Student with Portfolio

Brick Lane, East London | Canon EOS R : RF 35mm f1.8 IS : f/13.0 : 1/100s : ISO 1600

Part of Brick Lane’s appeal is the art school in the area. This ensures a lively vibe, regular art shows and the general lively to and fro of students. Being a student in the time of Covid must be challenging. Social distancing is not exactly the first thing students think of when leaving home for their first foray in the outside world. The image was taken when I noticed a fairly graphic looking arch at the side of the art school and the regular coming and goings of students as they came to pick up various parts of their portfolio.

What really stood out for me was the poster painted on the side of the wall “In a room full of art, I’d still stare at you“.  It seemed somewhat ironic that students were leaving with portfolios of art for which they had probably spent many weeks if not months staring at. I tried to juxtaposition a student with his or portfolio against the backdrop of the poster. The arch helped to frame the student and provide some visual tension against the negative space of the wall.

The light was not particularly strong on the day, so I spent some time with the RAW file enhancing the dynamic range and bringing out the detail in the wall. To do this I used both Photoshop and Silver Efffex Pro, using control points to selectively enhance structure and contract settings.

Finally, although it would have simplified the image overall, I resisted the temptation to remove the square and oblong items that appeared on the wall within the frame, preferring to keep the image authentic as to how it was on the day.