Woman with Umbrella, Salzburg Street. Salzburg, Austria. July 17, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A Salzburg, Austria street scene including a woman with an umbrella
This is one of those photographs that you could see in any number of ways, I think. It is a narrow street in Salzburg, Austria, not far from the main square and the Salzburg Cathedral and perhaps right in front of the building that is described as the birthplace of Mozart. (Somehow the juxtaposition of a shopping district with that place seems just a bit jarring.) You could regard it as an almost random scene from this street, though I think there is a bit more going on.
One of the things I like about street photography is working quickly and spontaneously, reacting quickly to people, events, and juxtapositions that may last only for a brief moment. If I recall correctly, I perhaps began simply by thinking “there is a shot here somewhere, with all these people on this narrow street.” Then things began to coalesce a bit when I noticed the bright backlight streaming almost directly down the street and stretching long shadows toward me. Then I saw the woman with the dark umbrella — and who can resist a photograph of umbrellas!? As she walked past I quickly made a brief series of photographs, trying to instantly place her and her shadow in some kind of compositional relationship with people and objects in the scene. From this series, this one has her standing slightly apart from others and with her shadow stretching toward the lower part of the frame, and a similar shadow from another woman almost parallels it. The people at front right were in shadow (yes, some work in post makes them more visible) but I felt like they provided some balance to the brightness on the left side of the frame and, to me at least, there is something a bit odd and interesting about their intense gaze at something behind me. Looking closer at the people in the scene — closer than I could consciously look when I pressed the shutter release — I find the dark figure on the right margin interesting, and as the people stretch into the distance several of them seem to have stories to tell, too.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.