Stephen Levitas  

Photo shoot by Stephen Levitas

August 2019 - Photo shoot

August 2019 - Stephen Levitas

Original 1

August 2019 - Stephen Levitas

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I have not done enough new shooting, so I went out on the street yesterday. Here is a shot of a professional photo shoot in a newly-built suburban town center. I took two shots with my mobile phone, which has both wide and super-wide angle lens. The latter distanced the model from the photographer too much to my taste, so I preferred the former.

An essay about the setting. In the Washington, DC suburbs, there is a lot of new construction of “town centers,” getting away from strip malls and huge indoor malls, surrounded by vast surface parking lots. The new town centers have pedestrian streets, ample high-rise parking structures, and human-friendly public spaces. They are usually mixed-use: apartments, offices, shopping, restaurants. My favorite, Rockville, Maryland, has a small central plaza with a water park in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter. Its most brilliant touch is that the public library is on one side of the plaza. The down-side of the new town centers is that they are separate from existing neighborhoods, where nothing has changed. One still needs a car to get to the town centers. But in GB, I recall visiting the “village center” within a few steps of our friend’s home. In my wife's homeland, Turkey, there is always a neighborhood shop selling most all essentials within two blocks.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Self-criticism here. I realized afterwards that the image I chose had a better pose of the photographer, with his right arm upraised. Also, I dare to say that since he is at the edge of the frame, that he is almost "outside" the frame, shooting in. I would like to put a stroke around the frame that has the right 10% of the shot outside the right side and not continuing to frame his body, to strengthen the idea that he is both inside and outside the frame. I will need to remove the portion of the building in the 10% so only the photographer goes outside the frame. As to the model, I believe she had hired him for a publicity shot. But I think she made a serious mistake to wear sun-sensitive glasses.   Posted: 08/03/2019 10:41:17

Gloria Fine
I loved the info you provided in the "About the Image" but especially liked the "self-criticism". You have a real ability to identify the plusses (May be misspelled) and minuses... I find the black and white version much more pleasing to the eye and helped me to focus more quickly on the model. I agree about the sunglasses. Very interested about the iphone-- what make and model?   Posted: 08/03/2019 10:57:22
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thanks, I don't go for the iphone cost. I have a very modest droid phone, an LG 5. My son picked it out for me because it had two lenses. It is quite satisfactory for shooting well-lit scenes, and it has a much wider angle of view than my serious camera, a Canon G5. But the Canon has a decently large hunk of glass up front, and a very satisfactory flash, not to mention full manual controls.   Posted: 08/03/2019 11:08:45

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
So I have no idea how to make a frame like I wanted, although I am sure it is easy. Can someone show me how? Here is the concept I roughed out with Paint. Thanks.   Posted: 08/05/2019 20:38:12
Comment Image

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Group 67)
Actually I don't feel the frame is necessary. I do however agree with the B&W conversion. These shots always bother me as the photographer's back becomes the dominant part of the image. You almost don't notice the woman. I wish someone knew how to pose her in a more flattering position. I also wish the Nikon strap was not up side down. This is a good example of street photography.   Posted: 08/06/2019 13:48:55
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Larry, thanks for coming by with good advice, especially about the frame idea. Yes, I think it was not a very professional shoot, what with the sunglasses and uninteresting seated pose. I saw the upside down Nikon strap, but I could only ask for permission to take two shots, and did not dare to ask for arranging or posing. As to my basic composition, you make a good point about taking up too much canvas with the photographer's back--this informs me to look for a better solution next time.   Posted: 08/06/2019 18:29:29

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
I'm afraid much has changed in GB. WE now have town centres devastated by shop closures as out of town retail centres have taken over. We are aware of it though and some towns are fighting back. I personally live at the edge of a small town with local shops with supermarkets a short drive distance away and then massive retail places further away. As you remark, the locals centres need the flats, houses and other community places like the library as well as the restaurants to attract people.
Now to your picture, I'm not sure the photographer was going to get a good shot -the model isn't sitting elegantly enough! My only thought with this shot is that maybe the best view would have been even further away so the photo shoot became just a small part of the whole street scene. Here, the photographer is too dominant -he occupies a third of the image and he has rather a boring T shirt and back view. The model is so much smaller in the frame. Were there no other people around? It looks very empty. (I've just read Larry's comment and he is saying the same thing). Street photography is always difficult. I'm not good at it at all so maybe my advice is not very good either.   Posted: 08/10/2019 08:44:01
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thanks, Diana. I think this was training for me to go out and do better next time. Good advice from you and Larry.   Posted: 08/10/2019 08:50:25

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
I just hope you are more successful than I am ever going to be!   Posted: 08/10/2019 09:05:10

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
I think that it is a good story telling image, and that monochrome simplifies it. The dark glasses do not bother me for monochrome. I like the photographer taking up the space that he does. Photographers in US seem to want to zoom in more on the subject, while those in GB want to show the scene. I like it as presented.   Posted: 08/10/2019 15:09:07
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
That is very true. We do like the environment or habitat to show!   Posted: 08/11/2019 04:37:54

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
The image is interesting as the model and photographer both seem less than seasoned at a professional photo shoot. Her glasses and positioning are a lesson in how not to make the most of a shoot. I think you captured an interesting story - perhaps not the one you intended, but interesting just the same.   Posted: 08/10/2019 17:20:03