Passing by

by Tomoyuki Tanida

When I was a child, I often imagined that if a time warp existed, it might be a door that leads to the future. I also imagined that it could be a car, like in the movie “Back to the Future." Perhaps it would be a road like the one in this photo.
As I get older and my time is more and more occupied by daily routine, I tend to take my imagination and dreams less seriously. However, sometimes at odd moments, a long-forgotten memory resurfaces. This is what happened when I saw this scene. 




I like street photography because on the street everyone is like an actor playing a role. Street photos create memories and great moments, and what I see inspires my daily life. I always carry a camera and pay attention to different things like an expression, a gesture or the light and contrast of a street scene. Mostly I work within an effective focal length of 24 mm to 70 mm, at f/4 in Aperture Priority mode. However, for this shot I was working at 14 mm and went for much more depth of field at f/16.

"I just wanted to leave an impression of the man walking past rather than a sharp figure, which might distract the viewer, so I used a 1/30 second shutter speed."

I just wanted to leave an impression of the man walking past rather than a sharp figure, which might distract the viewer, so I used a 1/30 second shutter speed. This is a good method when working in automatic exposure mode. There was moving light along the ceiling, and the overall exposure was constantly changing. I took several frames using automatic exposure, and I made an approximate calculation of the average exposure. I ended up with f/16, ISO 400 and 1/8 second shutter speed when I switched to manual exposure mode.

I waited for a long time until I had just one single person in the frame. This was difficult, as this is a very busy area during the daytime. Eventually, I managed to get the shot I wanted. I am very happy with the resulting image. The change to black and white is the key to its appeal.
 
POST PROCESSING
The original RAW file was processed in Lightroom 4, and then I exported the image in JPEG format to Photoshop to make further adjustments. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin to convert the image to black and white.

1) There was some chromatic aberration due to the wide angle and high contrast in the scene, and this had to be dealt with first. Then the image was exported to Photoshop as a JPEG file with 100 quality. 

2) Before the photo was converted to black and white, the dominant color in the scene was violet due to the overhead lights in the tunnel. The violet color came from the silhouettes of people passing by and was very distracting. I decided to convert the image to black and white to draw more attention to the main subject in the image. The black and white also added a lot more tension to the scene.

3) The actual conversion to black and white was done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I applied the Kodak 400 TMAX Pro film type, which added a little more grain to the image, creating a more authentic look. 

4) Back in Photoshop, I adjusted Levels, Curves, Contrast and Brightness until the image resembled the scene I had originally envisaged. 

5) Some Dodging and Burning was applied to the center and edge of the frame to emphasize the focal point of the shot.
 
TIPS
1) When doing street photography, you should walk with your own viewpoint, looking for what you want and making sure you do not miss a chance.

2) When looking for great shots, be patient until the time comes.

4) Finally, you should appreciate the moments you capture and what they mean.
 
BIOGRAPHY
I am a 25-year-old dental college student, living in Japan. I started taking photos about a year ago. Before that, I had always enjoyed looking at great photography, but I had never taken my own pictures. I do not remember exactly why I decided to buy a camera, but ever since then, photography has become a very important part of my self-expression. Photography is something that I hold dear, and I am always grateful for the opportunities it has given me.

Join Our Insider List

By joining you agree to our terms and privacy

Next page