the old Leica guys preset focus on their lenses, so all they had to do was frame and shoot with a little focusing on the 'subject'. In essence, they also had set the exposure by manually adjusting the shutter speed and the aperture, I think constantly, as they went 'about their business'. But often they stayed primarily in one lighting condition, if I understand the histories of them and the books of their captures. Seems most of them took a lot of daylight photos . . . . and few from the night or inside houses, etc. Cartier-Bresson's portraits may be his one serious exception . . . . , although indoor photos were something he 'shot' well, including those of his wife and young pianist daughter -- 'snapshots' I heard him refer to them in a video, until someone suggested they were 'art' then his ears truly did listen. Ken, I'm so flattered you think I have two (maybe more) stunning captures. I'll try to take more of such caliber, (almost impossible, at least 'on demand' but I'll try) with you in mind, to thank you for your attentiveness. Thanks! john John (Crosley)

John Crosley
Credit where credit is due for the 'tones' I may be known for 'cheerleading my own photos' as member Luca Remotti wrote recently. I really do like this one very much. I am pleased to receive so much credit for the 'tones' of this photo. The best I can say, however, is the words from the breakfast cereal commercial of long ago 'an I hepped' (and I helped!). In fact, this is just a photo taken from a preset camera, just as one takes a photo with a point-and-shoot, but instantaneously and at several frames per second. It is one of about three such photos all identical (I did not just look at my captures before I wrote this). In each the light is correct, but you must know, though I preset the ISO on the camera, NIKON MATRIX METERING did the rest. I'd love to be known as a 'Master of Light' (to mix manufacturers) but frankly the 'tones' in this photo primarily are the result of some magnificent mathematics by Nikon, not by me. Oh, yes, the original capture on display in my camera and even in Photoshop showed the foreground almost completely black, but a very, very small adjustment in Adobe Camera Raw 5.5 and later with shadow/highlight filter in Photoshop CS4, just extended the tones a little - giving them a little more range, so the foreground was illuminated a little more, rather than a little less. It was a very, very delicate adjustment, too. One I feel I hardly deserve credit for. I guess I will take credit for breaking very obtrusively from my companions, stepping several feet forward, planting both feet and firing off about three frames at a frames per second rate . . . . and then rejoining my companions. Total time spent 'working on taking this photo' - about four to six seconds and no more. I sometimes take photographs like those guys in a park who are playing chess, and after each move they hit the mutual clock top with their hand to stop the tiner; they're playing not only against each other but against the clock.' Sometimes, that's how I take photographs. Not just because I'm a 'speed freak', but because often that's the very best way to stop action before it disappates or to capture scenes before they evaporate. After all, if this woman had taken one more step, the photo would not be nearly so noteworthy, and it was my job to get the photo framed and the shutter released before she stepped out of the best position. I was on a beach walk tonight taking photographs. A man RAN by very fast. I turned, planting myself and fired my camera, even though it was well past dark. My ISO was set around 1200 to 1600 as I recall. My 'fast' f 2.8 lens caught him in midstride toward the far left of my frame, just before he exited. It was a very good capture. I just had (1) to recognize the scene, (2) frame it interestingly and (3) depress the shutter before the man was out of the scene. I caught him 'just right'. Speed sometimes matters, as the ability to move quickly when things are moving quickly. I never shot sports, though AP hired me, and I found out that a major responsbilitiy of the job I had taken was to shoot San Francisco/Oakland sports teams -- baseball, football and basketball. I guess I would have done well in that - as I can take photos fast, but it never really interested me. It was no loss not to trade quips (and probable lifetime friendship) with Willy Mays, (which I would assuredly have been doing, no matter how much an American -and baseball- icon he is. I'm not an organized sports aficionado. Or much of a sports aficionado at all. When I was a youth, real athletes such as dechathlon world record holder Rafer Johnson often worked out within a few blocks of where I grew up. World championship track meets were held within sight of my path to grade school . . . practically in my back yard, with world records always falling. The local hero: University of Oregon track coach who went on to co-found Nike -- Bill Bowerman. Co-founder was middle distance runner, Phil Knight who was a memember of the fraternity directly across the street from my house (small world). I probably met or had run into Knight when he was running while I was in junior high school; my weimerauner (to my family's regret) frequently overturned that fraternity's garbage cans . . . . then slunk across the street, home, looking very guilty. It's a very small world. Bill Bowerman invented the modern track shoe. He and Phil Knight (and one of my high school classmates) made them a worldwide sensation, and the two men, multi-billionaires. All stemming from Bowerman's quest to make his runners faster . . . his love of individual sportsmanship for his team, the track and field team, the University of Oregon, Ducks. That's why I never lusted to be a friend of Willy Mays, or the other greats in San Francisco I was scheduled to photograph before I gave up my photographic career. I just didn't care for organized sports. I liked sports Bowerman's way. One man against a finish line (or a tape measure). With individual responsibility for one's share of the results -- total responsibility. I guess I was influenced by my two neighbors much more than I ever acknowledged or knew, as Bowerman's philosophy (and practice) filled Eugene, Oregon - tracktown USA. A place where in just one race EVERY participant would break a four minute mile. That was where I grew up. So, when it comes to taking credit for this photo, yes,I was fast in framing it and pushing the shutter - even for presetting my controls. But I had no part in working out the algorithms for Nikon's Matrix Metering. Just as Bowerman's runners just wore the new light-weight track shoes he fashioned for them out of rubber-like substances and his waffle iron. They owed Bowerman for their 'edge', the new light-weight track shoe. I owe Nikon Matrix Metering and ultimately Nikon and modern technology for the 'tones' here. My 'edge' is from them. As is the ability to simply raise my camera, frame the photo in an instant, and shoot 'three perfectly exposed frames with such tones' in less than one second of firing. Credit where credit is due. (I have no relationship whatsoever with Nikon other than as a customer. Period.) John (Crosley)

Meir Samel
Handicap Accesible In your photo on the left there are two sets of steps. The rear set (also with hand rail) is bounded by a ramp on either side of the step. In Israel steps there are steps like this (see the photo attached). The ramps are for wheels of Arab Bread Carts and the steps in the middle are for the person pushing pushing the cart. In your photo there must be some utility for this extra set of steps/ramp... Or I am blind and imagining things.

John Crosley
Well, Well, Well, Welcome back Dennis, Thank you so much. Sometimes I take 45 photos and get one or nothing. Or take one, and get something like this. I'm glad to hear from you. I hope you are well and otherwise OK. john John (Crosley)

Dennis Aubrey
Wonderfully theatrical, John ... ... as perfectly composed and lit as if it were rehearsed, staged, and performed, except that it is the capture of a moment. So well done.

John Crosley
'The Underpass' Broad streets require safe passage across them. This is one of numerous pedestrian underpasses found in Kyiv, Ukraine's center. Photo, full frame, including 'blacks' which are left from the original capture; as the original capture appeared 'cropped' though it was not. Uncropped, full frame. Your comments and critiques are invited and most welcome; if you rate harshly, critically or just wish to make an observation, please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks! Enjoy! John

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