Table and yellow chair, Browns restaurant, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.
Another early start in the city; and another retreat, after hours of walking, to Browns. Well I’d been here before and knew what I wanted visually. And so despite a waiter’s rather fluttering directions to a particular table, I went over to a deserted part of the restaurant where, as before, light from large windows was streaming in across empty tables and chairs. What a pleasant experience – lounging back with Eggs Benedict, a china pot of good tea (complete with strainer!), beautiful natural light, and something like swing music permeating the room at not too great a volume – I was almost tempted to an aperitif – the menu kept suggesting a Bloody Mary, or perhaps even champagne …
Technique: the back light pouring in through the widows was lovely. About 10 feet away, a table top was blazing but the yellow chair beside it was far more subtly illuminated. Focus was on the table top and, even though the lens was stopped down a little, use of a x6 magnification telephoto that close in minimalized depth of field, so that the chair stayed soft. Spot metering ensured that none of the highlights on the gleaming table were blown out.
Composition: this is how this image grabs me >>> but we are all visual individuals, and so it may not grab you in this way >>> and it may not grab you at all. My eyes are drawn immediately to the bright and textured table top. But then, having looked at this curved presence filling the top left of the picture, I’m aware that the frame holds other, more subdued, curving elements too – the side of the chair nearest to us, the lit edge of which curves down from top right to the central foreground, and its open back, which is an oval area of blackness with diffuse rim-lighting. And then of course, getting away from all these curves, there is the great clash between the table’s sharp, steely, silver and grey hues, and all of the diffusely seen, far lower key shades of yellow. So that although the picture’s most obvious and overbearing element is the table, it is complemented by far more subdued items elsewhere in the frame. And did I see all this when I took the shot??? – most certainly not, I simply thought that it was an attractive scene.
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Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom.