Published: Wednesday 19th of June 2002 04:23:58 PM
Simply wonderful capture... Time passing by, and people passing by -- but the lovers are careless and timeless...
Goood Impressive shot , Excellent piece of work.
kang liat keng
director you must be a film director or something. Especially for such a romantic scene in black and white.
Lovely and touching My only complaint is that you don't have any more photos posted! I can't wait to see more of your work.
Very beautiful photo. One of the best photos here at photo.net in my opinion.
just too good
The contrast between the stillness of the couple and the movement of the other people is very effective. The stairway on the left is a bit distracting, and I'd like an even more statical composition to enhance this contrast, but it's really a nice photo.
It just doesn't get any better than this. Period.
I'd have preferred a slightly less centered composition. But then again, if I'd taken a picture this good, I'd have been smiling for about a year. :)
I love it... ...a previous comment was right on...this photo is definitely worth more than a thousand words. As I mention often...I love b & W. The lighting is great. How did you achieve the blurring of the background while keeping the forground so focused? I'm starving for knowlege...thanks.
A great photo in terms of being at the right place at the right time. Excellent blurring of the background, while foreground stays static. Nice dynamic between the stationary couple, and the hustle and bustle of life around them. Great job!
Really a beautiful shot... Please keep posting...
Great start with the first photo......Great shot.....it tells a story!!
A thousand words If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture would be a novel! Good job!
Great idea and execution. Time standing still for those two ... great work.
It's so nice. It makes me think about some peaceful moments I lived during some journeys.
Aesthetics 9, Originality 10 Very good.
Deny... Just to answer Michael Bender's question, all I did in photosop was: crop, levels, resize, and unsharp mask... This means: all the motion efects are real, the picture was taken at 1/20s f16 with the lens at 300mm, the train is mooving fast, the persons in the backgrond are walking, the two lovers are just not moving.
Very nice, but the centering is a little distracting. Try cropping both the right and the left and see what you get with a squarish composition. If it doesn't look good, forget what I said. Nice shot with good tonal balance.
Great! 8, 10 I won't repeat what has already been said about how excellent this shot is, though I believe it is great. I wish you you had the two lovers shifted to the left, this would have eliminated most of the distracting glass rail and might have enhanced the kinetic elements of the photo, the centered figures are killing this. But then again I am not sure what was there on the right, this could have worked if there more people in motion there, while an empty sidewalk would have been an overkill. An excellent shot overall.
great shot! and only in black and white!!!
Simply wonderful...without words
10/10 for the emotional chord it strikes and for the simple originality of the shot and the perfect execution. many of us see similar scenes, maybe even daily, but not all of us are able to reproduce it on film in a similar manner. this is what photography is all about. its a fantastic moment captured flawlessly. hats off buddy.
I like it, too, but I have to disagree with the comments about centering. Symmetrical compositions are not "bad," they are static. Yes, lots of subjects benefit from more dynamic treatment; and, yes, static composition is long out of style as a general thing. But "static" is what this picture is about!
Very beautiful image. Gives me a sense of an everlasting quality of the relationship between the two of them, symbolised by this embrace, standing still in the face of time.
Cool Photo Simple, clean, effective. Great use of blur to make the couple the main subject. As with the question of the feet, and 1/20th of a second: you can capture them as they are on the ground and get them sharp, even when the person is running. I agree with Tony on the motor drive. It's nice to advance the film, but to many photogs today use it as a crutch to capture the decisive moment. As a result, they lose that ability and when they must capture that all elusive slice of time, they're rusty and end up missing it. Congrats Rui on POW.
Good on its own Why is it when someone has an outstanding photo of its own merit, there are constant references to the "great Masters?" Especially to the photos which have been staged, such as Doisneau's "Kiss at the Hotel." The key to shooting scenes such as this is to hang out for awhile and let life come to you. People will eventually ignore you and go about their lives and you'll capture moments such as this and they' ll be authentic.
Is it not possible to have photographers who are great in their own right?
BTW, I liked Rui's photo with just the couple much better.
Timeless WOW!! At first sight I just stopped breathing!!!. A beautifully heavenly feeling went through my vain. You must post more of your work, we will be looking forward to that... I am speechless.... I wish I could..... RGDS
fruity title... nice shot though... i agree with the cropping advice...would be perfect if it was cropped to the left, up to the vent near the guy's boot(in the cap). that'd allow the guard rail to become a nice long leading line... if there's any more of the frame on the hard left that isn't too distracting, i'd print it thataways... don't think it looks good square... a square crop doesn't really match the proportions of the train. good though, me p.s. 11 out of 9
It ROCKS I wish that I had the talent to come up with this composition. I love your picture and hope to see more of them soon.
Where do I get my print? Who really cares if this shot is altered digitally? Does that detract from the overall asthetic? I don't think so....If Steve McCurry had shot the Afgan girl two years ago, rather than twenty, someone would be swearing that he had "photoshopped" her...I'm willing to believe Rui. ..The truth is, we can find fault in anything if look hard enough....This is an awesome shot! all I want to know is , where do I get my print?
1st Photo Really nice! I'm jealous of the shot AND the couple, Maybe someday???
Paul G., a motor drive wouldn't help here. What I was talking about was native reflex of the photographer, anticipating the shot, adjusting his field of view to suit and waiting for the split second (among other split seconds) that was the right time to press the shutter.
Nowadays I do use a camera with an automatic advance (it's pretty hard to get one that doesn't have this feature), but I don't think that qualifies as a motor drive. I can truthfully say I've never used the "continuous" setting to make the "decisive moment" decision for me. There's something exquisitely satisfying in exposing a candid shot and just knowing you got it right. Besides, motor drives use up too much film.
And another point...
This doesn't look like a Photoshop jobby to me. Amazing how so many automatically expect that any passable picture elements (blur, motion etc.) are "effects" and have to come out of a can.
OF course, if I am wrong and this has been attacked by "Photoshop, paintbrush, or scissors" (as it was put in an earlier post), then it would not be a photograph, would it? No amount of "not caring what has been used" by the noviatiates on these pages will turn cheesy collages full of ersatz kitschy effects into "photograph".
...Plenty of people "don't care" about lots of things, but that doesn't make their opinion valid. Having the freedom to express an opinion is all we're guaranteed (and then only in some enlightened jurisdictions). Being correct is an unrelated issue to freedom of expression....but I digress...
...at least with this picture, we don't have to worry about it being faked. If it had been faked the photographer might as well have made a good job of it and fixed up the composition. Its faults are proof of its honesty.
Specifically on the blurring, Dennis, most of the blurring anomalies you mentioned are due to the transverse movement of the subject elements - train, people - being frozen by the (also) transverse movement of the focal plane shutter. Depending on shutter speed, direction and speed of movement etc, you can get all sorts of haloes, see-through solid objects etc.
The feet are stationary because, well, feet are stationary when they are placed on the ground as you walk. Next time you walk up to the shops try the "feet-standing-still" test yourself.
Point to remember as you check out your feet... until you swing the other leg forward, you will not move any appreciable distance. thisi sreve ngefo rtheo peras ociet ygags
This is really great. I don't think that those examples with the sides cropped off looked good at all. No so much because they took the couple off center (though I quite like them at the center), but because they brought them too close up. Like this you really see how the rest of the world just moves on by without noticing them. However, the one crop that took of the legs was rather good, and I think that some experimentation could have been done on that idea. I also wouldn't mind seeing a version of this where the couple are burned in slightly, which would make them seem even more alone in their own little world. That might also compliment the little rectangular halo caused by the train window. I've also been looking at this image low down on my laptop screen, and the people in the background appear much darker, with no detail in them (like the line on the mans jacket). When I sat back up, I realized that I far prefered it with them dark, which would again be achieved by burning and dodging. As someone else menetioned, the diagonal line of the railing points right to them, which is nice. However, trying to picture the image without it makes me realize that I would have far prefered the photo without it (not that this could have been changed by the photographer, of course). Finally, I might have waited for the man to have reached furthur to the right, but either way, this photo is great, and much nicer than the other example you posted.
This is the real thing If you think about motion blur for a moment, not everything in the scene is moving the same. (OR SHOULD BE.) For instance, the man with the goatee on the right is moving about 9 pixels to the right and slighly downward (about 5 degrees from horizontal) as he is stepping down. The heel of his shoe isn't moving at all. His toe is moving down at about 15 degrees from vertical. The lady with the glasses to the left of the couple is actually moving up slightly and is also moving about 9 pixels in this frame. But her leading foot isn't moving because it is planted! There is some evidence of an USM because the highlights and dark detail on the people in the background are amplified, but it is a great shot.
I don't quite get the idea behind VR lenses. Why not just use a faster lens to begin with? Is a VR lens substantially lighter or less expensive than a faster lens?
A VR (or IS) lens allows you to hand-hold at a slower shutter speed than you'd otherwise be able without unacceptable camera-shake.It's true that a faster lens would let you shoot a a higher shutter speed, but sooner or later you'll still reach a point where the lens is wide-open and then you need to shoot at a lower speed. Also, running around with an 80-400 f/2-f/2.8 would not be something I'd like to attempt. And, sometimes, as in this very POW-worthy example, you want to shoot at a low enough speed to get some motion blur but hand-holding at that speed would be difficult. You also might not want the shallower DOF that a wider aperture would cause.
When using flash, maybe "I observed that gentlemen and ladies of the press commonly--and especially when using an unsupported telephoto lens--will hook the thumb of the left hand underneath the lens, with the palm open as if away from their face." You mean with the weight of a heavy telephoto supported mostly by the thumb? That's hardly the way to hold one steady for low light shooting. The techiques needed have been evolved and proven over centuries in another field; check out any informed discussion of how to hold a rifle steady while standing.
1/20th sec @ 300mm "Like yoga, it is in the breathing and the flexibility of one's body, not to mention the infinite practice that enables the seeming incredible." -- Paul G I don't see why that would be incredible. Rui made it clear that Return of The Kiss was shot with a vibration reduction lens.
I've just gotta say it: like Rui's intentions and disposition as much as I do, REAL candid photography just ain't done with a 300mm lens. You have to get in close and make yourself part of the scene. Anything else is a cop-out. Ultimately this shot demonstrates a goodish eye, but tells us nothing about the soul of the photographer (as opposed to the subject). Candid photography should tell us such things. The involvement of the photographer in the story is as much a part of the making of the picture as the people depicted by it. You weren't really a part of this story Rui. You were a voyeur on that occasion. Perhaps next time you could bring us something of yourself.
Take two steps to the right to change perspective a bit and eliminate the railing from cutting into the figure and move the camera to the right to avoid the dead center composition. A very nice photo, one that I wish I had taken, but improvable.
- It's a oft-done concept well captured here, especially compared to so many who try to emulate such "Doisneau-esque" shots and do so poorly. I do not like the centering no matter the "center of their own little world" comment. I personally think it suffers from it's static center composition--but at the risk of the photographer possibly losing the image by changing perpectives, in the end it comes off ok. I find the guy directly behind them (the guy they overlap) a bit cluttering and I wish somehow we had a more romantic, softer environment for the photo to really work. Otherwise to me it's a snap in a subway station--albeit, a very nice one. Modern-day "Kiss at the Hotel DeVille"? Far, far from it. Congrats on POW.
Ben Rubinstein - Manchester UK
In my opinion the centering works fine, shame about the railing but then I wish that all the critics would pause and realise that dancing around the couple trying to find the best position wouldn't have worked, just simply, this photo was a split second oppertunity, it wouldn't have half its power without the spontineity!
Love it I must agree with all of the positive energy in almost everyone's comments surrounding this one. This could be considered a classic reworked with just as much impact as it's predecessor. When I booted up today and saw this as POW I was pleasantly surprised. I disagree with a lot of the POW picks chosen by the powers that be, but this one deserves the recognition it is receiving. This one speaks to me. Not that any previous images chosen as POW haven't been of quality, it's just that this one really made me take a second, albeit long, look. As well, to hear that this hasn't wonked in PS more than needed really iced the cake for me. Nit picking aside, and God knows there's enough of that on Photo.net as it is, regardless of whatever fine tuning you think you could have done better, left center, right center, whatever, appreciate this image for what it is, and what it says to you. This is one hell of an image, I would be proud to display this one in my home as a conversation piece as well in my studio as an inspiration to keep me clicking the shutter to try and capture a quality image such as this. This right here is why I became a photographer, to freeze moments of time worth remembering. Well done, this kicks ass plain and simple.
Good story of human emotion. Did one just arrive or about to depart? The rest of the world is, as usual, oblivious
And the lesson is that we may centre again ... lol Well just in this case I presume. What a strong medium photography is at this level.
I think Rui's photo is excellent. Centering the subject is not always bad composition. If somebody think that, is obviously short-minded. In this case, the couple IS the center. Nothing distracts them, as they are the center in a senseless world. It doesn't need croping or re-compositing. The blur has no mistery, it's simply real blur. Congratulations!
I really like the moment that's been captured. Nice tonal qualities, too.
There are three elements, however, that weaken the image, in my opinion:
I think dead centering would have worked work better in this shot if all elements were more symmetrical. Take away the railing and put in an even flow of people behind the subjects and I think dead-centering would have then been appropriate.
A slight crop to remove some dead space at right would put the subjects off-center, thereby correcting some of the imbalance in this shot.
Personally, I think this looks better.
For artistic merit, I think this photo deserves POW though in general I'd say it's not quite up to par. Rui, keep up the good work.
I couldn't agree more on the comment above that called this a modern "The Kiss". It's a very nice picture, the couple very sharp, alien to the moving world outside. I like the centered subject, I agree with the elves comment. Congrats on the POW!!
Good - maybe not all that perfect though... I agree with the comment by the Elves - except for the last sentence... Yes, the contrast is great. Yes the motion is cleverly handeled... But, no, I do not believe that the centralization has any sort of excuse. It is, to me, a weakness in this particular image. I pretty much agree with Steve Koppelman and Jason.
I do not think that the railing is a good thing. It adds a bit of context but this context is unnecessary due to the strong context we already have behind the 2 kissers. The railing unbalances the image given the present composition. The photographer couldn't remove the railing of course, but he could have framed differently for an even better image. The railing and the people passing by at the back, all contribute in making the image heavy on the left side - which results in an improper balance. The man directly behind the kissers is imo too close and detracts from the couple a little.
The solution to all the problems could have been to release the shutter when the man behind the kissers was a tad further to the right... A kiss is not something that lasts only a second, and in such cases, I feel the photographer should use after the first click a little time to recompose more accurately, waiting for the crucial moment when people passing by AND the couple are just right in the frame.
Waiting for the persons on the left to be on the right was actually even better to have a perfect balance, and the camera could have included less railing then by placing the kissers at one third from the left edge.
One can of course always find the shot great as it is, or try indeed now cropping a tad on the right, but to me, looking at this, I feel quite a bit could be improved when the picture was taken. It isn't nit-picking for the sake of nit-picking, but I believe really great street shots are indeed extremely rare and extremely difficult. It is only by being more critical that one can see better faster, and become fussy enough to go the extra mile in less than a few seconds.
It is a good picture, and not an easy one for sure, but it is not optimal to me. Just some constructive criticism, hopefully. Best regards and thanks for sharing. And still, congratulations on POW.
I like seeing the..... ...constant addressing of the use of photoshop. Here we have a nice image that was brought to a bit more life with the use of motion blur. The motion blur effect thing is not that hard to do. Just stop nay-saying and get out and try it. I use it alot in my work to show that things are indeed moving.
As far as Dennis's comment on hand holding..I am lucky to have the gift of vibration reduction built into the brain.:-) I routinely hand hold a 85mm down to 1/8th of a second and have had the rare luck of getting a sharp image with a 400 2.8 @ near minimum focus...at 1/30 of a second. I simply at least try because I like to challenge my self.
The centering and the railing don't bother me. The timing on the man on the right does a bit.
HINT: For good slo-mo or blur work, hammer off no less than 3 frames with the fastest motor speed you can use (if you have one). What you will find is that the first one and maybe even the second will be soft. The third or last one might just suprise you...:-)
James Ryan Carssow
Modern day "The Kiss" Dare I say it, this reminds me of a modern day version of the classic World War II-era photo commonly referred to as "The Kiss" (it depicted a sailor - theoretically just off a warship - kissing his girl as the world went by in the background). Fabulous job! Make this into a postcard, and homesick men and women around the world will be sending it to their loved ones for years (just like "The Kiss"). One question, though I'm not sure the answer really matters to the overall pleasingness of the photo, but has the blur effect been added after-the-fact in Photoshop?
To each her/his own, I guess. This is nice, but like the frog-on-the-frosted-windowpane image two weeks ago, the composition just doesn't grab me. It might not even be the centering as I said when I first commented on this. It might have as much to do with the vertical tightness, too. The Big Idea at work here is of stillness and isolation of the couple against the frenetic motion in the rest of the frame. Having more to it on the top might undercut the intimacy, but it would have punched up this core idea. Either way I approach the horizontal centering, though, I come up a little cold. Maybe if there was more balance (not symmerty, but balance of weight) on the left and right I'd like it better even with the centering. As it stands, the much higher density (from people and the stairway) on the left, combined with the slight tilt of the horizontal plane downward to the left pulls the whole thing leftward, keeping me from feeling the "static" quality cited above.
nice job capturing this one. and i think that centering this one works. if you know the rules then this is a great example of when you can break them. congrats on the pow.
To make it even better, I'd suggest a nice and tastefull frame with the title somewhere so that you really get the whole message - just in case :)
People photography doesn't get much better than this. Really like the centered composition, even though the rail and glass closer to the camera are slightly distracting. This photo really deserves to be PoW.
Oh, Danny Boy... First, a disclosure: I neither own nor use a "Lieca M6 with a 34mm 1.4 aspheric loaded with Tri-X". Nor do I own or use a 24mm f2.0 or and 85mm f1.4 (or for that matter a 300mm zoom or 16mm fisheye).
I'm sure some need all or part of this vast array of hardware for good reasons (e.g. filling page 1, as a backdrop to the Pulitzer prize presentation, to feel at one with the Greats etc.). Why, I even dabbled in the Leica "thing" myself (25 years ago) until I found that it didn't suit my shooting style. I had too much trouble with my thumbs (both of them) getting in the way of the rangefinder. But "bringing home the bacon" wasn't my primary reason for making candid photographs. My primary reason for making candids was to explore and report some of the less pyrotechnic aspects of life that did not require admission to the hall of Pulitzer laureates as their main raison d'etre. I think you confuse "news reportage" with "candid" photography. The two have different aims.
"News Reportge", of which (we are regularly reminded) you are a prize-winning professional, has at its core the requirement to bring back a picture - any picture - of a nominated editorial event. If the picture's a prize-winner, that's a bonus, but hardly necessary, as long as the three "Ws" are maintained: "What", "Where" and "Who".
"Candid" photography, on the other hand, allows a more reflective process. If the shot doesn't work, you can walk on and try again somewhere else without needing to defend your employment status. If a candid shot isn't a prize winner you have the luxury of filing it permanently in your neg file and never printing it. However, the onus is concomitantly greater on the candid photographer (compared to the press photographer) to present only their best work, as they have more time and opportunity to establish the shot.
The single greatest difference between press and candid photography is that press photographers generally have less opportunity to create their own story. The candid photographer takes full responsibility, not only for the reporting, but for what they report.
Admittedly, the two can overlap - each has its own special skills - and when they do many images of great power and message result. But generally, the job of press photographers is to illustrate words generated by usually unpleasant events and to provide prosaic backup information on them, while true street or candid photographers' attempt to tell stories of the humanity of their subjects and most importantly that of their creators.
At the risk of broaching a currently delicate subject, it's easy to hide behind a bush or a newspaper stand and snipe away with a telephoto lens from a far distance, but the detatchment you gain from using a long lens usually shows in the final result. It's much more difficult to involve yourself in a scene close up and bring back a first hand report from the middle of it. That's why true candid (or "street") photography is so difficult: it requires more of its photographers than just possessing hardware, a press pass (that you can use as a social prop if you're caught at the wrong moment) and a good head for heights.
Some things that the two genres do require in common are: rat cunning, a certain amount of bravado and a good eye for composition (although less so in press reportage, if the alternative is no picture at all).
As to prying into other peoples' lives... I've found, myself, that if you do it right, most (I said "most") people either don't know you've done it or don't care. It's a matter of being either invasive (and feeling so - guilt has a way of writing itself all over one's face) in your prying, or merely curious and interested in the person you're photographing. Most people react well to a stranger showing an interest in them, if you do it with charm and a little humour. This is not always possible, or, if possible, is not always accomplished... but you tend to learn from your mistakes - technical and social.
Maybe press photographers' stuff would not all look the same if they thought a bit more out of the box...afterall, it is not the car, it's the driver. (Now don't get all miffed, your stuff is great Dan!)
I am not bothered by the centering of the subject couple here. I am also not bothered by the railing; in fact, I particularly like how its diagonal element contrasts with the horizontal streaking of the train -- and how it also points right to the couple's kiss.
Centering...Not! This is a terrific example of when centering the subject works! No "Robert's Rules of Composition" are going to help you here...you just have to feel it! Great Shot!
Very nice but... nort sure if photo of the week is merited. Great background motion, great foreground stillness - good forms, good contrast... However, the rail jutting into the couple's form bothers me and the emptiness on the right side of the image leaves me wanting another blurred human form there. It is very nice, but then again there are alot of very nice photos on photo.net.... just imo.
perfect just as it is i think the centering works for this photo. cropped to put the couple in the left of the frame, you lose the motion blur of the two people on that side. (i tried that in PS, myself, and i don't think the image is as strong without the additional two blurred figures.) i also like the glass stairway--it was that, before the moving train, that told me where this couple is. for me, where they are is a large part of the emotional impact of this image; having said goodbye to a lover at a train station before, this photograph captures the moment perfectly. the centering is also a part of that--when you're saying goodbye to the one you love, nothing else in the world matters. just my $.02.
Great work here -- you managed to design a scene that took me straight into your frame. Don't worry about the obvious zoom-work qualities of your photograph -- your shot is too good to fail under suggested accusations of voyeurism. It looks almost like an opening frame of a movie -- I am just waiting for this train to pass and the couple to start talking -- absolutely positively bizzare experience! BTW: Paul G. -- I think I just pee-ed in my panties laughing.
A/7, O/7 you have to upload more and more and more photos here! i love this really.
that's why we're here! excellent photo, congrats on POW!
DEFINATELY PHOTOSHOPPED Wanna know the clearest evidence to how you can tell? Welp, take a look at the horizontal pattern lines on the train.. NOW.. take a look between the guy on the right that's in motion. Look right BETWEEN HIS LEGS.. The lines have been photoshopped out.. Also, if the guy on the right is walking forward and his back leg is stationary, that would only mean that his right leg is about to step down. This would suggest that the blur halo should be on the top portion of the shoe. Instead, the halo is on the bottom part of the shoe which could only be logical if he was picking up that feet. So he is abviously stepping down with his right feet. Also check out the top left and right of the train. If something is in motion, then all parts of it will show motion. The top left/right is not consistantly in motion with the closer center portion of the train.
umm.... good photo... i shouldn't be saying anything about someones pictures, because I am just learning. But.... photoshoped photos are lame. good idea though
Pablo Gil Andres
Really very good ... and very good as is Ufff i have kept frozen when I have seen this photo ... it's great for much reasons ... and it's great this way, I don't think it needs to be crop or retouched in any way
Fine job Excellent work -- in an environment that in my experience is not the easiest to work in.
Tony, Tony, Toe-knee... ....Yer showin yer age 'N' pompossity Dos' Candidos. My favorite lenses for candid work are my 24mm F2.0 and my 85mm F1.4. The reasons for this are the speed and the fact the lenses aren't the size of a small water heater scaring the subject away or giving your self away. Does this mean that Photographer of the Year or pulitzer awards aren't given to folks who occasionally use long glass to get, say, a candid spot news image such as a fire or some other restrictive scene...heck no mate! We photojournalists use whatever lenses needed to get the shot. I don't know that I would make it a habit of using a rather obtrusive 300 zoom or a 16mm fisheye lens to get a candid shot of someone. But on the same token, I think that it is kind of funny that the majority of the "street scene'rs" seem to think that you have to use a Lieca M6 with a 34mm 1.4 aspheric loaded with Tri-X to get into thier league....horse manure! Maybe thier stuff would not all look the same if they thought a bit more out of the box...afterall, it is not the car, it's the driver. ( Now don't get all miffed, your stuff is great Tony!) The fact that rui used a long piece of glass made the scene compress a bit, sometimes it is easier in my experience to "Single out" the subject with a longer lens. For the record, I only pry into people's lifes if the image before me is exceptional. db
Very nice job. To echo comments above, to me it is a very nice shot, but with a few elements that could be tightened up (as could all of our photos). If these are your first photographs the you are carrying through from exposure to development to presentation, then you have a lifetime of terrific shots ahead of you. My nitpicking would be 1. The horizontals are just slightly slanted with the right side slightly higher. Keeping them very flat would add just a bit. One of those dreaded "rules" that just seems to work most of the time. 2. There are a few little spots, either on the print or from the scan that can easily be cleaned up in photoshop, there is a spot over the head of the lady in the background, a faint one over the head of the person on the left side and one on the pantleg of the man in the hat. They standout just because of the prominence and significance of the blur. 3. I maybe would have tried to move just a tad to the right, or even hold the camera to right if moving that way wasn't possible, just to get the rail out of his back, an armslength probably would have done it. I don't care for the railing much, wish it were a row of chairs or something less intrusive. 4. The interraction is natural, but with his face looking away, it seems he is detached. Maybe that's a good thing to keep it from being too sweet. It doesn't give me that sense of obliviousness that the blurred background suggests. Maybe a moment where they are looking at each other would add to that sense. Did you take many exposures? Not sure why 300mm, If you are just getting started, I would recommend using a "normal" view prime lens. You have the knack and sticking with one focal length will yield surprisingly joyous results for you I'm sure. Congratulations. Keep up the good work. There is a terrific shot here on photonet somewhere of some runners whose feet are the only thing visible except for some indistinct blurs for their bodies that illustrates the whole foot not blurry thing, but I've forgotten where it is. Perhaps someone recalls it.
Thanks Tony. You wrote most of what I was thinking. But I will reiterate. This is a great moment (with tons of potential) captured reasonably well but not exceptionally. It desperately needs a crop. I suggest a square one to draw in the intimacy without losing the general feeling. The white horizontal top bar should not be the brightest point in the image. The crop includes some slight burning to bring that down. It's subtle but in the world of "photo of the week" that's the type of subtle details that should be considered.
The idea here is excellent and the photographer was merely seconds and feet away from a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it looks like the frame that's one or two ahead of the shot which really counted. Actually, in the case of most of us (myself included), it's perhaps more aptly described as the best we managed to do in a state of panic. Cruel but true. The only missed goal in history worth celebrating is Pelé's effort (from his own half !!!!!) to lob the Czech goal-keeper in 1970. It's a bloody high standard, but enough people have met it shooting street pics that there can be no excuses for intrusive horizontals, poor framing, distracting shapes behind the principal subject and less-than-imaginative perspective. BTW--I really like the photographer's picture of the three boys on the beach.
Rule of thirds?
Sorry if I come across as stodgy, but this is a classic example of electronic focus crosshairs. The center focus makes the photograph clinical compared to the canon of HCB street photography it is clearly mimicking.
The picture plane is very flat, and there isn't a face - in or out of focus - to be seen. The anonymity makes it a good postcard-type image. The strong diagonal is unfortunately a visually distracting part of the picture. Take the staircase out and the picture is far better.
Many of the classic embrace/kiss photographs were staged. The irony here, is that this picture seems candid, but the composition is very static.
The single most exceptional thing about this picture is the subtle square halo (a train window?) framing the couple.
Rather disturbing is the 300mm focal length, which makes the photograph eerily voyeuristic.
beautifully spontaneous I think the photo is great as is. I think to "perfect" it would detract from its spontenaity (sp??) and feeling. The ONLY thing that bugs me is the timing of the guy on the right, but hey--how was he to know? Love the shot!!!
I think this shot is perfect! How badly do I miss a hug like this!
Excellent You definitely captured the moment here. They hug and the whole world is moving quickly around them.
Nice Work Rui great shot. I think the stairway helps, not hurts the composition. My only problem is with the blurry man on the far right, Maybe if he was further right of the photo it would balance better. Still a nice mood here. Congrats!
This is wonderful story-telling. I love the feeling of unintrusive intimacy - participating without getting in the way. Excellent eye, well executed. Keep up the good work.
Touching... I'll keep this short... it's a gorgeous shot! I believe in showing and sharing a feeling with a picture, you certainly did with this one!
Doisneau & The Kiss "Doisenau's The Kiss (which was faked anyway). Really? I thought it I had read that it was posed, but was it actually claimed to be a candid?
Tony is right. It WAS faked and it WAS a candid or street (Tony, why do you hate this word btw?) until 10 or so years ago, when a couple sued Doisneau, claiming they are the ones in the photo and the photo was taken without their permission which forced Doisneau to 'confess' that it was posed.
No Faces Agreed - Nice photo. Unless I missed someone else pointing it out previously, I'm glad the faces are not shown clearly. It further implies a timeless moment any one of us could have experienced. IMO, being able to see their faces would only personalize the photo and therefore make it not as relevant to the rest of us.
An OK picture, but very easy to take as presented here (a lot more difficult if you want to do it expertly). There must be thousands of potential shots like this at thousands of railway platforms all over the world. Comparisons to Doisenau's The Kiss (which was faked anyway) are a little generous, except as to genre.
To make a potentially cliche picture like this a real "money shot" you need to get everything perfect. Otherwise, keep it in the neg file, or expect yawns.
So, for a start, the empty space at the right would have been nice with something vertical in it (even an advertisment on the side of the train.... anything). A lot is said about "negative space", as if it was something in itself, as if it's a profound photographic element without any further need for discussion. Well, "negative space" is just like any other photographic element: it has to work within the framework of the image. In this case the right-hand third of the picture just looks... empty. If you want to see how "negative space" is handled by a master, look at any of Ian McEachern's pictures on this site.
Granted that the train wasn't going to provide any convenient vertical filler any time soon, and granted that Captain Kirk and Spock weren't going to teleport into the scene to fill the right hand side, the photographer had to work with what he had. What did he have? A moving train, five people (two of them stationary), a tiled platform, a stairway with bannister.
Perhaps the photographer should have waited that extra split second for the three people to move a foot to the right (providing a human "slot" for the embracers to fill) and panned the camera a little to the left at the same time. The diagonal bannister, continuing downwards to the left, would have given some counterpoint, filling the newly-generated "negative space" at the left, while the man with the cap, plus the pan would have eliminated the space to the right. The whole thing would have been better balanced, but in a different manner to this version. It would have involved all four people together in a photographic montage of which only the photographer (and us, his viewers) was aware. The motion blur of the train's aluminium siding would have then become an appropriate background, adding to the story, rather than an annoying artefact, featuring too prominently as I believe it is.
All this would have needed to have been accomplished in...oh... about the two seconds the photographer had to realise there was going to be a gap in the "crowd" as it came along the platform. The stairs were always there. Two seconds is an eternity in this type of photography, and very do-able. By the way, none of the above suggestions would guarantee a "money shot". But I think the chances would have been improved.
To the apologists who say, "It was a fleeting moment, he had to use what he could, and that was limited...", my reply is, "True, and he had more than he thought he did." He could have waited and reframed, all without moving an inch or without needing a different set of five people to accomplish his image.
Because a photograph is classed as "candid" or "street" (hate that word) doesn't mean that perfection, or near perfection, cannot be obtained. Street, studio or whatever kind of photography all have "excellence" as their end goal. If the photographer thinks ahead and is experienced enough to appreciate the challenge of a scene, apparent "miracles" can be worked.
On a brighter note, the tonality is excellent with a "realistic" range from black to near-white. Well exposed, in a technical sense, but could have been much better framed and timed.
A couple of comments to perhaps further discussion... The railing: As a compositional element it may be fair to question its need, though thematically it adds to the concept of "they meet and then time stands still" (if one can be so presumptuous as to assume another photographers intent). The diagonal line leads up to them and then abruptly stops. It also however, serves to slightly unbalance the picture, in my mind. Could it have been eliminated? Well Im not so sure. Given the focal length it may not have been possible to readjust the perspective and still capture the same/similar picture. And certainly from a purely functional perspective it was essential; it literally supports the two central figures and allowed them to remain stationary long enough for the photo to be taken. Without it there most likely would have been motion on their part and there would be no need for this discussion, as the print would have probably ended up in the trash. So again, maybe this really was the best that could have been done given the situation as it unfolded. Motion Blur: No comment on PhotoShop. I choose to accept the photographers word until proven wrong. Besides I also find no contradictory elements. I think many of us assumed that all the motion of the background figures was occurring from the left to right. Where in fact the right hand figure may not have been walking at all. To my eye he may have been standing there, rocking back and forth, hence the blur below the shoe as opposed to above. As for the missing lines between his legs? Well I dont know enough about trains to know if those lines are continuous or interrupted at certain points, by flat panels. As a side note, and possibly off topic; Doisenau's The Kiss (which was faked anyway). Really? I thought it I had read that it was posed, but was it actually claimed to be a candid? As for a proper critique, I could scarcely begin to do better than a few of the others have done above, but just to be clear, I find myself in the same camp as others who feel this an "OK" shot, yet not perfect, but it does appear to show a tender moment and that has to count for something. Sprouty
On a side note: I finally ran across another photo I was thinking of when I saw this POW for the first time. It has a similar element of movement but a much different feel. Click here for a shot by Luciano Checco
Alterate shot is better IMHO Rui, I like the "shot you were looking for" that you just posted a link to. More powerful in it's simplicity than the POW. Of course, the kiss gives it more impact, as well. Even the railing from the staircase is better -- not as distractingly white as in this image. Center framing is still debatable, though I think it works in the alternate version. Try cropping it from either side and see if you like the effect.
Cheira bem, cheira a Lisboa É, não é? A calçada, o comboio.... Tantas saudades. Faz-me lembrar do dia que passei em Sintra com minha Rolleiflex em Agosto. Obrigado pelo pequeno cheirinho de Portugal. Faz bem ao coração emigrante. Já Agora, onde é que você estuda fotografia?
I wish Rui would take a picture of me like that, so long as I get to choose the girl.
Hmm, yes, I have to say that the ideal pic you posted is better. The position of the couple is more interesting, and having the scene w/o people in the background works better than I would have thought. Keep it up!
Moon Landing Dear Tony, they really DID fake the moon landing, didn't they know that yet in Australia?
The alternate picture is much stronger. The description "centre of their own little world" makes much more sense. The blurred train, in the alternate version, far from being a distraction now takes almost equal centre stage and one's eyes can rest on the central primary subject more easily.
I really like this choice for POW. Not because I think that it is among the best of Photonet's best, but because it has, to my eye, a lot of unfulfilled potential. I like the concept. It is very romantic and at the same time realistic. Everyone experiences (or wants to experience) moments like this. I like the background figures and think they are essential to the image. Why? Trains always move faster than people. There's nothing interesting about the contrast between a still couple and a blurred train. In addition, the darker figures are visual echoes of the subjects, nicely complementing them both in tone and speed. They are however currently unbalanced in the frame. The dead space on the right, imo, needs to go. I don't like the railing. It's very intrusive, at least in the current crop: It fills almost exactly a quarter of the frame, and it's square-ness kills the photo's energy. As the only thing in the frame other than the lovers that is perfectly still, it distracts from the subject. Finally, this is an extremely horizontal photograph. By that, I mean that the dominant lines are all horizontal, and the photo's overall 'movement' is horizontal: my eye starts at one side and moves to the other. End of story. To address this problem, and that of the intrusive railing, I suggest the attached crop. First I got rid of the dead space to the right. This balances the background people as well as the tones. Then I cropped out the feet of the subjects - they are not important, and doing so 1) elminates a whole lot of dead space and 2) places the one strong diagonal line - that of the down-railing -in the corner of the frame where it leads the eye directly up to the subjects. Because it stops there and doesn't continue past them, the eye stops there. This is good, because you're trying to emphasize stillness. Finally, I did some burning in around the edges to further focus attention on the subjects. That's my take. Whether you agree w/me or not, I hope you find it helpful :) (P.S. - Photoshop? Nah. Why bother when its easier to go into any subway station and catch a tableau repeated over and over many times a day?)
Thanks all for your thougths! Hello All,
First, I'd like to thank you for all your comments. I was able to learn a lot from them. And I never expected that this photo would be elected as Photo of the Week!
Now about this photo and the entire story that is behind it: In first place, Im not a pro; I started a photography course one year ago and this photo was taken while photographing for my first photo project (about railways).
I really did take several photos of this scene, and the most amazing issue is that the photo I showed you was not the photo I was looking for. You can se the photo I was looking for here:
Someone told in his comment that he would prefer the photo with the other people in the background, and this was also what I was thinking about.
The photo I showed first was just taken because I was afraid of loosing this one. Later on, when I looked at the whole sequence I found the photo with people on the background much more interesting than the other. I agree that the scene is not very well balanced, and also this was not the most I could do (it never is), but at that time this sequence of photos made me learn a lot and understand that the best photos are not always the most obvious ones. Its also been a good start for a series of discussions like this and as the time goes on I keep learning more and more with them.
Now, about the tech issues raised in some of the comments:
.The crop I did: The original image that came out of the scanner had just a small trim, not a huge crop, the couple is on the center also in the original (you can see the original photo - before photoshop - in attachment).
.My position in the platform: this station has several platforms; I wasnt in that same platform. I was on the top of a staircase parallel to that one with my elbows supported against the rail.
.The 300mm at 1/20 seconds without a tripod: The lens is a Nikkor 80-400 AF VR (vibration reduction), as you can see in the technical description of the photo, in theory it gives at least 3 stops more than what you would have handholding a simple lens (this would result in the same stillness as if I was shooting at 1/160, if Im not wrong, but this is just tech stuff). And as I told above I had my elbows supported against the rail of a staircase BTW, I use a 50mm most of the time, but in some situations (like this one) I find the 300 or even 400 mm quite handy when I just do not want to intrude, I believe I could never do this with a 50mm, and yes, Im quite shy ;)
.The motion blur: all I can say, and I said it before, is that its real (meaning: not done through digital means). I saw a lot of explanations here on how it was done, and why it would be real or not; all I can say is that the effect of motion is random for most of the effects on the moving train there are hundreds of possible explanations The feet issues have been explained as far Ive seen, and thats the most I can explain, about the lines disappearing from between the legs of the man on the right, maybe the trains surface is not regular and does not always have lines, maybe we are entering science fiction here (Personally I prefer going out and spend a lot of time shooting than caring too much about this )
.Photoshopping: all I did in photoshop was: crop, levels, resize, and unsharp mask... the ( ) means adding a frame around, nothing else. Also I tend to use to much ( ) when I write. I believe we do not need to care about finding rational meanings for everything...
I believe this is all I can say for now, thanks all, its been great to learn with you! (From now on Ill pay more attention to the photo of the week comments!)
All the best,
1: I want one of those lenses. Perhaps I will never take a shot like this, but I could try. 2: There is a novel here and some of you want to take out a chapter or two. The stairway helps anchor the shot. The background people fill in for the 3rds rule. The train is an important part of the story. Ruducing it would diminish it's value to the story. 3: I might have panned a little to the right and captured more of the stairway, and up just a little so the diagonal bled off at the corner and you had a little MORE train. That would have set the couple a little closer to the rule of thirds, and the triangle formed by the stair would point to the couple. But of course this isn't my shot and kudos to the photographer who did take this one.
Not bad, but maybe the railing is a bit distracting, perhaps if they were truly asea in motion would make this photo even stronger compositionally and thematically. But, nice nonetheless, was it a posed shot?
Critique... The exposure of the train in the back gives framing to the subject. The space at the right gives tention. the railing gives leading lines to the main subject, and because it's in focus, makes this not centered, but instead 2/3rds. The tones of the train and walking people give dimention. The exposure of the main subject is dead on. The pose and attitude of the couple gives emotion. It works for me. It's art, and I dont care if you used Photoshop, a paintbrush or scissors...I only care that when I look at this photo that I can appreciate it for what it is! To me, the only "RULE" is remembering "there are no rules"! Now, lets' see that second photo! and congratulations..... Ray
How can people be blurred when their feet do not appear to be blurred? Dennis, Take a careful look at someone walking. Each foot is stationary for a moment even while the body continues forward.
Marksmanship "The forward left hand position cradling, or clutching the barrel grip, in addition to supporting the weight, is meant to counteract the reflex anticipation of the recoil, is it not?" Not in my experience, and I've got a fair amount with things that go bang. If you can anticipate the moment of recoil you're not squeezing the trigger correctly, and if you seriously tighten up your grip with either hand well in advance you'll create muscle tremors. In any event, recoil, as you said, isn't an issue. What I question is the use of the thumb as the main weight-supporting unit if you're talking about a reasonably sized lens like the Canon 70-200 or 100-400 if you're waiting for just the right expression or gesture on the part of a politicritter. Try each style for a while with a big lens. Perhaps your thumb is as strong as my wrist, in which case the issue is moot. And I have no objection to "argumentative". I could always send email to myself if I was looking for agreement. IMX, that gets boring in a hurry.
Doisneau deux To me this screams of Doisneau's "Kiss at the Hotel": http://www.masters-of-photography.com/D/doisneau/doisneau_kiss.html In Doisneau's photo he had to admit, finally, that the lovers in his photos were actors he hired for many of his 'oh so perfect' candid shots of spur of the moment Paris romance. The first thing that screamed at me when viewing this picture was "Tripod!", the second was 'Just how many actors do we have here?' I was willing to bet the walkers were also part of the company. This is not to diminish this photo -- It's great! Maybe it is so entrancing because, as so many have noted, it is such a interesting place to start. The stairs are part of the couple's world, as many have mentioned; to me they reflect the inner romance of the embrace. And the "Federal Division of Acute Angles" style of architecture speaks of lives filled with acute angles. So, first: I would like change the style of the stairs. Maybe Absinthe inspired Art Nouveau: http://mercurio.iet.unipi.it/pix/fr/metro/Paris/station/par01.jpg Or maybe a polished limestone balustrade fit for a major Carnegie library. Something from Budapest... Then I think I would shoot from an angle to the tracks. The 90 degree shooting angle emphasizes the angularity of the stairs. I would change the shooting height: it looks to me to be shoulder level and unatural... I would raise it to eye level with the tall man in the background, or lower it to the position of someone sitting down, as in the Doisneau picture. But, Bravo! This is a great peice of work: the gorgeous joining of the walkers and the train sliding past behind the lovers, it's GREAT!
this is why i like to go to the train stations.
The peace and tranquility inside the movement is very beatiful. Great shot.
Thomas Andrew Hall
A Great Example I am doing various photo "assignments" with my brother and brother-in-law, and I'm using this photo as my example of using shutter-speed motion blur for meaning in a photo. Great job.
what the.. ??? a simple hug in a timeless moment in time... simply unreal! btw, can you sent me a copy of the photo? hehehe ;-)
Beautiful and touching.
WONDERFULL!!! ITs a WONDERFULL idea and shot.
ART This is pure art! I would keep it like it is, it definatly gets the center point to a clear and definate (umm, can't think of any other word) point! this is going up to the "wall of glory" in my art class. the only other things up on the wall is a quote that begins "nothing can replace perseverence..." (if you can say the whole thing you get an A+ the first term! and yet i have already forgotten it!) and a quote by albert enstien, and another quote by gandhi, and a 3-d illusion that is really cool!
James Vincent Knowles
You know... this is one of those moments that almost everyone can relate to - it's got LOVE written all over it! Great job with using blurr to make the couple pop. This image could easily become a popular poster.
Linda Huber (Imaginee)
Thanks for the moment A moment in time held still, as the passing of day carries on and on in it's usual way. A wonderful photo, I very much enjoyed!
Frozen tick tocks This is a Valentine's e-card . I like the contrast an composition. The opposites of flashing cold steel an faceless zombies vs the softness of lovers an the warmth of emotion. The emotional levels compensates for any hiccups in the tech. You have an ability to keep it real without making couples coming off cheesy. Hope you bring more like it to the screen.
Freezing Time I think this picture is lovely! Freezes time and even show the feeling of being in love! Great picture!
Touching A lot of the photos on here are great... but this one hit me hardest. Love it... Only problem is it is slightly cliche, but you have done it well!
my title would be "alone together" - absolutely wonderful...
WONDERFULL!!! I wish I could do the same
Nicely done! Just the right amount of blur. I like it a lot.
...to the quick
so sweet your picture makes me cry. It makes me remember the time with my boyfriend whom was far away. It makes me feel the way he hugs me and everything about our love. i dont have any words to describe my feeling but it makes me miss him so much. you are so great.
George Bogdan Ionita
this picture has a great visual and emotional impact. it is striking!
High Contrast-in many ways.An excellent photograph