Capture people on the move in Oxford
The day selected for this month’s Shootout coincided with the start of the academic year, and the arrival of the new intake of students at Oxford University. The overwhelming number of parents navigating their way through the city’s lanes in their luggage-laden cars made it more challenging than normal to pick out clean shots of interesting individuals on the streets – but at least there was no shortage of subjects. The hustle and bustle also suited our first Shootout challenge – to capture people on the move.
“As we were in Oxford, I almost felt obliged to capture a cyclist one way or another,” Ash admits. “I decided to look for a kerb that had a dark shadow, to help distinguish between the pavement and the road.
“It was a bright day, so there was plenty of light available for fast, action-stopping shutter speeds, but I chose to use a slightly slower exposure, to capture the motion in a more interesting way. The element of blur on the cyclist here gives a better impression of speed.”
Ash’s black-and-white treatment removes potentially distracting colours and helps focus the viewer’s attention on the motion in the frame. The image really does have a lovely sense of speed – even though the subject may not have been cycling particularly fast – and the diagonal line adds to the dynamic quality too.
There is an argument to be made that placing the subject in the middle of the picture robs the image of a little energy – but they are, at least, following that diagonal across the frame.