Behind this shot : Bus station 2


This photo was taken this morning, at the Little Market bus station. I have already told you about this place and I even shared a slideshow on YouTube a few weeks ago where I said a little more about several photos taken there. This morning we had planned to go to the gym with my wife, but she also had a job interview at 8:00 am. So I had to drop the children off at school and I told her that while waiting for her, I would go to Saint-Denis to take pictures in the early morning.

I was parked a stone’s throw from the Little Market and it was quite naturally there that I headed to take pictures. It is one of the rare places where there is a little activity in the morning with the deliveries of vegetables and fruits. But I didn’t stop at the market, I went straight to the best spot in Saint-Denis. The Little Market bus stop. Generally speaking, bus stations are good places for street photographers. People wait, others pass. We always have new faces and above all, we can stay in one place without looking too suspicious. And even if people notice you, they’ll be gone in a little while …

When I got there, I was immediately drawn to the old man with his cane. I composed with a man in the foreground on the right. I tried different compositions while working the scene until this man got on a bus. I also got closer to the other people present at the bus stop. I took pictures of no real interest, but just because the scene seemed interesting to me. I also lingered on the trafic cone that sat above the bus shelter, but I’ll spare you the tasteless photos I took … There may be potential, but I couldn’t find the right angle and how to integrate it into a composition.

In the meantime, the old man with the cane was gone and I came back to where I was a few minutes before. And that’s when I saw this gesture of the guy who had served me in the foreground when I photographed the old man! For us, street photographers, these moments are precious and we notice them immediately. It’s interesting to see how my vision has evolved in not even 5 minutes. The person who embodied my foreground suddenly became the central element of my composition. Well his hand! My first photo is blurry and there is nothing else but the gesture. I was glued to his hand and had not activated macro mode. I quickly correct the situation and I try to watch the people who come in my direction because he will not stay in this position forever. You have to act quickly, but that’s not up to me. I do with what the street wants to offer me. And there, the street offers me the best with this character dressed like an English Dandy who completes this composition.

I really like this composition with the play of textures and paterns between the shirt of our character in the foreground, his hand and also our Dandy’s clothes. Other significant elements, the triangles present in the photo give a lot of dynamism to the whole.

I then left to join Gwen to go lift some heavy weights at the gym. In the end, I’m happy with the time spent this morning in Saint-Denis. The small problem is that I took a fine because I had parked without paying the parking meter and I will soon receive my fine of 17 € … Not a big deal, it was worth it and if not, Gwen passed her job interview, so all is well !

All photos were taken with the Ricoh GRD4.

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2 thoughts on “Behind this shot : Bus station

  • John Harper

    Brilliant! How many times do I reach a scene and think there’s a great photograph here, I just need to see it. Change perspective, move around and then sometimes still I walk away knowing for certain that there’s a shot, but I couldn’t get it. And you need to be quick because that moment as all moments are ethereal, fluid, constantly changing. Anyway, you could charge €17 a minute for a Street Photography masterclass…the textures and those angles in this photograph are sublime.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      The take away point here is to always have an open mind. You might start working on something but as the scenery is unfolded, be prepare for anything else. Moving to have a different perspective is also important. And when The moment is here, act fast because it never lasts… You also needs luck. This guy dressed like a dandy, I ve already seen him many times in Saint Denis without having the opportunity to photograph him and this day, he just came to complete my composition.