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Still Crazy
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Old August 28th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #1
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Moral: Never Be Too Lazy to Lift That Camera

It was the end of a 6 hour long, hot summer day spent shooting subjects in our new Millennium Park. The sun was passing "magic hour" and was within minutes of dropping behind the wall of tall buildings on the Park's west side. I was pooped. My camera was feeling like I was carrying a Thompson Viper around my neck. My waist pack felt like it had pulled my slacks down to my thighs. I needed food and a cold drink. The last thing I needed was to pick that camera up again.

But then I spotted a little girl (with her father nearby) lost in her own innocent world of playing with a sprinkler. I hesitated for a few seconds but ultimately couldn't resist the scene. So I lifted the camera once more and took several shots.

I didn't give the shots a second thought until I began sifting through the nearly 200 frames I'd taken that day. All I can say is that I'm so glad I mustered the energy to lift that camera once more that day. This shot became one of my treasures for that day. To me it's reminiscent of a b&w shot I saw many, many years ago of kids playing in an open fire hydrant in New York. Of course I'm biased <g> but my shot has a subtler character to it, with the little girl in her own physical space and the bustling downtown traffic just behind her.

Just thought I'd share it with ya. Hope you like it, too.

Here's the shot.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 06:31 AM   #2
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Well, Ken, you know that one of the rules of "The Great Lensman", is:
Expect the Unexpected.

Nice shot.

And, I well know that pooped & puckered out feeling.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #3
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Very nice shot indeed. I'm always a sucker for a well executed, backlit subject.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 02:58 PM   #4
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Yes, very nice shot! Makes me wanna roll over and snooze away a lazy summer afternoon.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 09:45 PM   #5
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Nice shot Ken!

The only thing that nags me about it is two people in the top with white shirts. They drag my eye away just a little too much from the subject. Have you thought about darkening them a little more so they fade in with the other people in darker shirts?
Just a thought.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #6
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Dylan,
Indeed, I did. This particular shot was actually quite a bit taller before cropping, showing more of the street and 'L' (elevated train) beyond. When I converted the shot to b&w I worked with the channels for quite a while to consciously keep the far subjects distinguishable for two reasons.

1. The people just happened to have a somewhat timeless appearance. Nobody's yaking on a phone and their general dress, to the extent you can discern it, almost suggests a 1960's summer, particularly the fellow in the short-sleeved shirt. Even the street lamp in the shot is of a retro-style. (They were installed to look quaint for the Democratic National Convention in the 1990's.) So you would almost believe that the shot was taken 40 years ago...until you spot the little girl's shoes which are clearly very contemporary. I really get a kick out of shots that, at first glance, suggest one situation but have tiny contradictory clues embedded in them.

2. I wanted to retain a clear sense that this little girl was, to a degree, in her own world in a bustling city environment. So I wanted to leave the passers-by visible. The extreme contrast around the little girl caused by glare from the sidewalk almost ensures that you notice her first.

So I'm actually glad that the people in the background did catch your eye, Dylan!
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Old August 29th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #7
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In that case, brighten up the dark people standing between the two guys in white shirts.

Just kidding. :) It does have a nice timeless feel.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 11:51 PM   #8
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Ken, beautiful - full of those hot summer day feelings . . I can really "hear" the sprinkler . . and I'm in London!

Thanks for sharing - G
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