Have a Nice Day

Have a Nice Day

Pic of the week by Digby Fullam

This photo was shot with a 16-35mm f/2.8L lens on a Canon 6D in Heraklion, the capital city of the Greek island of Crete.

I made this photo on a Saturday morning streethunt in Heraklion. This Saturday was the first time I had ever been to Heraklion, despite the fact that it is by far the largest city in Crete, and is actually the fourth biggest city in all of Greece. I always find that whenever I visit a city with my camera for the first time I can go a bit crazy – I go in with a fresh set of eyes because everything I see is new and exciting, and I also have a determination to risk shots that I wouldn’t otherwise make as I don’t know when I’ll have the opportunity to return to that place again. Coming from Rethymno with its very narrow winding Venetian streets to Heraklion, with its wider open streets and much more traditionally modern urban feel made for an exciting change of scenery and a liberating street photography experience. As you can see from the Heraklion street hunt video that was shot on the same day, unfortunately this particularly morning started out fairly rainy and cloudy which really limited photo opportunities initially. Fortunately the weather improved around midday, and the winter sun started to produce some fantastically dramatic long high contrast shadows. I managed to find some nice side streets that spread out from the city’s main pedestrianised square area, and I found these much better for street photos as the slightly narrower streets made it easier to get closer to people and be ‘in the moment’ without suddenly stepping up and invading people’s public space.

As I approached these people sitting at this table I can remember thinking how archetypally ‘Greek’ this scene looked – a group of people all sitting and talking and drinking coffee! Then I noticed the brilliant green of the wall behind the table, which reads ‘Φροντίζουμε να απολαμβάνετε κάθε μέρα’, roughly translating as ‘We will make sure you enjoy every day’. Extraordinarily, I then remember the sun actually disappeared behind a cloud for a minute, and when it returned a few moments later it created this amazing shaft of sunlight that really lit up the green background. The photo is shot at 35mm which really goes to show how narrow the street was. When I made the photo I was actually focused just on the shaft of sunlight, the woman in the sunglasses and the table with the iced coffees – I barely noticed the other guys in the scene. It was only when I got home and downloaded the card that I really began to appreciate the extra colour that the men at the table added to the scene. I love the way the hand is extending from the left of frame and gesturing very emotively, with just a little sunlight catching the fingers and the bracelet of the watch (I’ve dodged this a little more to bring the highlights up too). On the right of the frame I was lucky enough to get the guy looking across at the disembodied hand, and he’s highlighted just a little by the sunlight and some dodging too. In the centre there’s the woman in the sunglasses looking very detached and relaxed. So a shot that I mainly composed around the woman and the strong sunlight actually ended up becoming much more interesting and immersive thanks to blind luck! You know what they say about monkeys and typewriters…

"Have a nice" day by Digby Fullam


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