Metropolitan sunset

(Alberto) #1

Hello all,
I’m still trying to keep up with my new year’s resolution to post more pics (and get feedback), so here’s another one. This was taken last November in Seattle, and it’s one of the very few that didn’t go to the trash immediately – which, of course, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
What do you think? What works? What doesn’t? Thanks!

(Bri) #2

First of all, I love the colors that are happening in this! BlueGold is my all time favorite tone in street shots. Everything is rich and the contrast levels are nicely balanced between the street and sky/reflection highlights.

The only thing I could really comment on is the composition. If you got the chance to go back and do it again, I would reccomend getting your camera a lot lower to the ground and shooting this scene as a vertical instead of horizontal. This would create some more dynamic perspectives with the tall walls around the street.

But since we can’t go back, I would enhance this with some cropping to make the bus and tree the focus. If you crop it to appear vertical you can get rid of the first building on the right and use what’s left of the electrical boxes as a bottom left contrast anchor against the street scene in the back as well as the sky (near/far, light/dark).

Great shot! Looking forward to seeing more!

(Glenn Butcher) #3

I’m with @ChicagoCameraslinger, the colors and light are quite compelling.

Not sure what options you would have had in the scene, but getting away from those foreground metal boxes would have nailed the rest of the composition. They keep the eye from following the first major line of the image, the street/curb. Thing is, stepping right would have completely changed the layout of the background, which I like as is. Stepping forward around them would probably lose a good bit of the left-hand building, which I think provides great color and texture.

Great urban light. 'course, Seattle…


I like it as is. :slight_smile: I love the amount of detail that is in the shot, esp. the shadow of the tree cast on the building.

Longer lens? Tilt-shift? Stand farther back? (I don’t like how “BUS” is partly outside of the frame.) Stand to the right and block traffic? :stuck_out_tongue:

Next steps
Try taking shots from right to left. :wink:

(Alberto) #5

thanks a lot for the comments! definitely useful. the only one I didn’t get:

sorry @afre, if this is a joke I totally missed it – if it’s not, I just don’t understand :cry:

(Sebastien Guyader) #6

I love the colors and detail too.
Ideally, you would have shot the scene from the middle of street.
Nice image anyways.

(Pat David) #7

Man, those colors are something else, aren’t they? :slight_smile:

I think @ChicagoCameraslinger and @ggbutcher are right about the framing/composition. The problem is there’s a few ways to go, and they’re all compromises. :frowning:

In a case like this I often look to cropping the composition into something I like better and feel might be stronger.

For instance, those gorgeous orange sunset tones on the wall with the shadow are awesome, but as @ggbutcher mentioned those darn boxes are in the way!


Interestingly, there’s still a pretty darn nice photo on the other side of the street (and in fact is possibly the one I would go with personally):


Horizontal cropping is tough because to avoid the boxes means cutting off the bus in some fashion. When in doubt you can always view it as a still from a movie maybe? :smiley:


One thing I try to do personally is make a mental note every time I have a general scene that I end up cropping and try to remember what my choices were during the process. That way the next time I’m presented with something similar when shooting I try to recall those notes. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

Honestly, the rest of the image is great (that exposure and detail is fantastic).

(Bri) #8

I love that second crop you did, @patdavid! This is what I was thinking for it.

(Glenn Butcher) #9

@ChicagoCameraslinger: Y’know, just putting those boxes more to the side helps a bunch. Good call!


I like the composition, maybe I would have raised the brightness :no_mouth:

But now the highlights are a little too punchy :thinking:


Ha ha, sorry about being indirect. That is my way of giving advice without owning up to it. I feel unqualified since I don’t have much experience taking photos. I should learn from you, putting myself out there to increase my shutter count.

My “suggestions” point to this “one problem”: There is something about the lines and perspective that I don’t like. The left and right sides, and foreground and background aren’t as balanced as I would have liked it. @ChicagoCameraslinger’s crop appears to have tamed these issues.

Not a joke but an observation of a habit of yours (at least based on your last two shots :stuck_out_tongue:).


(Alberto) #12

thanks everyone for the great insights! I agree completely about the two foreground boxes being in the way – unfortunately this is the kind of thing I notice only when back at home… then, when processing I wanted to keep the shadow cast by the tree, and I couldn’t find a way to do that without including the annoying boxes. but I also like a couple of the alternative crops. and taking notes about this is a great tip, thanks @patdavid!
@afre thanks for clarifying, now I understand. and yes, I still have a long way to go :slight_smile:


The picture if full of things happening, it is quite confusing in the sense that the focus is not clear… some people like it that way and there’s no right or wrong anyway; these are my 2 general rusty anarchic cents.

It’s an after-the-fact kind of situation and of course those particular conditions may not repeat ( that’s one of the best things about life IMHO), so taking the situationists approach one would say “salvage this, salvage that, do like this,do like that, give the frog a kiss and the corrupt cop a poison donut”.
There’s also the one-liner challenge; here popular sayings work a treat, exemplification: old chinese saying everybody and their dog know the usefulness of the useful but - bambu plants were once also babies and - only the wise know the usefulness of the unuseful, that’s some :medal_military: BS right there and it might even be useful.

For me personally would be to go over what’s “right” ( what makes me narcissistic ego warm and shinny) and go twice over what’s “wrong” ( blindfolded gremlin with a shotgun); learn about what triggered me wanting to take, why didn’t I manage to achieve, was a lazy step, a lack of focus, not confidence in my tools/technique… just a missed shot, what else? Not putting too much weighth in the matter a next time better, or even a next life better tag helps… if one’s really really hungry one will definitively succeed on next hunt. Then I can forget about the image and move on to the next black hole adventure.

// What grabs me //
A. The light has a certain quality, me pupils feel like in a warmth bath with geishas ahhh
B. Then, by order of relation and interest:

  1. the tree amidst all the metal, the asphalt, the cement, the hard surfaces of the human ants’ bigger-better-faster imperium. Yet she’s there (is a she if you know anything about trees :stuck_out_tongue: ), managing to keep on, growing, witnessing and absolutely enjoying every second of the light’s bath.
  2. The shadows of the tree lean on the building, a koan.
  3. The relation between the tree and all the rest. The tree searches for light, we build higher and higher, that crane in the back, trying to scratch god’s balls like they say. Insert here absurd Monty Python PA
  4. Relation between person walking to the light (BLC) and screen reflecting the light (MRS).

C. Perspective line forces and that (strangely, optical illusion) the bus is going over us, well Alberto thankfully {good insurance contact here} :japanese_ogre:

For the very busy TL;DR, the before points with a GUI, ejeje


And (if re-shoot it’s really out of the equation) my proposal

Dunno why but while writing the film Nostalgia for the Light kept pooping in mind. =)

(Mica) #14

This is in Seattle, and I believe Alberto lives in Europe, so a reshoot would be costly :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But your diagram, @chroma_ghost is awesome!

I’ve always wanted us to have more threads exactly like this one. Kudos to @agriggio for having the gall to put himself out there.


@chroma_ghost is a more evolved @afre; I have made similar observations.

Me too, though I wonder whether “gall” is the correct term. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

(Mica) #16

I haven’t had a photo critique in like 15 years, but I remember some of them being very difficult to endure, and I was in the same room as those people.

Gall as in, exasperation, enduring something bitter, subject to friction…

(Alberto) #17

well, if you think this is bitter, you must have a very sweet life! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

seriously though, this is super useful. and I have thick skin, so don’t worry (but really, there was nothing written that has been hard to swallow). in fact, I’m thinking of doing this regularly (say every 10 days or so), at least until people get sick of it…


Appreciate it @paperdigits. Also didn’t know the word “gall”

I imagine Alberto’s not in Seattle but I also meant what I said non-literally, in the sense… imagine you discovered something that truly moves you and you want to keep taping into that… so next time you see that “light” you recognise the source, it triggers an intuitive reflex; one must be listening though and that’s the learn fishing ( training of the brain) part that I find autonomously interesting & powerful


@chroma_ghost is a more evolved @afre; I have made similar observations.

Ja ja jaja, my dear @afre… you just don’t drink wine cheap enough, cheers (literally) :wine_glass:
If it serves any “relief”, you’re my undisputed favourite ,-) ja jajaj


I’m with Mica, +1 on kudos to @aggrigio for the move :+1: and the thick skin :elephant:

(Glenn Butcher) #19

I wrote it down, going to use it at work until they tell me to stop attending meetings… :smile:


Hence, my pause.

Cranberry juice in a green cup.