Stills V3

January 7, 2009

Shoreditch to the City

Filed under: John Ellis — zavaell @ 07:48



  1. I like the setting and the interplay of shadow and bridge. The cyclist seems wrong, not quiet in the right place for the photo. Apart from the cranial bisection performed by the wall edge (which I don’t really care about), the timing seems just off – just a little later or a little earlier would have worked better, I think.

    Comment by doonster — January 7, 2009 @ 12:58

  2. my instinct would be to want someone/ something to be in the shaft of light – maybe the cyclist, maybe someone walking through. Seems like a scene pregnant with possibilities.

    Now the question is is my instinctive idea right, or is there more interest in not going for the obvious bright light, framing element with the subject and having the two people in the shadows.

    Always liked catching people in full stride – makes it so much more active and the V of the legs starts to play along with the V of the shadow and bridge.

    Lots of nice elements in the background that tie back to the foreground – those square windows, the bricks everywhere. The bike against the wall, with the person riding one in the foreground. The walking person’s legs and all those V shapes formed by the light.

    I’m always surprised by how much little escapes like the piece of sky in the upper left can change an image. Crop down to just above the top of the lamp post (to get rid of all the sky) and the picture changes dramatically – the shaft of light really takes center stage. Has a quite different feel with that crop (for good or for bad – just interesting to consider the impact it can have)

    Comment by Gordon — January 7, 2009 @ 16:27

  3. Gordon, I did play with that sky and didn’t have the courage (still don’t) to truncate the overhead cylinder by the bridge for fear of making it less obvious what the origin of the shadow is. I’d be interested in other views.

    Given that we drive on the left there is little chance of a cyclist being in the main shaft of light. I would have preferred her much closer, whether in or out of light.

    Comment by John Ellis — January 8, 2009 @ 08:11

  4. ‘my instinct would be to want someone/ something to be in the shaft of light’

    With neither figure in the light, it feels purposeful, as if both have studiously avoided the light, like a still from a vampire movie.

    If there were no figures, this would still work on the strength of those diagonals. I’d not crop out the overhead cylinder.

    Comment by matt — January 8, 2009 @ 12:06

  5. I think that the shadow on the wall aligning with the back of cyclist is enough to demonstrate purpose and timing. To put the cyclist in the light might have been just a little too obvious.

    That said, I’m not sure that there is quite enough going on here (for me, naturally).

    Comment by Colin — January 9, 2009 @ 10:25

  6. The diagonal produced by the tube/bridge and shadows is very strong and produces a frame for the cyclist. Having absorbed the major compositional elements there is plenty more to see.

    Comment by Rex — January 9, 2009 @ 22:18

  7. I rather like the fact that I get to relish the anticipation of the cyclist entering the light. Besides, I like very much the backlighting on the hair and the shoulder.I am curious about how the the diagonals, including the triangle pointing down right make me feel as though the cyclist is pushing against powerful forces rather than being pushed along. Not a negative, but it intrigues me. That corner gives me the strong sense that we are on our way to a moment that will be a turning point in a story.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — January 11, 2009 @ 22:55

  8. There’s a rather purposeful ‘1’ in one of those windows in the background. The mid strode capture of the back figure has really turned this in to a slice of life rather than an examination. Can’t work out where the back figure is looking…though I really do want that stare to be back out of the picture towards the cyclist. Glad no one is in the light as it gives it an expectationary feel and given the angle of the cyclist’s front wheel I’m guessing they too decided to miss the light.

    Comment by akikana — January 12, 2009 @ 04:48

  9. I like it — for me the subject is not so much the rider, but the light streaming across the textural brick wall. The shapes are quite nice. The rider does add feeling, movement and interest, of course. The windows, that curious number “1”, the lamp, and the lit up round bicycle wheel at the end of the street give me more to see.

    I probably would have cropped the bright light area off –just to the top of the building on the left, leaving the rest of the sky in the center, but it’s not a big deal either way.

    Comment by Christina — January 13, 2009 @ 04:19

  10. many strong shapes here, even the bikers jacket reflects the angle of the shadow on the wall beside him/her.
    The textures in the brick wall and paved road stop those large areas from being bland shapes. Lots to look at.

    Comment by Robert Hoehne — January 13, 2009 @ 20:24

  11. Thanks for the feedback. I’m still not sure about the top line of sky – maybe Christina’s cut. Otherwise, I enjoy the ever-evolving London city-scape (if ever there was an argument against ‘intelligent design’ it must be London!).

    Comment by John Ellis — January 14, 2009 @ 08:14

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