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As yesterday's shot was (IMO) rather crap, I thought I'd put this one up a bit early.

Update: Following the initial comments on this shot I've now posted an amended version that removes some distracting red lettering from the bottom-right of the image.

Update #2: Following the subsequent comments I've reposted the first version. The one without the letters can be seen here.

capture date
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Canon G5
5.37pm on 2/9/04
program AE
4x3 + people
comment by Luca (Italy) at 05:17 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

How many years have you waited for the woman with the almost green fruit on her hands? Be honest.. she is your mother, isn't she?
By the way (grrrr...): a good shot.
It is good beacuse, even if the main subject (your mother!) is partly out of the picture, this is an istinctive shot. I am really sure you perfomed it in your mind before shooting as you saw the poster beside the window.
You might improve it by cutting away the right part including "great prices". In my opinion, in my really personal opinin, this right portion does not introduce anything else in the story which has not yet said by the left portion.
Take care and have a nice week end. I am going to switch off my PC up to next Monday.

comment by Michael at 05:18 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

not sure on this one..... probably too much in it for me .... i have just come back from hols and looking for simplicity

comment by eMarquetti at 05:39 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

The perfection between colors.

comment by fraxinus at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

So now Chromasia moves onto Martin Parr territory - well, with your eye for a picture Dave it had to happen soon. I like this, not only for its humorous edge but for that wonderful, almost monochromatic 'fleshiness'. Given that with this kind of picture you have almost no time to compose, the composition just about holds up, although the right side is a slight worry. I'd be tempted to lose 'prices' and leave 'great', or just 'gr' - or lose the lot maybe, I dunno...
And of course, if it really is your mother you can shoot it again huh? :-)

comment by djn1 at 07:48 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

Luca: no, this isn't my mother, so fraxinus, I can't reshoot ;-)

As you'll all see if you check back I've taken out the red lettering. I did try a portrait version of this shot, but it just didn't work. Michael mentioned that there was "too much" in the original version: in the portrait crop it was far too cluttered. At least with this version there's a bit more balance to the shot. Anyway, despite the fact that I don't really like making such big (content based) changes to an image I do think it works better in this instance.

comment by djn1 at 08:07 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

fraxinus: I forgot to mention ...

The 'fleshiness' is the result of using an adjustment layer to convert the image to B&W using the Channel Mixer to extract the red channel and setting the opacity to around 75%. This lifts the skin tones and desaturates the image. In this case it was applied to all but the eight (visible) panes of the photograph.

comment by Jason Davies at 08:39 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

Nice one! I agree with fraxinus about the composition though, but I guess you didn't have much of a chance to get it perfect. The man eating the apples does it for me. In fact you could probably crop the rest out and I'd like it :)

comment by brad at 09:12 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

the red lettering or lack there of really make the difference. great shot and I love how you used the coloring.

comment by K1C at 10:09 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004

great moment!

comment by deceptive at 11:58 PM (GMT) on 3 September, 2004


I feel this shot would be better without the people or at least the one more central. It seems like one of those nearly mega shots that's not quite got it. I can not decide whether I would prefer the people to be in focus as opposed to the background either. It does remind me of Matt Stuart's photography which I adore.

comment by Frank Lynch at 04:07 AM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

My hands are at my throat, insisting that I remember that the world is better due to diversity. Otherwise, I fear I would strangle those who compani about this picture's make up.

In my view, this is wonderful: the left-biased composition which seems to upset some of your commenters is nothing more than what we all encounter on the streets every day, a competition for our attention.

This is one helluva Bravo!

comment by Frank Lynch at 04:09 AM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

Yeesh, I should have clicked 'preview' and proof read.

"compani " should be "complain"

comment by Daniel Olovsson at 05:39 AM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

I love the fact that both the woman and the man on the "poster" are eating something green. Did you wait for this one (surely you don't have THAT much time do you? :) or was it just luck? Great shot.

comment by Ryan at 11:38 AM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

OUCH! But seriously, the skin tones???!!!!! Were they THAT freaking white and pasty and whatever is making them look crazy?

comment by Frank at 02:18 PM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

Artistic effects aside, I certainly understand the shot more with the 'great prices' sign in. Without it, I didn't know if this was a museum or what, and the collection of objects looked strange. I also couldn't figure out why someone would be eating in a gallery. But when I looked at the original, it made sense.

I also think I've seen this a shot of this window before (here?), but couldn't remember where.

comment by djn1 at 03:49 PM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

Daniel: no, I don't have that much time ;-) This shot is one of about ten taken in this window. I set up the shot then just waited for people to walk past so didn't really have any idea that she was eating the green thing (fruit?) until afterwards.

Ryan: no. I guess the point I was trying to make was something to do with the way that lifestlye photography (the guy with the apple craving) is often larger and brighter than real life - hence the desaturated foreground.

Frank: I'm not sure about the lettering versus its absence. On the one hand you're right, it's harder to see what this shot is about, while on the other, I do think it clutters the shot. I'll have a think about it and may well revert to the previous version.

comment by zimny at 06:47 PM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

Great shot, it has a very... smooth feeling. And it certainly has a "lifestyle" theme. I wonder how it'd look b&w though, mayby you should try posting some street b&w shots and check the feedback...

And about the "great prices"... it should have stayed, I don't like images manipulated this way. The photo is great with and without the letters.

comment by fraxinus at 08:40 PM (GMT) on 4 September, 2004

I tend to agree about the removal of the letters - not something I know you would usually do but in the interests of experimentation it was worth trying. I think this is one of those 'almost ran' shots - it's interesting and enjoyable but parts don't quite 'fit'. I like the desaturation (thanks for letting me know the details btw) and the point you were making is a valid one - although I think there are many non-lifestyle photographers out there who are making things 'brighter and larger than life' when they post on their photoblogs. No bad thing that (I'm guilty of it too) just another interesting path that photography is taking...

comment by thad at 04:13 PM (GMT) on 8 September, 2004

This is such a great moment you've captured.

comment by Irene at 11:31 AM (GMT) on 15 September, 2004