This shot, Pairings, was taken at the conclusion of a street photography walk. It was a circular tour, going from King’s Cross in London to Camden Market and back. This is a well known location which I have never previously managed to find. It is a subway which I had heard described as being a link between King’s Cross and Paddington railway stations. In reality, it is one of the entrances to King’s Cross. I had been looking, just not in the right place.
The usual shot here is to have an otherwise empty corridor with a small figure at the far end to provide a focal point. On a busy Saturday afternoon, that was never going to happen. This was about as quiet as it got and as close to the “ideal” composition that I saw while I was there.
I am a few weeks behind with my shot of the week posts, but that is no bad thing. When I first saw this image, I thought that the empty area on the right would be better if filled with the main subjects. The smaller, but equally important figures in the background, seemed to leave an empty space. While creating this post, I realised that the image as shot image is in reality the stronger. The “empty” space acts a lead in to the subsidiary figures while the main subjects drag the eye back. Being on the right is the weaker position.
Purists might argue that flipping images goes against the spirit of photography. Unlike other art forms, ours is a realistic medium in as much as it captures light which was there at the time. That does not mean that we should always remain faithful to the original capture. Besides, there is no such thing as straight image. Whether film or digital, the image requires some processing afterwards capture and decisions made about presentation. Even supposedly unmanipulated images on slide or instant film are not immune. The way they render will have been determined in advance and with slide film the photographer will choose one which suits the subject.
Very, very occasionally, I do reverse images. In most instances, though, I invariably prefer the original composition. It was how I saw the scene and what made me take the shot. The reason that I do not do it more often has nothing to do with the sanctity of the photograph. That is a poor motivation. It is only the final result which matters.