Stop, look, wait and observe….

This entry is all about one image, which I have called ‘Walking Stick’.

The photograph was taken in the middle of the day just a few days ago. In December the sun is very low in the sky and the pavements are often wet from an early morning shower, but then never dry out as it’s too cold and damp.  In strong sunlight this combination can result in a lot of contrast and reflection. Surrounded by Christmas shoppers I looked around me and saw the different textures in the paving stones and back lit people in silhouette. The shot just needed someone to come into the frame. I took three or four shots by way of an experiment to make sure I had the correct exposure. With such extremes of light and dark, it would be very easy to have blown highlights by over exposing the photograph.

I waited a few minutes when a man with a walking stick came into my field of view. The camera was set to ‘single shot’ even though the Olympus EM5 can take 9 shots per second. I released the shutter at what I thought would be the best moment and the camera with its really fast autofocus did the rest.

The rather intriguing and perhaps mysterious result is shown below.

Walking stick

I quickly looked at the screen on the back of my camera……reviewed the shot and frankly couldn’t wait to get home to download the image and find out whether or not the camera was capable of capturing such a wide dynamic range. I used my usual workflow of Lightroom 4 and then Silver Efex Pro2 for the black and white conversion.

I was delighted with the result and it reminded me of the famous and much repeated saying by Henri Cartier-Bresson – ‘the decisive moment’. On this occasion I believe I have captured that moment. A few minutes later the sun went behind a cloud and the lighting effect was lost.

It also embraces a saying which I have adopted for my photography –

“Stop, look, wait and observe….then capture the world in a different light”

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