“la la la.” 30 November 2014


Good Morning:

Sometimes, when practicing candid or street photography, I aim my point-and-shoot directly behind me and snap away, having absolutely no idea what my camera has captured. Typically, I end up discarding 90-100% of these shots.

This one, taken at Stockton and Market on Friday at 1:21 p.m., looked a little interesting.


But too dark. So I changed the exposure in iPhoto and lightened it.

DSCN6305 - Version 4

A slight improvement, but it seems we’ll have to return to the era of 1950s black-and-white. So I returned to the original and performed a straightforward conversion.

DSCN6305 - Version 2

Again, too dark, but at least black-and-white proved a good idea. So a bit more fiddling around and fooling around in iPhoto yielded this result:

"la la la"

“la la la” Black Friday, San Francisco, California, 28 November 2014

Funny–I did not take a picture, I photographed potential. True, a photograph that someone like Garry Winogrand would have dismissed as mediocre at best had he taken it, but mediocre Winogrand represents a huge improvement over my usual work. “la la la,” for all its flaws, captures the discomfort, stress and tension of Black Friday shopping; that girl is most definitely not smiling, and look at how her arm is uncomfortably pulled backward by the man (probably her father) who holds her hand presumably to keep her safe.

Incidentally, I had at first created three versions of this picture, but added a fourth after blundering into something called The One Four Challenge. If you like to study both photography and how artists edit their work, the webpage is well worth a visit.

Vonn Scott Bair


5 responses »

  1. Hello Vonn Scott. Am very pleased you stumbled upon the One Four challenge and decided to join us.
    Yes this is exactly what we’re doing 😀
    I thought your comments about the young girl were ‘spot on’. Such an interesting experiment in the way you captured the image too. The progression of your edits definitely work too.
    We start again for December today 😀

    • prior: Thanks! Now’s probably yet another good time to mention that I didn’t invent this technique by any means–I saw it used in the movie “Z” but since then, have noticed that the 30 Shot seems to become a standard tool for street photography as early as the Thirties. Vonn Scott Bair

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