Story Behind The Photo (SBTP) is a series in which I talk about the story behind why and how I made the photograph. I’m a firm believer in the quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words” but as a photographer I know there is much more to an image than just the surface level so therefore here in this collection I share with you the stories behind some of my images. Enjoy!
It was mid summer of 2018 walking through downtown San Francisco with my Nikon F3 my goal for the day was to test out a film stock called Pancro 400. I had my 35mm 2.8 Nikkor lens and I wanted to capture some shadow play. It was an hour before sun down and the shadows were nice and long, lots of contrasty lighting scenes scattered the streets and everything seemed to be very photogenic. But in my head that was too easy, I wanted to work for my images so instead of capturing shadows I set out to capture something else. But at that time I didn’t know what it was.
So with a clear mind I wandered by myself taking images of anything and everything I could. Buildings, cars, people but nothing really spoke to me, everything just seemed boring. So I decided I would walk the long way back to the car to relieve some of the disappointment from the failed session. Well along the way I passed by a bust stop. In the city these bus stops were usually placed very close to the middle of the road which made it almost like a little island. At this time the light went down a bit and even though the sun’s position was still high some of the buildings softened the light. At this bus stopped I noticed a couple of people standing. Some leaned up against the rail and one woman holding what looked like a blanket over her shoulder. I thought nothing of it at the moment until I got closer and realized it wasn’t a blanket. Instead it was a dog. The woman probably keeping in mind how hot the ground was didn’t want the dog to walk and slouched him over her shoulder. Instinctively I made my way to the middle of the road and tried to visualize different compositions.
The first composition was directly from the side. I liked the woman’s hat and also appreciated how it covered her eye partially. I also really liked how the dog was slumped over like a baby and how the arm was placed over. The only real gripe I had with this image was the bus door on the left side of the frame and how it was framed made it a little distracting. I also missed focus just a tad bit!
I quickly started working the frame and wanted to see the dogs face. So I shifted over to the right a bit and lone behold the dog’s expression! I’m not sure if he was tired or sad but he his eyes looked full of sorrow and the way he hugged his human just as much as she embraced him made this image feel very real. Showing the connection between the owner and the pet. This was probably one of my favorite images from 2018.
Thank you for reading this edition of SBTP, if you want to see more please feel free to like and comment below and if you want to purchase a print please email me directly at Kingjvpesphoto@gmail.com