<<< o >>>(lazing on a) Sunday afternoon 56 comments + add yours

When I started chromasia I had no interest in street photography, but I find myself increasingly drawn to everyday scenes such as this: an elderly couple, reading their newspapers, wrapped up against the cold of a winter's afternoon. There's nothing especially striking about this sort of shot – they're just moments in other people's lives – but there's something about the everyday simplicity of such scenes that appeals.

Oh, and for some reason that I can't explain, I particularly like the small weed in the bottom right of the picture and the long crack running along the wall on the opposite side.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.44pm on 19/2/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
200mm (320mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
2x1 + fylde coast + people
comment by Gary at 08:02 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Lovely tones, great moment captured. I wonder if they know they're up here!

comment by Jeroen Broeckx at 08:03 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Great! That kind of photos I love the most!

comment by alan at 08:14 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Lovely tones. And I love street photography. I really believe it is magic when the shutter fires at just the precise moment and the capture reveals just as you describe in your comments - a little glimpse into others lives. But really into the broader fabric of the world around us. Oh, oh... starting to sound like a graduate student - I better end. ;-) Great shot.

comment by nuno f at 08:30 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

This is one of your simplest photos in the last months (at least for me) but at the same time is one of the most complete in visual terms. What I mean is that this shot is full of small details. The small weed, the wall crack, the cover of the woman's newspaper, the man's finger near the nose, the light... everything acting together to reveal a great composition. :-)

comment by nick at 08:31 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

i quite like the little rock by the woman's foot.

comment by Tom at 08:35 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Very nice shot. I love street photography too. And I don't know why, but there is something about black/white what makes it even more fascinating. Is it all because of Cartier-Bresson? I was just wondering (and this has been discussed a lot, I know). How is it with rights in this case? I mean, did you ask them for a permission to publish this shot online after taking the picture?

comment by John Washington at 08:44 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

I knew you would come round to my way of thinking ;-)

comment by djn1 at 08:44 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

nuno: yep, that's how I feel about this one too: essentially quite a simple scene, but it's one that's woven from a large number of details.

Tom: in the UK it's perfectly ok to take photographs of people when they're in a public space without needing permission to use the shot. If I wanted to sell it commercially I'd need a model release, but to post here, print, whatever, I don't need their permission.

comment by ryan at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

I like that the lady is reading a tabloid!

comment by Benjamin Riley at 08:49 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

I really like all the details in this photograph. Not so much the really small ones, but how their clothing and accesories really tell a story about them. I can see them walkig down the street slightly hunched over, hand in hand holding one another up slowly scurring along.

The image might have been a little better with longer shadows if taken later in the afternoon to add a little more symetry to the scene. Overall a great photo.

comment by Annabel at 09:06 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Lovely shot - a real 'complete' picture showing 'real' life.
Do you ask people before you take the shots? Or don't they notice? I know I'd notice someone pointing a camera in my direction.

I wish I had enough time to sit and read a newspaper. Since I have three children, they're a once in a blue moon luxury. I bet you haven't read one for years, have you! :-)

comment by Bill Hooker at 09:29 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Love this shot. I like the crack and weed, too -- the crack leads the eye left to right along the composition, and the weed provides a nice balancing full stop.

I know you don't like to blow out highlights, but this does look a little dark to me. Maybe I'm just a contrast freak, but it seems to me the nice rich blacks need a little counterpoint, and you don't have any strong whites.

comment by djn1 at 09:34 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

John: yep, looks like you finally managed to grind me down ;-)

Benjamin: yep, longer shadows would have worked too, but I quite like the emptiness on the left of the image as it is.

Annabel: sometimes I ask, sometimes not. On this occasion I didn't.

Bill: if I'd upped the contrast on this one the strong whites would have been the newspapers, and they aren't the focal point of the shot so I didn't want to emphasise them in that way.

comment by Monika at 09:47 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

well David, it's a gorgeous shot, wonderfully warm

comment by Tom at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Monika has hit the perfect phrase, "wonderfully warm." I love the richness of the toning you've applied. Doesn't matter whether it was with C1 Pro, Adobe Photoshop, or diluted tobacco juice, the "color" and overall toning is delightful.

comment by Ben at 10:14 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

I like the choice of newspaper :D, B+W gives this picture a good old fasion feeling to it.

comment by Geoff at 10:38 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Nice shot Dave. I think the crack and the small weed add a certain balance to the shot and also fill the empty space a little. The capture is great, the composition lovely, the toning excellent. And of course, I'm old enough to enjoy the reference of the title :) Such a great band!

comment by urbanghost at 11:04 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

keep the street shots coming. in my opinion they are more interesting than blatant examples of post-processing wizadry.

comment by RyanT at 11:27 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

Awesome shot. I would like to get into street photography more (im a work in progress and don't really know what I like best). The framing is perfect too.

comment by kim at 11:29 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

I love it! It's perfect and again, what Monika said, wonderfully warm.

comment by michael at 12:03 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I really like the small imperfections in the shot like the crack in the wall and the lone weed. They keep the photo grounded in reality because we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect Sunday afternoon. Great photograph as usual.

comment by Viking at 12:09 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I love this kind of photo too. I can tell you why this one works so well-- the framing.

comment by moe darbandi [desperocity] at 01:13 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

this photo is excellent and i think your cropping decision was perfect. i'm surprised you weren't really interested in street photography; i find it often amounts to some of the greatest photographs.

i appreciate a good candid shot, when the subject simply appears to be in their element.

comment by Ojorojo at 01:55 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

You are right when you say that these type of pictures are appealing. It is always exciting to capture people's expressions without being noticed. I generally find myself looking for these shots, and feel very pleased when I get one (see the picture I posted 19 Feb. if you have the time).

comment by dan culberson at 02:11 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Another street photography fan here, and I find a fine example in this image.

A little too close to nose pick though--which distracts from the image as a whole for me.

comment by Caryn at 03:19 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

What a lovely scene. They look as if they've been together forever--comfortable with each other, comfortable doing their own activities. What marriage should be, I think.

comment by Micki at 03:52 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Street photography is so much fun. Who doesn't enjoy people watching? This is a great shot, and you should do more.

comment by Marcelo Vilares at 04:18 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I too was never that interested in street photography, but lately I've been wanting to do it more and more. The appeal to me are the expressions on people's faces and what they must have been thinking at that time.

This photo is lovely. Each person deeply concentrated, each with his/her own expression, and the composition just completes the scene.

Another great one! Keep it up.

Marcelo Vilares

comment by Michael Dominic at 05:16 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I think that finger is going to do some recon...

Is the title a Pink Floyd reference?

comment by Louise at 06:55 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Wonderful moment captured. Beautiful tones and the fact that she is reading a tabloid adds interest

comment by Navin Harish at 07:58 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

My experience is that when you start photoblogging, you start taking pictures of things or people that you particularly like but if you posting one image a day, you soon run out of those objects or people that fascinate you and you turn to other things and street photography is a very easy thing to turn to a it gives you so many options and opportunities to freeze a moment of time. I have not been doing it sdo often but since I find myself taking less and less pictures in the last few days, this is what I will also turn to eventually.

comment by Geoff at 08:18 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Michael worte: Is the title a Pink Floyd reference?

No, it's a Queen song from A Night at the Opera album from 1975. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon. Same album as Bohemian Rhapsody...

comment by Pauline at 09:12 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Couples like this are the 'bread and butter' of seaside resorts in the winter and you have capured them beautifully. The details which appeal to me are the Morrison's carrier bag and the ladies handbag which is securely tucked in between herself and her husband. This image so reminds me of my early years when I lived in Morecambe! I love all your work, but street photography is my favourite. Thank you so much.

comment by peter at 09:51 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

A simple everyday scene. Nicely captured.

comment by Ahamed at 09:56 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Sometimes it's nice to stop and see the beauty in simple everyday life. The placement of the couple helps makes this more than a typical street shot.

comment by ROB at 10:04 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Although I am more than a few years (make that decades even) away, makes me want to be retired. Reading, sharing what has been read. Bliss. Perfectly captured slice of life I would have to say.

comment by Geoff at 11:46 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Made me think Dave... do you take challenges? I was thinking of the title "Seaside Rendevous" and thought you'd be able to take a photo to fit that. :)

comment by PlasticTV at 12:41 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

i agree with Navin Harish. The street is the most accessible (and perhaps inevitable) source of photography for the amateurs. In fact i'm surprised by your comment, David. i thought you produced some excellent photos off the street in the past.

comment by lino from Oz at 02:21 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

What a marvellous photo. It fit to be B/W.
And what a lucky fellow, still with his company, happy I hope!

comment by Mike Dougan at 02:27 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I love Street Photograohy, it forces me to get out of the house and comunicate with strangers. As I'm a foreigner here in the Philippines it's even harder to do! I like this image, it work's well in B&W. More street photography please :-)

comment by Lee at 02:53 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

The title is a play on a song by the Kinks, I believe: Lazing on a sunny afternoon'. I like it. Reading a newspaper, sitting outside, seems like a particularly English activity to me. It is too darn cold to do that in Massachusetts at this time of year!

comment by jammin at 02:58 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

this is nice, but in my opinion you are too far away (320mm)
try 28-50 mm and go closer , then the fun in streetphotography begins

comment by Sean at 02:58 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Regarding Annabel's query above is there (or do you know) any issue with using peoples images without having asked permission?

PS the site is deadly!

comment by Zishaan at 05:23 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Nice photo in a long time!

comment by Lex at 05:36 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

A lovely picture which captures the essence of the subject. With regards to the comment by jammin; it's a dilemma as to whether to get in close. The old adage that "if your photograph isn't good enough then you weren't close enough" is more often true but sometimes to observe a scene like this the subjects need to be totally oblivious to the photographer's presence.
In the gentleman's defence I think he is about to lick his finger tip to turn the page (it's a very common habit in the older generation!)
I assume the tight crop is because the upper part of the image was distracting and added nothing. Pity there wasn't a humerous billboard with an "It's Bracing in Skegness" poster or similar.

comment by Christian at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Peaceful on the earth . Great shot. Nothing to say.

comment by jbuhler at 06:31 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Very nice shot, it works for the very reasons you state. I could use some space over their heads though, it feels a tiny bit cramped the way it is.

comment by Gabriel at 06:37 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

I dont know if you can see it but I like the one grain of sand sitting on the left side of the person on the right.... one his walking stick :)

I had to throw that in, but this is one of my fav pics too... i like photos of everyday events that we always pass by but never stop and look at...the simplicity and beauty

comment by Bob at 09:57 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Although you could have stopped with just a b&w rendition, I like the subtle toning you've chosen to include. It seems a good match; both nostalgic and cool at the same time (fitting the subject and season).

Now, however mindful of the delicate balance involved, I agree with jbuhler that the lack of headroom is a slight bother. Sure, reading is the reason, but it makes me subconsciously uncomfortable that both their heads are leaning forward due to the "pressure" being applied by the top of the frame. I hope that makes sense to you.

Although we're on the subject of this particular image, I'd like to offer this general observation...

This shot is a testament as to what makes street photography so powerful and fascinating: when people are involved as the subject, there are a million possible stories presented to the imagination of the viewer.

This image may not take my breath away as some of your other images have done, but the care and skill you've exercised here in framing, moment, and eventual presentation result in a complete world. One I could remain engrossed in for a long time, imagining endless captions or short stories.

comment by djn1 at 10:47 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2006

Thanks everyone, and I know I should do more of these sort of shots.

comment by Nikee Ghini at 10:07 AM (GMT) on 25 February, 2006

hey, long time since I checked your site. I've got a blog too now where I post some of my pics (and others...;) I don't devote as much time to photography however, more to words and it's mostly a Journal...Live JOurnal actually : http://ignominia2.livejournal.com/
anyhoo, love this image, they are so neat! They remind me of Italians and it could be shot taken here were it not for the magazine she reads. I think the attraction to the grass and crack (and the paper on the other side is because in so much neatness you need some chaos and I was also drawn to the disorder on the ground -ciao

comment by alice at 10:09 AM (GMT) on 25 February, 2006

this is wonderful, david..

comment by Matthew Campagna at 12:37 PM (GMT) on 25 February, 2006

Nice horizontal lines.

comment by Little sister at 08:19 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2006

I love this one, a shot of pure simple contentment.

comment by Gustav at 09:37 PM (GMT) on 7 March, 2006

seems you have different styles of photography within you. I really like this one, much more than most of the pictures I've seen here in what seems to be your usual style (the blurryness, the strange colours, the slight otherworldliness).

this must be one of the first street photographs I've seen and liked taken at over 300 mm ...

comment by Justin Haaheim at 05:06 PM (GMT) on 11 March, 2006

Fantastic composition. Great timing.