Enter Family, Stage Left

On our way to Greenwich last week to see the Turner exhibition (click here for images), we made a detour to have lunch with our son just off Gray’s Inn Road in Holborn. Gray’s Inn Road, like so many others in London, is lined with Plane Trees. The ones on this road appear old, they tower above some of the buildings and on our most recent visit they were just coming into leaf. The sun was out, the sky was blue, an opportunity for an image or two.

My first image (which I’m not showing you) was far from good. I used a wide-angle lens (24mm) to get the height, shooting diagonally towards the sun to show the translucency of the fresh foliage. The image was over-exposed, but more importantly what I thought I had seen with my eye hadn’t translated into an image through the lens. It looked like one destined for the bin. I changed the metering to deal with the over-exposure and looked at the scene again, seeking inspiration.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a mother with a pram and child, plus balloon, were coming into view. Instinctively I shot, widening the angle of view to 21mm. At the time I had no clear idea of quite why or what I was shooting. It was a subconscious decision. When I got home I uploaded the day’s shoot and looked at the image I’d shot. It was one of those eureka moments – I suddenly realized the significance of what my mind’s eye (my subconscious eye) had spotted. I cropped off a third from the top and from the left side and here’s the result. Honestly, I don’t recall noticing the colours of the child’s jumper or the balloon when I shot this. But it is the colours that create this image.

_DS78831_wpThe family had come onto my ‘stage’, as if on cue, from the left (hence the rather obvious title). Pure serendipity. But I really do dislike having to create a title, an image like this doesn’t require one. Hopefully it speaks for itself.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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18 Responses to Enter Family, Stage Left

  1. Don’t you just love it when you have a win like this! It really adds that something special. Fantastic shot Andy! BTW I hate coming up with titles too and I’m not very good at it 🙂

  2. ShimonZ says:

    I see the title as an important part of the creative process. This is truly a beautiful picture, and your story just emphasizes the importance of keeping all the senses working when relating to what we’re doing. I remember reading many years ago, about the way the Russian chess masters would train for a tournament, and thought at the time that it was a lesson in living life well. Though their work was an intellectual challenge, they worked on their body too. There’s a whole field in photography, known as street photography, which involves both patience and imagination… I’ve seen a few like captures in your photos from the ski runs…

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks for your comment, Shimon. There is no doubt that physical sharpness leads to enhanced mental sharpness. I’d never really thought of pistes as streets, but it’s a clever analogy. I enjoy ski photography especially when I ride up on a chairlift and have an unobstructed view down onto the people on the pistes.

  3. oneowner says:

    It’s a wonderful photo, Andy, and I agree it doesn’t need a title. I also agree that it’s great to find a file so unexpectedly good after downloading. I will say this, though, you have my admiration for coming up with appropriate names for your photos.

  4. shoreacres says:

    The stolidity of the building, the purposeful stride of the men, and then – a yellow balloon! It’s a wonderful capture of one of life’s little grace notes, many of which go completely unseen and unrecognized.

  5. seekraz says:

    It does speak for itself, Andy…nice capture. And I like the moss on the old wall, as well…I don’t get to see that where I live….

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Scott. That must be a north facing wall or near to that so the sun doesn’t shine on that. So it turns green – it’s not a thick plaque, just a colour change – a mould, a lichen, a moss perhaps. Certainly adds a little extra colour.

  6. What a chance encounter, Andy. Your inner vision reacted and captured this wonderfully. I’m a big fan of titles and enjoy the challenge of creating them but you’re right, this image speaks for itself. Those brilliant colors draw the eye very well.

  7. Like the colors and how they are positioned. Gotta tell you, though, the family entered stage right. (See http://plays.about.com/od/basics/ss/stageright.htm.) Then again, maybe it’s different in England, where you also don’t drive on the right side of the street. 🙂

  8. Chillbrook says:

    This is a superb image Andy. The colours do totally transform the image.

  9. Len says:

    It always amazes me what we see but it really doesn’t become apparent to later. Clearly, your subconscious kicked in and pointed you in the right direction. You have trained your mind to observe and what the eyes don’t see, the mind does.

  10. Jim Nix says:

    nicely seen and shot Andy!

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