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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Urban Life & Travel 
Thread started 27 Mar 2009 (Friday) 13:29
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My commute on the Chicago Subway

 
Statement
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Mar 27, 2009 13:29 |  #1
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Let me know if you like any of these and how I can make them better!

1

IMAGE: http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/32/img5474.jpg

2

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3

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4

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5

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6

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Thanks for looking.

40d, Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, 550ex

  
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stathunter
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Mar 27, 2009 13:34 |  #2

statement......ok let me be honest here. As someone who shoots photojournalism-- I would say they are ok. When shooting pj work-- every photo should stand on its own and tell a story. You have parts of the puzzle here but not one that really just tells a story.

A wild guess would tell me that you are a little uncomfortable taking photos in public-- I understand-- you will get more comfortable with you the more you do it.

I think you are taking a nice step in documenting your commute-- but I can picture it in my mind a with a little more depth. sorry to ramble.


Scott
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Statement
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Mar 27, 2009 21:12 |  #3
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stathunter wrote in post #7611087 (external link)
statement......ok let me be honest here. As someone who shoots photojournalism-- I would say they are ok. When shooting pj work-- every photo should stand on its own and tell a story. You have parts of the puzzle here but not one that really just tells a story.

A wild guess would tell me that you are a little uncomfortable taking photos in public-- I understand-- you will get more comfortable with you the more you do it.

I think you are taking a nice step in documenting your commute-- but I can picture it in my mind a with a little more depth. sorry to ramble.

I greatly appreciate the honesty and I need it. I know they aren't good. I've always loved Travis Ruse's work (external link) but with a 350d and a crappy lens, I couldn't really get many adequately-lit and in-focus shots. Now that I blew $1400 on a 40d and 17-55 f/2.8, I promised myself I would -- yes, get over my discomfort -- and start shooting strangers. I am pretty uncomfortable still, but I surprised myself yesterday with my ability to raise the camera straight up to people's faces. Yesterday unfortunately, even though it was rush hour, wasn't crowded enough for me to get a lot of good close ups of people without having to walk up to them, ruin the moment, raise my camera and take a pic. Some of my best pics ended up out of focus because the camera focused on the wrong thing repeatedly. Do you often use MF while doing pj?


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 27, 2009 21:32 as a reply to  @ Statement's post |  #4

And if you were a documentary photographer its about a body of work and each image is a piece of the puzzle that when seen together create a much more complete picture than one photo could ever create. Most documentary photographers work in bodies of work. See the works of
Bruce Davidson
Roy DeCarava
Walker Evans
Robert Frank
W.Eugene Smith
There are examples of each of these photographers having a great photograph but they all strived to create dozens of great photographs for each project. So instead of one good image you need dozens and not do they only have to be good they all have to work together.
Heres a link to Davidsons work. Check out Subway. Davidson was influenced by a series of photographs that Walker Evans did on a subway in the 1930s.
http://www.art-dept.com/artists/david​son/ (external link)
It can take a documentary photogrpaher months even years to complete a project.




  
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Logan_from_Miami
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Mar 27, 2009 22:26 |  #5

I like #3 the most of these. #2 thinks your crazy.


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ALCAN
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Mar 28, 2009 00:24 |  #6

3 5 and 6 as a collection or group would fit as an example of solitude, people staying in their own little world [I think a tighter crop on 3 would have worked better........ 2 and 4 would group well as expressive personality's .. IMHO




  
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Ziffle
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Mar 28, 2009 01:22 |  #7

You mentioned issues w/ focus....
Switch to center focus point only. This way you know what the camera focused on.

Later,
_Mark


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 28, 2009 09:53 as a reply to  @ Ziffle's post |  #8

I think you have an idea and a good start. Go back every chance you can get and keep shooting. Collect the images and then start editing. Find not only strong images but strong images that work together. That means maybe you have an image thats GREAT but doesn't fit with the others. That could be another project. Ralph Gibson referred to those as points of departure and a reason to start another project in the future.




  
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poppie ­ guy
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Mar 28, 2009 10:32 |  #9

airfrogusmc wrote in post #7613991 (external link)
And if you were a documentary photographer its about a body of work and each image is a piece of the puzzle that when seen together create a much more complete picture than one photo could ever create. Most documentary photographers work in bodies of work. See the works of
Bruce Davidson
Roy DeCarava
Walker Evans
Robert Frank
W.Eugene Smith
There are examples of each of these photographers having a great photograph but they all strived to create dozens of great photographs for each project. So instead of one good image you need dozens and not do they only have to be good they all have to work together.
Heres a link to Davidsons work. Check out Subway. Davidson was influenced by a series of photographs that Walker Evans did on a subway in the 1930s.
http://www.art-dept.com/artists/david​son/ (external link)
It can take a documentary photogrpaher months even years to complete a project.

If you ever have a chance, pick up a copy of W. Eugene Smith's book "Minamata". The photographs combine to tell a story, but each photograph is excellent and tells a little story of it's own. It's a work he did near the end of his life.




  
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Statement
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Mar 28, 2009 12:22 |  #10
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Here's a couple more from last night..any better in any way, shape, or form, or are they still showing the same problems?

7

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8

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9

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10

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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40d, Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, 550ex

  
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Ziffle
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Mar 28, 2009 12:45 |  #11

keep going in this series.....
But for me ... on the first picture (2nd set- #7)... i would have focus on the guy in the back ground (middle/out of focus) and use the 2 guys in the foreground to frame them.
Then i would have under exposed by a 1/2 stop or so.
This would tell a story about the guy in center in a crowded subway.....
just my 2 cents.

airforgusmc: great link. It was fun to see the art-dept from new york.


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Statement
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Mar 28, 2009 13:57 |  #12
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Thanks, and a good idea. I'll never stop with this series unless somehow I stop taking the train everywhere, so hopefully I'll get better.


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 28, 2009 16:33 |  #13

poppie guy wrote in post #7616724 (external link)
If you ever have a chance, pick up a copy of W. Eugene Smith's book "Minamata". The photographs combine to tell a story, but each photograph is excellent and tells a little story of it's own. It's a work he did near the end of his life.

Great recommendation and I've seen it. Smiths life was threatened when he was shooting that project. The image of the mother bathing the severely handicapped child is so powerful. In fact that project changed pollution laws in Japan. Its like any documentary project most images will stand on their own but together it takes the images to an entirely different level. Most of the great photographers worked in bodies of work. Like a baseball player that has one or two good at bats shouldn't be considered great nor should a photographer with one or two good images. Its infinitely more difficult to take 20 images that all are good and all relate to one another is some way.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Mar 28, 2009 16:44 |  #14

Statement wrote in post #7617729 (external link)
Thanks, and a good idea. I'll never stop with this series unless somehow I stop taking the train everywhere, so hopefully I'll get better.

Try to make each image powerful but now start thinking about what you are trying to say visually and how the images are working together to support that. Sometimes when working on a project you'll nail a great photograph that doesn't fit for some reason in the project. In that case leave that image out.

Here are the images as of now that are starting to fit together.

First set
#1 Is overall and establishing how people are in the same location but moving in different directions
#3 head phones on and isolated and how usually on the L people are often in their own worlds.
#6
Second set
#7 cramped isolated and lost in thought
#9
#10
Nice start....




  
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JTwin
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Mar 29, 2009 14:51 |  #15

I'm not a PJ, but I love the genre. If I were documenting something as mundane as a commute, I'd focus on a bunch of different things. Some ideas:

- Shoot the trains themselves and stations.
- Find interesting looking people instead of the everyday commuter.
- Find people who exemplify a commute: those looking incredibly bored, sleeping, etc.

Look for things that make commute a commute as well as some out of the ordinary things.


  
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My commute on the Chicago Subway
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