The Weight of the World

This alley is a block from my work and I’ve checked it out a number of times looking for some interesting light but I was never quiet satisfied. Finally I got the light I wanted and set up my camera for a shot. The idea was to frame an interesting composition and then let someone enter my frame to complete the image. I was actually waiting there for about 5 minutes when someone finally entered my viewfinder, it seemed like forever. The initial person was a man who was walking toward the camera from the far end of the alley. I got about five shots off when from behind me a women entered my frame. She was carrying some very heavy bags and had a this incredibly pronounced hunched in her back. I tracked her down the alley and captured her every ten feet or so. Although I really wanted to move into a different position, I stayed put and stuck to my initial composition.

It was not until I got the frames on the computer that I realized what I had captured. The arch in her back was a perfect addition to the repeating shapes of the light posts. Keeping her in the lower third of the frame makes it feel like she’s carrying the weight of the world on her back. I’ve processed this in both monochrome and in color and both work but the color has a certain mood to it that I really like.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/8, ISO 500

About the author

Terry Schmidbauer: