Picture of the Week: Stockholm Metro Art

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Well, I’m back in the USA and have dealt with the jetlag surprisingly well!  Stockholm was great, friendly and beautiful people surrounded by an incredible archipelago with great historic buildings, it’s hard to beat!  I have to say, though, my favorite part of the city was still the art in the metro stations.  I hope you enjoyed the images I posted Wednesday, I think they’re some of my best.  Judging by my analytics it doesn’t look like you all agree but that’s ok!  I have just one more to share with you for this week’s Picture of the Week!

Most of my pictures were just of the structures and the art, there was a very obvious lack of a human element in my images and that’s been something I’ve been trying to work on this year.  I decided to set up a shot where the artwork would frame the scene of people waiting for a subway train.  I had to figure out when people would be the most still since I wanted to use a long exposure time to catch the train rushing past.  Using my Sony a7rIII and the Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens I eventually discovered that people were mostly still when the train was first arriving at their stop (since they didn’t know where their door would be yet) so I pre-focused my shot and waited patiently.  I heard the woosh of an approaching train and got incredibly lucky and hit my shutter at the perfect time!  Yeah yeah I know there were a few people still moving but my theory proved mostly true and many were completely still.

My effort to capture the human element in the scene was totally worth it, I think the people in the scene give some perspective to the enormity of the cave structure and the art.  The subway rushing past looks cool set against such stillness as well.  All in all, I had a vision and was able to pull it off, which makes any photographer feel good!  Enjoy this week’s picture of the week!

For the photographers: I explained much of my process above, but what really helped me here was the focus peaking of the Sony a7rIII.  Since tilt-shift lenses are exclusively manual focus, I was able to pre-focus on the people near the edge of the subway platform and wouldn’t have to worry about my focus changing when the subway cars started coming by.  Image stats are as follows:

  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 2 seconds
  • ISO: 100

Post was pretty easy for this one, the only difficult part was getting the color temperature right.  I err’d on the side of a little too cool of a temperate (around 3700K) just to make sure the blues of the ceiling were as I saw them in real life.  The one thing I used here which is rare for me is the Tonal Contrast filter in Nik Color Efex Pro 4.  I usually find it to be a little too much but it worked well here and brought out the textures in the cave ceiling really well I think.

As always, any questions please ask in the comments below!

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