The story within the image

My style of working the street usually results in me capturing the story and a lot more. Afterward in post, the story I originally saw may not jump out at me. It takes some manipulation and occasionally some time, for it to re-emerge.

In this picture, I saw a young woman walk by an old fart who had been tracking her the entire time she passed by. When the distance closed between them, I was too far away for a shot. Typical.

So as I closed the distance, he continued to stare at her and I got off this one quick shot off before another pedestrian off camera, got in the way. She typified the reality of many young women as they walk down a street, braced against the looks of the old guys who have nothing better to do in life but to sit and gawk. The strained expression, the 1,000 yard stare, the refusal to acknowledge his existence, is a scene repeated countless times on countless streets.

It took a second look at this image two months later for me to remember what I originally saw. As is often the case, the original image captured too much and in doing so, risked missing the point. This is normal for me as I'd rather capture too much than not enough. With some cropping and the B&W treatment, the story emerges from the clutter.

I get that many street photographers resist that manipulation in post. They prefer the WYSIWYG approach and that's fine for I've been there too, but sometimes we need to clarify the story and that's what I've done here.


First the original RAW image:

Leaving the leer behind


And the final version that more closely focuses on the story:

Leaving the leer behind