Sometimes you come home with only one image, but that is all it takes.
It was cold and breezy outside, so Jerry Weber and I decided to shoot Christmas Day the Los Angeles Union Station instead of downtown Broadway. Up on the train platform, there were trains on two adjacent platforms, effectively creating a tunnel except for a small slit near the roof and between the train cars. I took a bunch of shots while the passengers were loading, but the payoff was near then end with the last few stragglers.
The sun, though low, was quite intense and in looking at my early shots, I had the wits about me to push down the EV 2-stops. While I was shooting, I was just concentrating on getting the face in the shaft of light, keeping my framing straight, and fixing the relationship between the light in the upper right and the corner of the frame. I didn’t recognize the reflection or little red lights on the side of the train until I looked at the back of my camera.
Apparently men don’t enjoy the feeling of rain hitting their balding scalp.
And did I mention the rain?
Scenes from Rua Agusta in Lisbon, Portugal.
Upstairs, Downstairs by I Nancy, on Flickr
When I saw this situation, I was reminded of one Alfred Steiglitz’s famous photograph The Steerage. Steiglitz, in his photograph, perfectly juxtaposes Jewish men in full morning prayer on the lower, steerage, deck of a ship against the more casual crowds in bowlers and straw hats above.
In this scene, I was able to use the lights and hand railings in the bottom part of the image to draw the viewer all the way through and into the scene. With the woman rushing up the ramp set back as well. The upstairs scene needed to take care of itself, as I was concentrated on the woman below and her positioning against to get her lit within the tunnel. I like the man on the left, his face full visible between the bars, and I think he brings a sense of order and meaning to the top image.
The image is divided by the dramatically stylized art-deco STATION sign that is so characteristic of Los Angeles Union Station. Travelers familiar with Union Station will recognize this sign immediately.
Phone Envy by I Nancy, on Flickr
There is nothing like photography to uplift my spirit and clear my mind. I took a series of images in this Chicago commuter train during my vacation this summer. Earlier, I published an entry called Study, were I was able to isolate one person on the train, deep in thought, as a nice portrait. The colors and lighting of the train were really conducive to my image making.
For Phone Envy, I worked the man in the dark jacket and glasses for all during the trip. Earlier he was alone in the seats below, using his own phone. The he was joined by a couple more passengers. I thought the image I achieved when these two passengers both texting would be my best. Then this appeared as the front man glanced over his shoulder. I have no idea what caught his attention to turn around like this, but it was just the moment I needed.
In The Girls, below, I watched these three women enter the train. I like the framing I could achieve with the metal work around them. They talked for a while and then began to catch up on their own business.
The Girls by I Nancy, on Flickr
Study by I Nancy, on Flickr
Riding on the commuter train in Chicago provided me with so many photo opportunities that I could hardly put the camera down. Of course my hubby’s son thought that I was nuts, being that he rides it every day. When I entered the train I immediately began a process of mental notes. What did it feel like, what did I see?
This car was a double-decker with everything tinged in faded 1970’s kodachrome orange, yellow, and cyan. The upper deck provided views down and across filled with metal bars and orange seat patterns. As the train began to fill my opportunities evolved from simply lines and patterns to incorporating people, first a few and then more as we got nearer to downtown. The patina on the stainless rails provided diffuse reflections of the yellow light and cyan tinged windows. The vision I was forming was to look for interesting views to maximize the framing effects of the bars, the diagonals of the seats below, or the perspective looking down the car. When I peer across the train and spotted this young man studying so intently I began my exploration of the framing I would create. I worked both on the framing and waiting for the right pose and look.
The result here is based on with the strong framing, slight tilt of the papers and lighting hitting his hair and folds of his shirt. The color harmony of yellows and cyans are seen both in the windows and walls as well as reflected in the bars. I dodged down the lettering on his bag – the the facing seat) and brought up the lighting on his face a touch.
Taken with the Olympus E-PL2 and Lumix 20mm pancake lens.