<<< o >>>the gatekeeper 38 comments + add yours

I've had a cold all week, and feel crap this evening, so I'm putting this one up early and chilling out this evening. As for this shot: it's another from my recent London trip (of which I have another ten to put up) and like yesterday's, was taken somewhere between Liverpool Street tube station and Brick Lane.

focal length
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RAW converter
1.19pm on 24/9/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
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C1 Pro
3x2 + graffiti
comment by tad at 05:24 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

love the look of the street art

and that open door really makes this a wild shot

well-seen :>

comment by Bert at 05:26 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

This is a nice image. It seems to go from a sharp, clear image of reality on the left to an abstract expression on the right. From reality to imagination. From life to myth. Something like that anyhow...

comment by AT at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

There's Something Spooky about this one !

Very nice composition. I bet ya thousands of people pass by this "wall & door" everyday without looking at it artistically as you did !

Great one David.


comment by Toni at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005


comment by Andy Cogbill at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Another very nice shot, Dave -- the street art is cool by itself (kudos to the original artist) but, as mentioned above, its juxtaposition with the open door and the darkness beyond makes this its own unique piece of art. Well done.

I do (as always) have a few small critiques (I do this for me as much as I do it for you, so feel free to prove me wrong): First of all, I think that blue trash can is rather distracting and, from the looks of it, it would be pretty easy to remove. Also, I find my eye repeatedly scanning the door toward the bottom and being disappointed that the door is cut off in the frame. Is this a crop you made after the fact or was it cut off in the viewfinder, too?

That's all I have against this one -- good work!

comment by djn1 at 06:43 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Andy: I'm not too bothered by the trash can, but I take your point about the bottom of the door. To be honest, I can't remember if this was because there was something else in the bottom of the shot that I was trying to avoid, or whether I was concentrating on the upper half of the frame and didn't notice I'd cropped the bottom of the door. Probably the latter.

comment by quis at 06:46 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Cool, good to see this piece is still around. I took a (not so good) photo of it a couple of years ago...

comment by Leo at 07:27 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

The street art is a bit disturbing.
What I really like in this shot is the color of the wood. Not the white obviously, but that golden brown you always seem to get.

comment by Mike at 07:41 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

I like the picture and the idea, but to be honest, the very first thing I noticed was that the bottom of the door and the bottom of the figure's feet are cut off. You already have the door frame out of the picture frame, along with a bit of the figure's head. It feels incomplete. Keep shooting, love your stuff.

comment by Mike at 07:43 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Just read the other comments. Looks like someone else noticed the same.

comment by Robert at 07:48 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Adding a person giong through the door would move this from "picture" to "moment" in my mind. I also agree with what others said about the door being cut off - it lacks a sense of closure/border/finality.

comment by Rock at 08:02 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

My eye just keeps wandering around - don't know if that's good or bad.

comment by owen at 08:28 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Dave, this is a great piece of artwork - another banksy?

comment by StuartR at 08:35 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Nice shot, it's a very busy frame... plenty of details to look at. The artwork on the right is very spooky indeed!

I'm not too concerned by the bottom of the door being cut off, but there's what looks like a broom handle leaning against the wall, I would have liked to see what's on the end of it!

comment by The Plankmeister at 09:00 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Wow... If there's one picture on here I'd love to claim as my own, its this one. Fantastic. Inspiring! :)

comment by Dutch PhotoDay at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Very strange grafitti and the combination of black and white and the 'earthy' tones/colours. Great shot!

comment by Andy Cogbill at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

This may seem like a completely unnecessary addition, but I think that the character's feet being cut off isn't really a concern here. In fact, the feetlessness (if I may call it that) kind of adds a ghostly quality to the character that I quite like.

I will also agree with the color in the door being strangely interesting -- it caught my eye on first viewing, too.

comment by Ricardo at 10:32 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

First that I do every day when I connect myself to Internet is to visit your page, your photographies are you magnify.

Greetings from Barcelona, Spain

comment by lisa at 11:49 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

I love this photo. It's got a really nice grungy effect to it and being that I'm sick with a cold as well, coupled with a sore throat and now am taking antibiotics, that artwork on the side is just so fitting.

comment by RobW at 11:59 PM (GMT) on 29 September, 2005

Great stuff. Hope that door is an opening to allow more in to see this scene.

comment by Juwan at 12:32 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

whoa, this is a great shot, i love the texture and the subtle mix and contrast of colors. this illustration is cool. great work.

comment by tobias at 12:48 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

The frequency has been changed and I don't feel I'm on the same channel. The open door to nothingness is distracting and someones art to the right looks like an attempt to capture their work but not quite focussed enough. I don't know, I just don't get the message. I mean a Banksy image (www.banksy.co.uk) is considered art but you wouldn't post it as a photograph on your site because that would be considered plagerism. What makes this persons work any different? I think I should sit in solitary darkness for a week and come back. Perhaps the tate modern has had an influence on your work Dave.

Where's my formaldehyde...

comment by ::: A R M O K S ::: SHowcase at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I love the colors on this one...greys and browns and blacks...
Very nice shot!

comment by nuno f at 03:45 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

First time that I leave a comment here but I visit your photoblog everyday for a long time. Your work is amazing.

I love the tonality of this photo. It's a great composition. Very rich in textures. : )

comment by flying cow at 05:53 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

this is beautiful. a wonderfully rich and abstract composition.

comment by alex at 05:54 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I love the colours on this one… Nice grafitti there.
Very nice shot!


comment by Oriol at 07:41 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

A very interesting image... The white spot in the legs of grafiti seems fog, and gives the impression that the man leaves the fog. I have liked very much this photo.

comment by Nick Lewis at 09:15 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

Its quite surreal and I found myself looking at it for a few minutes trying to work out what it made me think... The old man looks like he is standing guard to the doorway and that hes been there for a long time... (ok its mad but thats the way my brain works sometimes)

comment by Finwe at 09:46 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I find this shot somehow "less unique" than the others. Yes, it is perfect from the technical side - sharp and these things, but I don't feel nothing special about the composition, theme of the shot... except the gatekeeper itself...

comment by fraxinus at 09:58 AM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

There's a moderately amusing UK web site called 'Entrances to Hell' in which this picture would not look out of place.

comment by Speedjive at 01:20 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

Unlike Finwe, I like this much better than the last two or three shots you have put up, I felt your brick wall was, well, just a brick wall, and the gentleman in the orange suit was a bit surreal. This is more observational, and the open door is perfect

comment by chozma at 02:00 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I love it! I have a bit of a thing for graffiti and this is great but it's even better as the photo really seems to say something instead of just being of graffiti - I agree with AT above - there is definitely something spooky about this - and it's WICKED!!

comment by matt at 02:35 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I like this but I cant put my finger on exactly what I like!

comment by djn1 at 06:15 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

Thanks everyone (more on the "photographing graffiti is plagiarism" on tomorrow's entry).

comment by wacky at 08:00 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

stunning photograph! i just took one of the same piece myself, tho without the context of the door: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wackydoodler/48033936/in/photostream/

just wanna say that the character DID NOT have feet, and so may be another reason why the bottom was cropped. i cropped it too, cuz otherwise he kinda just... floats. :)

comment by JL at 08:46 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I've not seen this with the door open. Wish I had. Did you notice the row of these dolls above the street sign? It's Grimsby Street, by the way...

comment by miles at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 30 September, 2005

I'm not normally a big fan of graffiti photography but this one is great, the figure and the colour in the image are all in harmony.

Sorry I missed you guys in London!

comment by Ioannis at 12:47 PM (GMT) on 9 October, 2005

And certainly this picture does NOT constitute plagiarism. If graffitti alone is a gray area, framing it within a broader subject surely makes this your own original work. This refers to the comments of tomorrow's picture.