Emily Kawasaki  


Evening commute by Emily Kawasaki

July 2021 - Evening commute

About the Image(s)

I took this photo at the Halsey Station (J train) in Brooklyn, NY facing east. I took the photo at 4:55 pm ET on July 9, 2021. It shows the Halsey Station platform in the foreground and the Brooklyn skyline in the background. I took the photo using my Sony a5000 camera and Sigma 16 mm f/1.4 DC DN lens. The ISO is 100, the f stop is 1.7, the shutter is 1/4000 sec., and the depth is 16mm. Post-editing in Lightroom includes slight decrease in highlights and slight increase in shadows, clarity, dehaze, and vibrance.


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




Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Emily. For me the strength in this photo is the vanishing point back near the Brooklyn skyline with the platform, track, lights, and roof lines all leading you back there. It occurred to me that the sun coming through the grating on the left cuts across this - made me wonder if there was a day/time the sun aligns low on the horizon back at the vanishing point. That might be really dramatic!

I also wondered if there couldn't be more visual drama by getting low (I'm guessing this was shot at eye level standing) and having more of a foreground in the platform cement. Might there be an interesting section of that which could further enhance the front to back feel?

You've developed the image well - I wouldn't make many changes there. Maybe boost the shadows on the track just a little further so some of the detail there becomes more apparent. I might also darken the lamps - particularly the nearest one - a little bit. That one is bright and for me competes a little in allowing one to follow the flow back to the vanishing point. Just some thoughts.   Posted: 07/10/2021 10:06:28
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Robert. I like your idea of going a bit lower/closer to the cement platform. I'll have to try that out when I'm back in the city next week. That's also a great idea about checking on if any days/times align the sun on the horizon/vanishing point. Four times a year, there is Mannhattanhenge (next will be on July 11 & 12). The effect isn't quite visible from Brooklyn, but it looks very cool when standing in Manhattan or on one of the bridges facing west towards Manhattan. I'll actually be in the city on those dates this year to see it, so I'm very excited to bring my camera and capture the amazing light/shadows.   Posted: 07/22/2021 15:12:38



Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Emily

I really like the leading lines in this image. As Robert mentioned the sun coming through the grates competes with the leading lines of the tracks and buildings. When I took a look at the developing of this image I thought that deepening the blacks was a good idea as well. However I thought that putting the light on in the nearest light that was dark added another leading line by way of the lights. I did this by using a radial circle then increased the exposure to the maximum then duplicating it and adjusting until I thought the brightness was close. I made them both the size of the brightest part of the light. Then I added another larger radial circle just a little bigger than the light itself and increased the exposure on that one only enough to make it look like the glow of the light. It is important to use the radial filter with 100% feathering. I also adjusted the temp and tint on the circles to try to match the color of the other lights.

Other things to consider when taking the image. If this was handheld a shutter speed of 1/250 should be fast enough to create a sharp image. Decreasing the shutter speed and changing the aperture to F8 or f11 would ensure you had a really crisp focused image from front to back.

It is a really nice image that pulls your eyes right down the tracks. Great composition.

  Posted: 07/15/2021 16:32:12
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Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Cheryl. That's a great edit. I like how you illuminated the one light. It makes it look more symmetrical in terms of the line/pattern of lights (which I always like). The next time I'm there at the station, which is frequently, I'll bring my tripod and remote shutter release, so I can play with the shutter speed and f stop more. I have a tremor, so that's why I tend to shoot at higher speeds when shooting handheld (so images don't come out blurred).   Posted: 07/22/2021 15:26:38



Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Great composition in perspective and light/dark. Since there is little color interest (IMO), here it is in black/white. What do you think?   Posted: 07/17/2021 00:00:00
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Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Stephen. I like your edit. I don't usually edit my photos into b&w. But I like how it's shows off a nice range of tones. It also emphasizes the geometric shapes of the different elements/part of the station. Great edit! It definitely makes me want to play around with more b&w editing.   Posted: 07/22/2021 15:16:52



Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Hi Emily,

I think your image is processed beautifully. The sharpness looks perfect to me, the colors are great (making Brooklyn seem more welcoming.) The tonal range and leading lines are all well done, taking us down the tracks. There is a lot of detail in the shadows. While I disagree with Stephen on the color interest, his B&W does show the large tonal range in your image. Excellent work.   Posted: 07/18/2021 12:25:14
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Bob. I agree, it definitely makes Brooklyn seem less rough/dirty and more visually attractive. I like that Brooklyn has the elevated subway stations, as they get great lighting and can show off the cityscape in different ways.   Posted: 07/22/2021 15:19:28



Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Emily, I apologize for the late review. It's simply slipped through the cracks.
Many good and interesting things have been said about your image. So I don't repeat what's already been said, I thought I would talk about your style:
I appreciate what I'm seeing as a theme within your style of photography. Like it or not, we have a certain signature in how we capture and process our photos. Much of this comes from our life's experiences. Your style, as of now, is what I see as, 'The Vanishing Point'. Your last couple submissions have had this theme. It's enjoyable to watch. I like seeing an exploration of a visual concept - a subject that compels you to photograph it. After a while, you'll see that you have created a 'Body of Work'. As I'm told, a 'Body of Work' will show your image making evolution. Keep going with this theme. And while you're at it, think about how someone else would capture and process the scene that you're standing in front of. Then, look at it deeper and try to capture it differently.
Thank you for allowing me a different view of your image.   Posted: 07/28/2021 18:39:44
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Dan! Your words and advice are wonderfully helpful, constructive, and supportive. I appreciate your and everyone's feedback, suggestions, edits, and perspectives on my (and other's) works. It's very insightful to learn how my photographic experiences have been developing. I like that, and agree/feel an affinity toward that theme of "The Vanishing Point" that you described so clearly and eloquently. Thank you. :)   Posted: 07/28/2021 21:00:20