A few weeks ago, on a late Sunday afternoon in late April, Bhavna and I took a long walk on the Asbury Park boardwalk. I learned that day that Bhavna had only visited Asbury Park once before, and that visit was with Shaan and me. Let me put that into perspective. I am two years older than Bhavna. We’re both immigrants. Since she was six years old, she has lived in New Jersey. Her family emigrated from Gujarat, India. I have lived in various states, including New York, Georgia, and Michigan, since I emigrated from the West Indies in 1986. I moved from Michigan to New Jersey in 1994. In that short time, I have visited more places in New Jersey than Bhavna has since she started living here. It seems her family was not the adventurous type.
We arrived at the Asbury Park Convention Hall around 2 PM. I noted that the sun was on the western side of the boardwalk. I took a lot of photographs that afternoon, photographing whatever appealed to my eye. Later, while looking at the pictures on the Mac Studio, a pattern emerged; people sitting, people walking dogs and bicycles.
Dog ownership must be a thing in Asbury Park. I don’t know why. We saw little dogs and big dogs. Short hair dogs and shaggy-haired dogs. Dogs! One of the local bars, the Wonder Bar, has a yappy hour. The outdoor space was packed with dogs and their owners when we walked by.
The following Saturday, I returned to Asbury Park with a group of photographers. We were students of photographer Freddy Clark for the "Down the Shore" in Asbury Park workshop by Princeton Photo Workshop. We explored subjects on the boardwalk but also around downtown Asbury Park. During the workshop, Freddy provided some history of Asbury Park. I had no specific plan for what I would photograph, but I tried to avoid benches, dogs and bicycles. I failed.
This week’s Lens-Artist Photo Challenge brings up the topic of light and shadow. I scrolled through some of the photographs from the two Asbury Park trips, looking for examples that worked for this challenge. These images were processed in Adobe Lightroom from the original RAF image. The default (standard) mode on the Fuji X-T3 is PROVIA film simulation, but I prefer CLASSIC CHROME for street photography. I originally intended to post-process these are colour images, but the topic of light and shadow pushed my mind toward choosing to edit in black and white. I switched to the ACROS+G profile in Adobe Lightroom and used that as a base for all the images.
In this image, I was hoping to photograph this restaurant with two people chatting on the bench for scale and to add a bit of story. The lines and shapes and the shadows had caught my eye. However, as I composed my photograph, a third person sat down. I increased the exposure and shadow sliders in Adobe Lightroom to reduce the shadows around the people. I then used an inverted subject mask to adjust the exposure and shadows to my liking. I then cropped out a distracting trash can on the right and reduced some of the sky's dead space.
I like how the shadow on the boardwalk leads the eye toward the back of the image. I like the contrast between the bright clothing of the children playing and the darker clothing of the two people walking toward the camera. This was processed similarly to the one above. I cropped in from the right. This one does not follow the rule of thirds.
I love the look of joy on her face. She’s looking down, almost as though she is chasing her shadow.