15 April 2014

Captured

After the football match, we went to Soho. Not to a a sleazy striptease club or what is nowadays euphemistically called a "gentleman's club". No. We simply went for pre-dinner drinks in a lovely old-fashioned pub called "The John Snow". Apparently, he was an eminent London doctor in past times. Incredibly, the beer prices in this quaint establishment were cheaper than in my local in Sheffield. In London they usually ask you to hand over a large chunk of your life savings.

When I sauntered up to the bar to buy the second round, I noticed a young woman standing at the opposite bar. She was transfixed by her mobile phone - as many people seem to be these days. I had my camera at hand having just taken some interior picture of the pub and unbeknownst to her I snapped her a couple of times. As you will realise, I am in the habit of taking lots of pictures but rarely do I look at one of my pictures and think, "Yeah, that's special!" But that is how I feel about "Girl on a phone". 

Her Mona Lisa face is illuminated by her glowing phone screen. A group of friends are socialising behind her. The pub is an Aladdin's cave of shiny things and polished wood and outside, as the evening arrives, a shopfront star hangs above the street. All of these elements come together to make what is in my estimation a really successful composition and I am proud that it's one of mine, presented to you here in both colour and Victorian black and white. Please click to enlarge:-

17 comments:

  1. Yes it is a magical image. I would be delighted with it as well.
    She is not texting but hacking. It's Rebecca's niece. Great hair.

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    1. I am so pleased you give this photo the thumbs up too. Who is Rebecca? She could have been checking her make-up as I understand that some mobile phone cameras can now act like mirrors. Is that how you use yours Adrian? Perhaps when clipping nasal hair.

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    2. Sorry YP I meant Rebekah as in the News of the Screws.

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  2. That is an absolutely beautiful picture, YP. As you say, captivating. I particularly like the cropped version at the top.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback Elizabeth - much appreciated. But if you look closely at the top picture, you will see that it is slightly different from the bottom two. I zoomed in on her (I hope she didn't mind!)

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    2. Ah, yes, I see it now - one of the ladies in the background is looking in a different direction. Both formats are actually equally artistic and stand ground in different contexts.

      Regarding Helen's comment, I do believe that when we take someone's picture - or are sketching them for that matter - we are taking a little bit away from them; if it is a to be a structured picture I do usually ask and most people are extremely flattered, but in a situation like this you would've wasted valuable time, lost the intimacy and immediacy of the composition and had a very different outcome if you had spoken to her first. The beauty of it is that she is unaware of it being taken - or if she has sensed something is too unbothered for it to have affected her demeanour. The legal situation is that outside the pub you are in a public place and there's no problem whatsoever, but once you step over the threshold you come under the remit of the landlord's jurisdiction. As he didn't object - and it would be a rare one that did - there is no problem. The actual subject's feelings on the matter, oddly, have very little bearing in law. The only time that I have ever encountered any problem whilst out snapping was when the owner of a fancy stall in Covent Garden objected to me taking a picture of a pile of coloured macaroons in case I was a rival baker working out flavours! I assured her that if I was ever thinking of moving into the food retail business it would be with something a little more stomach filling and far less pointless than blackcurrant flavoured macaroons!

      What you have taken here is as rare as hen's teeth, YP. An incredibly beautiful image of a very beautiful lady, capturing a moment in history that encapsulates the mind-set of the era. Street photography at its best. Get it seen and earn the money for your next holiday on the back of it.

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    3. Elizabeth - Thanks for explaining the legal situation. How would I go about "selling" this picture for money? Any ideas?

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  3. Be careful YP or you'll end up in heaps of trouble. People seem to have a sixth sense about being observed and you might end up in an embarrassing situation. I'm quite willing to fly over and be a character witness in court for you if the occasion arrives!

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    1. I know what you are saying Helen but sometimes when taking pictures you have to be a little daring. If you fly over and tell them about the stuff you have read on this blog I will surely be hanged or shipped to Botany Bay!

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  4. People and their mobiles! I don't have one...I'll probably end up being the last person standing (and sitting) to have one. My landline is enough for me. I'm not that fond of ringing phones, anyway.

    And I hang around on my desktop PC long enough as it is without adding to the mix! ;)

    Good photo, though, Yorkie.

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    1. Hee-hee Lee! We should form an international club! I am also a dinosaur without a mobile phone. I believe they have been developed by the American CIA to enable the day to day pinpoint location of every human being.

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  5. My guess is that she was taking pictures with her mobile, and probably has now one of you taking a picture of her displayed on her blog.
    She'd probably be pleased to know that her beauty is recorded here for posterity.
    I find the fuzzy silhouette of someone leaning against the window outside rather intriguing.

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    1. That fuzzy silhouette was probably a cigarette smoker as these lepers are no longer allowed to undertake their foul habit in our pubs. I shall hunt down "Girl on a phone's" blog. She's probably labelled my picture "Gorgeous hunk at a bar".

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  6. Beautiful photo YP. Looks quite magical. I hope she didn't spoil the effect by asking for a pint of Boddy's in a strong Manchester accent!

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    1. No hen, she asked for a pint o' heavy in a broad Gorbals accent before pinching my arse as I ventured past her to the Gents.

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