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Seeing light, and understanding its effect in regards to the capture of an image, is something I have endeavored to work on for many years. When I moved from film to digital I struggled to understand how to manage light especially since I had somewhat reached a level of understanding on how to shoot with Fuji Velvia and Provia, and what filters I needed to moderate the process. So a new journey in discovery began. My landscape work has always been a "considered level of fussiness", much like in my film days, and when I attempted to translate this into street and portrait work I found it just did not work as well. Or at least I was not satisfied with the treatment and the way I might convey a story. The fact is you just cannot be fussy in street photography.
Reading the light and letting the shadows fall into their own zone has never been easy for me. In landscape I am looking to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene, and with digital I can do this easily and then decide how I want the final image to be conveyed. With street scenes I have found that achieving this kind of latitude is folly especially as the moment is just too fleeting. When I think about the scene too much it is simply gone in the snap of a finger. I made several captures of The Commuter but none were as successful, in my mind, as this first one. I saw the light, raised the camera, had only a split second to make an adjustment in the exposure, and fired the shutter. And I totally missed the framing. But now, after living with the image a bit, I am not so sure. I like the mystery of not knowing everything about him. He is deep in thought considering perhaps an important decision or the events of the day. Just that hint of light in his eyes tells me everything. And then there is that sublime window light that brings those subtle details into momentary focus only to be lost in the shadows. I like this image more and more. And I want to make more like this one.
TECHNICAL: Fuji X-H1 and a Fujinon XF35 f1.4 R. Image exposed at ISO 800 at f5.6 for 1/640 of a second. The image was finished using a Leica Monochrom LR Preset from Raw Presets.
Thanks for stopping by today. RHC