Immediately this image conjures up the work of Joel Meyerowitz in New York, which is a fantastic achievement given the more variable lighting conditions found in London. New York often has great shafts of light on its streets, partly due to the street plan there, which channels the light, making the photographer's job a little easier as the light is more constant and, to a degree, predictable. The composition here is well-balanced with the shaded buildings on the left being echoed by the bus in shadow on the right. The exposure is spot on - no easy task with the light tones of the woman's coat working against the deep shadows elsewhere in the picture. Careful assessment of highlight detail is needed and that has been successfully achieved here. The more I look at this shot, the more I like it. The use of colour brings an added complication in bringing all the elements together harmoniously, especially with red tones which can be distracting; the photographer has achieved this with aplomb. Davy Jones, Documentary and portrait photographer
What a wonderful portrait. I was drawn into this face right away as the distress of his expression, the shadow over the left-hand side of his face and the stare into the infinite distance tell so much of the story. The composition of this image is done in a exquisite way. I love the rubbish coming straight into camera, as if it is forced onto the viewer but the subtle lines of the broom and shovel handle lead you right back to the portrait. The colors also play a vital role in the success of this image. The saturation was placed at a near perfect place for the colours in the image. Alan Gastelum, Art Photographer
Contre jour lighting demands careful evaluation of exposure and this has been achieved here. The lighting gives the photo a filmic quality, as if it is a still grabbed from a film. The image also has an implied narrative which invites curiosity in the viewer: why is the man waiting here? He is observing the street ahead, but for what purpose? His pose is relaxed, he has the time to smoke a cigarette, the smoke from which is beautifully caught by the light. All these elements add an air of mystery and tension like in film noir. This image could, with dedication, be part of a great series of street photography shots. This carefully observed and executed image has transformed the seemingly mundane into a great picture. Davy Jones, Documentary and portrait photographer.
The first thing I get about this image is the great balance. The seedy signs of the Soho shop naturally draw your eye across the image until you meet the old man who is bathed in sunlight. The main character is humorously juxtaposed against the sex shop signs. In some ways, this image hits all our in-built stereotypes of what the users of these places look like. The image also shows the photographer has great technical control of his camera with the shadows being spot on and the highlights just on the mark. This image may look easy to take, but it takes a lot of patience and great camera control. As a photographer, I think one of the hardest things for a street photographer to capture is humour, and the photographer in this instance has done this beautifully. Paul Bence, Street Photographer
Although I feel that the composition of this image is slightly messy, I think it’s an excellent image because of the photographer’s observation of this ‘decisive moment’, to reference Cartier-Bresson. This observation of a man dressed entirely in white, stepping out of the shadows is excellent. It’s a shame that we don’t see his face, even in profile, but I love the blackness of the shadows - it creates a very dramatic image. Sue Barr, Architectural Photographer
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