Sunday, February 08, 2009

Story of the railway worker picture

Click on the photo to see large version.

Railway worker - Grahamstown, South Africa. This is another image that has remained in my portfolio for many years.

I took it while I was a student studying for my Postgraduate Higher Diploma of Journalism at Rhodes University.

I was crossing the railway bridge when I looked down and saw this worker walking along the tracks. Immediately I saw the potential for a graphic composition using the structure of the bridge railing. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the worker to walk into the right position in the composition. All I had time for was one shot. My heart jumped when I pressed the shutter and I instantly knew I had captured something worthwhile. It's a good example of anticipating the moment.

Famous South African photographer, Obie Oberholzer, my teacher and mentor at the time, praised the image when he saw it. He suggested I print it on a high contrast paper to add more impact, which is of course exactly what I did.

I followed his advice and this image has stood me in good stead over the years.

My camera at the time was a Pentax ME 1. Shot on Ilford HP5, developed and printed in the University darkroom.

Hope you enjoy it too.

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