<<< o >>>gone to town 42 comments + add yours

I went for a stroll through the town centre today as I've decided that I should make more effort to photograph people, and came across this group of friends. The guy on the right is called Lewis, and he did give me his email address so I could send him a copy of this shot, but, by the time I'd got home, I'd forgotten it. So, if any of my more local visitors recognise any of these four, please let me know.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
4.28pm on 29/4/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
113mm (181mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
16x9 + children [portraits]
comment by D. at 09:26 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

Fantastic. absolutley a fantastic shot

comment by JD at 09:31 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

Not too sure about the shot to be honest!

Does capture a great atmosphere which you must have built up while chatting with them (something I really need to work on)

Glad to see you taking the effort to photograph people! I think portraiture is a great art and when coupled with random people it kinda makes it that more special...

Anyway I just wanted to ask you about the crops that you use on the site! I've just started using 4x3 (which is a bit unconventional for me)... Upuntill now I've been sticking to 3x2, 2x3, 2x1 and 1x1.
Why did you choose 16x9 as apposed to 3x2????

comment by Andres at 09:36 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006


comment by djn1 at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

JD: one of my favourite crops is 2x1, but sometimes it's just too wide/panaromic whereas 3x2 isn't wide enough - hence 16x9 (widescreen format).

comment by martin at 09:54 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

My god, this one is great! I wish, I could make such a good photo. It is not easy to make a good group portrait by saying: "Hey, can I take a picture of you?". Congratulations.

comment by Geoff at 10:12 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

3 out of 4 for this. The 1 deducted is of course for the girl buried between the other two girls. But it's an awesome effort. You've captured fantastic expressions here, particularly on the two visible girls.

comment by Jennifer at 10:19 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

At least this won't give me nightmares ;-) PS it's young Rodney Trotter - not Lewis!

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 10:32 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

Since I have a widescreen monitor, I like the crop! I se you in the reflection of classes...or maybe not.

comment by Rib at 10:44 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

Fantastic shot! Made me smile.

comment by djn1 at 11:26 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

martin: I should have added that I didn't ask them if I could take their picture. Two of the girls jumped in front of the camera and as I was taking the first shot the other girl and Lewis jumped in. In other words this was more of a grab-shot than a portrait.

comment by Jonathan at 11:39 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

Fantastic capture, I really love the youthful energy in this shot. You can almost read their personalities from that shot - the blonde to the right being the boistrous loud one of the group. The girl to the right being cool and calmly confident. The squashed girl being the quiet one of the group, who maybe takes more of a back seat with less confidence than the others. And that is one lucky lad ;-)

comment by Jonathan at 11:40 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2006

"The girl to the right being cool and calmly confident." - I did of course mean the girl to the left!

comment by Paul at 12:02 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

I think that if someone had taken this shot of me and my friends as teenagers, it would be a photo I would cherish today in my adulthood.

comment by char at 12:39 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

This is very refreshing from yesterday's shot =)

comment by Rui at 01:20 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

very nice! :)

comment by joanium at 01:37 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

I really love this photo. I always aim to capture my friends like this, the same spontaneity, the same obvious affection and fun.

comment by Jesse at 02:55 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

this is fantastic. it almost looks like an advertisement.

comment by Don at 04:33 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

you get releases signed from all the people you shoot right?

fantastic shot, very TEEN! far left ones got such a cute innocent smile! :) your post processing skills are amazing!!!

comment by PlasticTV at 05:05 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

Beautiful portrait!!! i love every bit of it! Lewis looks like Ron from Harry Potter. :)

comment by ninu at 06:11 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

David for some reason I think this is one of the more real shots you've taken in quite a while. I really am enjoying te color toning you did here and the shot could not have been any better. It keeps the spirit of smiling alive. Great job~ and hope you're well buddy.

comment by Tseng Fu at 06:18 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

Shining day

comment by Shane at 06:50 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

david what do u use to get that color effect,,, id like to know u use in photoshop and what settings... its a great look!

comment by Louise at 07:30 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

Such joy and happiness here, what the world need more of. Thank you for this photo... :)

comment by djn1 at 08:08 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

Thanks :-)

Don: no, I didn't get a model release. What that means, in the UK at least, is that I probably couldn't license the image, but can post it here.

Shane: it was toned using the Curves tool – by bumping up the mid-tones in the red and green channels, and marginally reducing them in the blue channel. The specific settings aren't important, as they vary from image to image depending on the tonal range of the shot.

comment by bruno at 09:01 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

man what a happy and joyfull photo. makes me laugh

comment by Kato at 09:12 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

I really like this photo. You can just read the joy of their faces!

I wish you could come over and take such photo's of me and my friends :)

comment by abaghi at 10:08 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

this is a geat picture!

comment by Simon C at 11:33 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

This is a terrific shot - great composition, natural and oozing with life.

There's only one problem with it, which given the context you'd have been hard pushed to address.

Depth of field is bit too narrow leaving the people on the extremes slightly softer than they otherwise might have been. Given time to consider, I'm sure you would have changed the sensitivity ISO to 200/400 and closed the aperture a stop or two to get a slightly crisper shot whilst maintaining shutter speed.

comment by alan sham at 12:29 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

right at the moment !!

comment by mooch at 03:43 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

I really like this image. It does depict friendship and it is something I can relate to. Looks like my month pass has been renewed.

comment by dj_evil at 05:15 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

lovly image, sorry if i ask but i have to, is it B&W image or what? i can't see the different if it B&W or not?

comment by micki at 05:24 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

What a great shot! I took a shot of one guy and three gals a couple of months ago...how do these boys get so lucky?

comment by Jan at 05:30 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

very nice shot. the girl on the left side is very beautiful... :)

comment by m at 06:13 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006


comment by nungee at 07:31 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

i hope that this is not a naive question:
why are virtually all your shots taken in aperture priority mode?
(it must be naive in some sort of way...)

comment by djn1 at 07:41 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

Thanks everyone.

nungee: I mostly use aperture priority because I'm normally more concerned about i) controlling Depth of Field, and ii) using an aperture that I know gives good results. With the 70-200 though you can't shoot at much less than f/5.6 without compromising the shutter speed; i.e. shooting at a speed too slow for the focal length.

comment by Karl at 09:34 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2006

That´s much better then yesterdays shot.

By the way, the fact that you take the time to explain in such nice detail the techniques you use to get the images that you post. As I am just getting into digital photography (I have been doing standard, classic photography for some time) I find it greatly helpful. It is one of the features of your site that keeps me coming back. Now I´ve my own PhotoBlog :-)


comment by Kris at 08:57 AM (GMT) on 2 May, 2006

Terrific picture! It's a pleasure to see the joy on their faces.

comment by Seth at 05:34 PM (GMT) on 4 May, 2006

Awesome shot.

comment by Kristina at 03:38 AM (GMT) on 9 May, 2006

Excellent catch! I'm wary too, of asking strangers if I can take their photograph. I usually just take the picture, and when they notice, I smile sheepishly and ask if it's alright. I always ask them if they want me to send the picture as well, or I give them my business card so they can email me through my website. I just keep a stash of them in my back pocket when I go shooting.

You're right about the 70-200 f < 5.6 thing, it really is hard to shoot in anything but bright light without compromising sharpness. But I have to ask -- how in the post processing did you retain the flyaway hairs? I always lose them even with the incremental resize technique, and with small sharpenings...frustrating!

comment by Kristina at 03:40 AM (GMT) on 9 May, 2006

gar. it took away half of my comment! anyway short things short, wanted to ask about how you retain those flyaway hairs in post processing. :)

comment by Andrew at 05:31 AM (GMT) on 27 May, 2006

"High on Life" thats what I'm calling it. And of course, another excellent capture.