I wanted to start with something by Thomas Leuthard as it was his work that first inspired me to try street photography. I could have picked from any one from the first dozen or so of his I encountered but I decided on a recent one he’s published.
The reason for this is a little convoluted but I’ll keep it brief. In the main I use Flickr to sate my appetite for fresh images and most days I’ll go through any newly submitted work from both my contacts and those added to the street photography groups I subscribe to. To do this I use some software I have on the iPad called flickstackr that is great to view images with. I tend to view the images in full screen without any detail so that I see the image on its own merit, not influenced by the photographer taking it. I first saw this image in one of the group streams and I loved it the moment I saw it but had no idea it was by Thomas Leuthard, with hindsight it does have his fingerprints all over it and I should have realised.
Untitled by Thomas Leuthard 85mm.ch
So why do I like it?
From the moment I saw it I reacted to it in a positive way, the impact was instantaneous. The more I look at it the more I can see why it’s working as a strong image but in that first few seconds I didn’t have time to take in any detail. By their very nature those first few seconds are fleeting and the more you look at an image the more you’re influenced by what you see in it subsequently, it is also difficult to recreate those first few seconds and understand why it had such an impact.
That being said I think it must have been the guy bottom left with his head on an angle that drew me in at first. He has such a great expression and the angle of his head against the bold curved window frame is a great composition. That coupled with the overall processing of the black and white image, seeming to be so well lit in an environment that must have been difficult to correctly expose.
I think if I’d been taking this image I’d have been much closer in on this guy for a more candid portrait approach. It would still have been a really good image but nowhere near as strong as the one Thomas Leuthard has produced.
The rest of the image has a great variety of eye contact from the other subjects, each to a different degree. There is even ‘eye contact’ from the advertising banner on the far platform. I can’t believe that was an intentional inclusion, but a little luck is a blessing. You could weave a great short story around this image and that would be a story I’d love to read.
The only thing I don’t like is the ‘seating sticker’ on the top left of the window as it’s a little distracting, but what can you do, this is street photography after all.
This is an inspiring image that I will certainly try to emulate and pay homage to when the chance arises.
I should add that I don't consider this to be one of Thomas Leuthard's best images, he has many that are even better, so please go and take a look.
PS The only bad thing about looking at great street photography like this is that you may just decide to sell your camera kit on ebay and take up golf instead.
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