- [Steve] Hi, everybody and welcome to a new edition of Photo Critique of the Week, and this week, we're going to look at some images made from a recent workshop in Chicago. Gary Niederpruem, this is an image that he submitted that I really liked, and it's one of those sort of street moments where there's something kind of humorous going on. And humor is not an easy thing to find on the street and to record on the street and to communicate from the street, and I think this one does a pretty good job. It almost looks as though, of course, the person who's putting on this billboard or advertisement is kind of looking at a reflection of himself.
When you look at his face looking toward the poster, it kind of gives you that kind of a feel, and it's not sort of the perfect frame, in that, maybe it's cut off, it's going to be cut off somewhere at the bottom of the feet, but I think that this is not that kind of picture. This is about the contents and the moment and the connection between the inanimate poster and the gentleman that's putting this thing on. And I think there's some humor to be had and I think that's what make this picture work in terms of a street photograph. Peter Simon on a subway.
Not an easy thing to take. You know, people are on the subway, there's no expectation of strangers photographing them. But I was there when this was happening and I do know that this woman was very much into what she was doing. She was not looking up, and he captured a really interesting and real, authentic city moment in the street, Peter did. No relation, although I would like to use this picture as my own. And he decided to make it black and white, which, again, gives it that sort of timeless. I think it works very well in black and white.
You know, the thing about these kinds of pictures, it's getting a little easier because a lot of our cameras, be it DSLR or mirrorless or phone, allow us to sort of silently take pictures, and with the articulating screen, you can be a little more stealthy and a little less obtrusive when you make these kinds of images, so that really helps. I'm excited about all the technology that's there. Elizabeth Feldman of Chicago took this very evocative image, and I really like it because she captured with such clarity the beautiful portrait of this woman.
And it looks like maybe it's a coffee shop or something, but she's obviously deep in thought, and because of that, we just sort of get into her head and start wondering what it is she's thinking about. I remember when we were doing a critique of this image, I looked at the reflections above and I thought this kind of represents the dreamlike states of our minds and what's going on in our minds, although I think our minds are maybe even a little more complicated than this reflection, but still, the analogy is there. It kind of worked for me, and other than that, it's very simplistic and graphic and sort of hard steel versus sort of the softness of the light on her and her beautiful kind of braided hair, and the moment.
And she really sort of composed it, I think, very beautifully, and it becomes very evocative. In a crazy city like Chicago, to capture these very quiet moments are not always easy. And not everyone recognizes them, and that's the beauty of being on the street. We can sort of find our own way to make unique captures of the place that we're in, and the more personal we get and make it, the more universal it becomes. Hank Dow in Little Village section of Chicago, really beautiful, interesting place to wander, I'd recommend it to anyone, found these shoes that were being sold on the streets, and he went in close and very kind of deliberately kind of used selective focus.
So, you can sort of see this one boot, and I think he did a really good job. I know Hank lives in Dallas, so maybe the boot is something that he's more familiar with or it caught his eye a little bit more, but it really is kind of a nice isolation of this scene and it's almost abstract. You don't exactly know what it is. I mean, I know, maybe you didn't. I was there, so I remember. But maybe it's not so obvious to you. I don't think this picture would've been as strong if the focus would've been here or there. I think he really chose sort of where in the frame to focus and I think that made for a stronger image.
Herb Brail shooting from a parkade. It gives you a unique view of Chicago. I mean, you're always looking for new ways to kind of document a place that's been documented so much, and I think Herb was very successful here. Having a lot of megapixels, I think, is to your advantage, in that, this is a crop from an original shot where there was a lot more in it, but by cropping in like this, you really kind of magnify the symmetry and the difference between sort of splitting this frame almost in half but not quite.
I think the turn here, this is probably a very decisive moment for this frame. I think everything, placement is interesting. I think the interesting thing is the reflection there. But I think he really captured a sense of this unique town in terms of the L train itself, which is synonymous with Chicago, and it really is a uniquely Chicago image taken from a very unique perspective which makes it interesting. There's a lot of small details that you could spend a lot of time playing with. Jim Tomcik took advantage of the lights.
And you know, you go out in the beautiful golden light and you will be rewarded. Everything looks a little bit nicer, and it tends to isolate, the light does, the warm and the cold. And I think that this moment is very interesting, very unaware of the camera, this woman is, who's the main star. You have the other chess pieces, as you've heard me say, within the frame, but she's kind of the main star. Lit, and again, into her own world, and I think it becomes a very successful street photograph for those reasons.
Jennifer Dooley captured this image, and again, it's really just a question of composition and moment, and really captured something kind of very interesting and hard to do. The fact is, there's all these guys and there's that woman, and that's really the main sort of subject matter here. But the way she photographed it and the fact that the moment where she's kind of walking forward, these guys are all sort of stopped a little bit behind, there's a connection with all these guys.
It's almost a bit ominous in some ways. But through moments and composition and recognition of seeing the scene, she was able to capture this unique view of Chicago from her perspective, and her perspective is very strong. And I think that's what all of us are trying to do, and that is to kind of separate ourselves from everybody else by finding that perspective or the way we see the world. And that will come as you go through a volume of work, no question.
Well, that's it for this week. I hope there was something in there that you could use, and I also hope that you're going to be there next week when we do a brand new edition of Photo Critique of the Week, and until then, I hope you have a very successful time out there shooting.
Check back each week to watch as more critiques are added, covering new work from many different genres. This series is designed to help you discover how to improve your work as a photographer. By heightening your awareness through analysis, you can harness the information to enhance your photographic eye.
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