Ghostly Runner

Shoreditch, East LondonCanon EOS R : RF 24-105mm f4 IS (24mm) : f/13.0 : 1/20s : ISO 1600 

Shoreditch seems eerily quiet as the stay at home restrictions continue. Luckily we are still allowed out to exercise. Walking around the centre of Shoreditch including the tunnel that links the two parts of the city separated by the Overground, a steady stream of runners offered potentially interesting subject matter.

I noticed there was some great light at the Southend of the tunnel, so rather than go hunt for my subject, I decided to fish, finding a good spot to line up a suitable frame and wait for the right moment

With a little experimentation, I noticed that at a slower shutter speed, the runners looked ghost-like against the sharp relief of the graffitied walls. Without image stabilisation, this would have been difficult to achieve. However, with image stabilisation at 1/20s,  I was able to achieve both a sharp overall image and the desired ghosted runner figure.

In post-production, I wanted to emphasise the grittiness of the cobbled streets and stark tunnel lights. I used gradient mapping, luminosity masks and Silver Effex Pro to achieve the full range of tones compared to the raw file shown here and let the darker parts of the tunnel to fall into deep shadow.

Experimenting with different shutter speeds and avoiding the ‘don’t go below 1/125s’ mantra can create a more ethereal and conceptual feel to urban shots. I have made a note-to-self to explore this more comprehensively in the coming months.