<<< o >>>untitled #0005 36 comments + add yours

Yet again, I haven't had time to shoot any new material, so I went back through my shots from China. I was thinking about what numerous people have said about the fact that the majority of the shots I've put up have been monochrome, so went for a more colourful result with this one. Let me know what you think.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
10.54pm on 24/10/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + travel [China] + people + urban
comment by sistereden at 09:08 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

Nice shot of a boy just sleeping under the stars, his dreams behind him.
China of today.

comment by silver at 09:41 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

do you edit your pictures at all? like.. PS or something? or is the secret of this amazing quality just RAW and a good camera?

comment by djn1 at 10:22 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

silver: RAW and a good camera help, but PS is essential. RAW files are digital negatives, and as such they're not all that impressive straight out of the camera – flat, desaturated, and so on. Photoshop is the darkroom.

comment by | | A R M O K S | | at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

Yep...well said Dave...Its true....99% of the pictures straight out of camera do not make any impression niether does it make justice to the capture.
This is an excellent picture...and ligting is perfect...

comment by Xavier at 10:55 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

David: Are yoy thinking on writting a book or a tutorial to share this PS knowledge with other people?. It would be wonderful for me just be near to this neverseen and incredible quality!!!


comment by Fred at 11:05 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

This is a wonderful picture at multiple level. First technically, it's amazing ! The color are so subtle and the tone are perfect for this picture ! Not too punchy, not too light. I don't know how you did it ... I would be interested to learn about it. Then the content is great ... This poor guy (I'm assuming poor, but he might be only tired ... But I see a poor guy ...) and all the ads for luxury product ... Nice contrast. Sad ...

One of your best in a while !!!! Thanks for sharing.

Fred @ 400iso.com

comment by andrew at 11:58 PM (GMT) on 5 November, 2005

Great stuff ... such an interesting culture ... just has a different feel.

comment by drdubosc at 12:05 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Nice documentary. At 5.6,1/1000,ISO100 .. I'd like to know how he got to sleep in all that light!! Curious about where it's coming from, too.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 12:26 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

I like the shot in itself...just the material. I agree with the first comment. The color is nice too.

comment by Dolem Light at 12:31 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

The abstract comparison between the rich and the poor in Dalian is inevitable; you have shown it nicely here in this photo.

comment by Geoff at 01:11 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

This is a wonderful shot. The light though is intriguing. What time of day was this, and what sort of lighting is illuminating his jeans so strongly?
Compositionally, I think it's really good, and the pp is first class. I can't imagine why this one didn't get an airing before this. It's probably my favourite of all the China shots. Good stuff!

comment by Ed { tfk } at 01:51 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

This unfortunately is such a common contrast, you've found a really great shot.
Of all things, what I like most about this is the way the light reflects off the posters behind the boy and hit the ground in front of him, leaving a slight silhouette.

comment by Juliet at 03:14 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

I've admired your work for a few months now and I've noticed a change... your most recent photos have been on the "dark side" compared to your old stuff. Is there a reason or is it something only I noticed?

comment by jen at 03:21 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

woah. i didn't even see the guy there until my eyes wandered over the shot for a minute. great photo.

comment by Jodi Warren at 04:28 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

That's great. I love the colour.
I think you do highly saturated photos really well.

comment by Viking at 04:34 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Great. Love it. Feel bad for the sleepy guy though. He doesn't look comfortable.

comment by Eterna Descontente at 04:53 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Sweet dreams, for sure ;-)

comment by prasoon at 06:21 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

a beautiful shot. The colors are so vivid and live - the lazy guy adds a new angle to the picture.

comment by Kay at 09:21 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

What a great picture. It's awful to think this one might never have been shown.

comment by Andre Malagodi at 10:49 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Amazing color

comment by Dutch PhotoDay at 10:50 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

The atmosphere of this photograph is great.

comment by tobias at 11:16 AM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

A saddening image made less so by the beautifully rich colours. Very rich tones. The brutality of life agaist the gloss of advertsing.

comment by redge at 12:41 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Life is unfair.

comment by Cavin at 12:51 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

I haven't given a comment for a long long time. But this one..... is shocking! The colours are so rich and amazing! Well done!

comment by josh at 02:37 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

I think photographers often work best when thrust into a foreign environment - everything becomes new, and your eye has to take it all in, and filter out what you think is important. I am for some reason surprised by the very Western feel to the ads, but then again there is a new middle class population in China, complete with disposable income! The photo is definitely much more powerful with all of the faces (better than ads with just products) - a face of the rich and a face of the streets. Well done!

BTW, if you haven't checked out Edward Burtynsky's latest series from China - he does a lot of industrial shots - quite quite interesting: http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/

comment by Nemo at 03:09 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Hi David,My name is Nemo and i come from China.
This my E-mail:enemo@hotmail.com
I like ur foto very much .
If you go to Wuhan ,you can connect with me.

comment by Simon C at 03:27 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

As well as being beautifully lit, this one works on so many levels.

comment by ninu at 04:07 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

What I think alot of us would like to see is how the original photograph looks directly from the RAW file taken from the D20. The after and before is what I really want to see. It's amazing how great your PS techniques are in achieving breathtaking shots like the one showcased here. If you don't mind, could you please do that on one post... the PS'ed pic above and the original below. I think everyone would get a kick out of seeing how amazing a shot can look with great PS skills. Have a great one!

comment by Leo at 08:05 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Just for info, I think the add on the far right is for skin bleaching. Asians have this thing for white pale skin on women, and as such, there are tons of products that offer whiter skin and such.

comment by djn1 at 09:01 PM (GMT) on 6 November, 2005

Xavier (and ninu): people have mentioned I should write a book about PS, and it's something I'll consider if I ever get the time. What I do intend to do though (but again this require a bit more time than I have at the moment) is put up some tutorial examples on chromasia.

Geoff: it was mid-morning. As for the light on his jeans: I did lighten that area of the shot.

Juliet: yes, I've noticed that my shots have been a bit darker of late. I'm not sure of the reason other than that I process my shots until they look right – perhaps I'm just going through a 'dark' phase.

josh: thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Nemo: thanks, if I'm over that way again I'll look you up.

comment by Tristan at 12:08 AM (GMT) on 7 November, 2005

this one seems to have good point and counterpoint but IMHO it would be a better image if the guy sleeping was more decrepit-he looks sorta trendy and so the thematic contrast between him and the adverts is not enough. in other words, i think the image could say a lot more to me than it does as is.

comment by David at 05:05 AM (GMT) on 7 November, 2005

Interesting - In processing my China photos, most beckoned for monotone as well. Also, I found myself gravitating to east vs. west themes.

comment by pierre at 04:39 PM (GMT) on 8 November, 2005

This is just fantastic

comment by neowenyang at 04:45 PM (GMT) on 9 November, 2005

would work better in B/W

comment by analog at 04:00 AM (GMT) on 15 November, 2005

Not too impressed with this. No offense, but the real art I see here is that of the advertisers, not your camera skills. Try to make the camera sing, make your work glow right from the moment of exposure. Catching a scene like this, a contrast of "rich and poor" is good content, but there are more artful ways to portray it. Rather than use a snapshot style picture, perhaps have the "rich and poor" elements in different parts of the composition. Focus, difference in lighting (natural, not dodge and burn), and abstract composition are all good tools to use to express your ideas. Don't have the camera and photoshop work for you, work for the image. You can see millions of shapshots and not catch an impression, even with rich color and detail like yours, but what really make notable photograhs are good "elemental" skills. And by that, I don't mean Photoshop Elements.

And if you are getting poor colors and low saturation from the camera back, then try using an external light meter and a polarizer. If you study the highlights and shadows of a picture, and fliter things right, you can nail gorgeous colors and/or the exposure you want. It's all in the mechanics of light.

Hope any of that helps, 'luck with your art.


comment by Patrick Harsnett at 06:29 AM (GMT) on 30 November, 2005

amazing as usual. I only wish i could take pictures like these.