Woman in a café, in Camborne, Cornwall; 9 Oct 2013.

My wife was in the shops, and I was doing what I like to do – wandering around with a camera and an open, receptive mind, looking at anything and everything.  I was slowly meandering up Camborne’s main street when I saw this woman in a café on the other side of the road, chatting with a friend.

It took several paces to register fully what I’d seen, and then I slowly turned and doubled back on my tracks, adjusting the camera as I went, and turned to photograph her – only to find her looking straight at me, probably wondering what this strange and rather bulky old man was doing, cutting back on himself.

The autofocus locked on (boy, do I love autofocus!), two shots (and do I love automated wind-on too!), and I walked on, expecting every moment to feel the heavy hand of the Image Police on my shoulder – but that’s untrue of course, as in the UK, in a public place like Camborne’s main street, you can photograph as you please.

I’d thought about presenting this photo in vertical letterbox format, showing just the door, the woman and the OPEN sign.  But I’ve doubled the image’s width by including the net curtains and some other details, and I think this adds balance and context to the shot – but what do you think?

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.



  1. Excellent Adrian! I guess she’s not going to work. 🙂 The balance between her face and ALL the other elements is terrific. There’s something playful about the “Open” sign and the other letters, then you see her expression….it’s very intriguing.
    You know, “wandering around with a camera and an open, receptive mind, looking at anything and everything” describes my own point of view, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Her expression reflects my antics, I think … I can read her thoughts …. “What’s that strange old man up to? … I bet he calls it Art, but I’m not so sure …” 😀

      Yes, we agree about “Wandering around …” – and I thinks its a very leisurely and pleasurable activity too; and the mindset is crucial – sometimes there are pictures everywhere and sometimes there aren’t!!! A 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes it does add balance. If the curtain covered the entire window, I think it would have just looked like two halves stuck together. (Do you get me?) But because the curtain rod is horizontal and about half way down, it adds some depth and interest. Cool catch, bud. 👍🏼


  3. Fine shot, Adrian. I think that in this version the woman is ‘just’ one of the subjects in the frame; in the vertical letterbox, you considered, the shot would become more a portrait of the woman. As you were just wandering around, I think the version above is the better choice. The framing is very good, because for us, humans, a person in a shot becomes the main subject almost immediately; but you managed to avoid that and made an occasional shot. 🙂


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