Gwangju Blog

September Streets.

September Streets


It has been over a month since the last street photography submission to the Photo blog. Yet, just before this month slips into October, here it is. This image was taken earlier in the month on a larger thoroughfare running into downtown. It was a warmer than average weekday, yet to my disappointment there were fewer folks than expected out and about. The woman above was gratefully an exception. She eyed me with the usual suspicion than many older Gwangju-ites carry towards people with cameras, or in this case, a large foreign-looking male with an even larger-than-usual film camera. However, having become relatively assumed to such accusatory stares, I paid it no mind and nonchalantly walked past the bus stop a considerable distance.

On this day, however, I happened to have a180mm f3.5 telephoto lens mounted on my Hasselblad, which allowed me to retain a relatively intimate natural crop as seen in the image above. I waited there for about half a minute, looking at the woman through the waist level viewfinder. Outside the frame, I could hear a bus approaching. Knowing that downtown buses tend to accelerate to a stop, I knew that I could maintain a reasonable amount of blur in the image if shooting at 1/125. Unfortunately, I was shooting this roll of Kodak Tri-x at iso 1600, which meant that I had little latitude for blurring the background even further. However, to my luck, as the bus was approaching, the woman moved in under the overhang and turned to face me. Although somewhat obscured by the scratches on the plexiglass, these highlighted lines seemed accentuate her face even more. A second later the bus threw itself onto the scene above, and with it, my finger on the shutter button. One five hundredth of a second’s worth of light burned itself onto this film. In doing so, it spared my memory no less a fate.

Thank you random woman for making this possible.


[Image taken with a Hasselblad 503cxi with a 180mm f/3.5 lens shooting Kodak 400 pushed 2 stops.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)