I wasn't sure whether I wanted to comment on this on or not.
As always, don't read what anyone has to say about their picture because I don't care. Not yet anyway. The first thing is always the picture and just experiencing it. Reading comes later. If I comment on a picture, those comments are about this first look.
It's definitely not a snapshot. but at the same time the subject matter is banal, there really isn't anything happening and SI isn't showing me a new perspective. This isn't a shot of something everyday and utterly common taken from an unusual point of view so viewers will say 'I've never seen it like that. I didn't know it could be so...' and pick what you want.
For all of that, it still has potential appeal for me because it is what it is. I'm pretty sure I'm not a 'People Photographer', even though I'm not quite sure what a People Photographer is. However, humanity is what almost all my photography is about and this shot is about being human.
I have no idea what the motivation for this image was. The 'Old Gent' sleeping in his wheel chair is mentiioned, but if I try to imagine him by himself, it's not much of a picture. He's not much of a subject. The ladies are obviously not the subject and they aren't doing anything special, but without them there wouldn't be anything to be interested in, at least for me. Okay, I'm at the point where the shot is all it can be for me and the next things are about the differen t ways the image could be. Time to read.
Man, do I see this shot in a different light from everybody else!!! The Gent in the wheel chair isn't the subject, but he is the visual focal point and it's him in relationship with the two women that are the core elements of the shot. The stuff on the table and hanging off the back of the wheel chair seems to say something about the people. The stuff, together with the core human elements are a skeleton the viewer can fleshout with their own story and when that happens the subject of the story the viewer weaves from the elements in the photograph and elements of their life becomes the subject of the shot. Many of Garry Winograd's street images are in this vein, or maybe it would be better to say quality.
The Gent in the chair could easily be the subject of the shot simply through the emphasis SI could place on him in post processing. He didn't do that, so I made up a take on the shot with the elements I think are important.
Like everyone else, I think the shot needs to come up, way up, in what I consider the subject area. Just throwing a curve on the shot isn't going to cut it, but the areas you want to work with are really easy to mask. The women, the gent above the arm rest and the stuff on the table were worked separately from the background, which did pretty much have a curve thrown on it.
Version 1 - Semi Equal Tones
The women and the man are right about the same tone so have a similar visual importance, though he is slightly brighter. If you notice, he seems to be almost in the same visual plane as the women.
Sleeping-SI-tmp.jpg [ 229.73 KiB | Viewed 372 times ]
Version 2 - Emphasis through Brightness
The women have been dropped in tone to be more like they were in shadow, which, of course, they are. He's definitely the subject now and, at least to me, he almost seems separate from the picture and in front of the rest of the image. Light subjects\objects against dark backgrounds appear to closer to the viewer, more towards the plane of the frame, than the darker backround. It's very realiable and you can use it all sorts of places to build up a dimensional feel.
Sleeping-SI-lower-tone-ladies.jpg [ 230.01 KiB | Viewed 372 times ]
Are you improving, SI? I honestly have no way to tell when it comes to your B&W processing. The converted stuff I've edited has had plenty for me to work with so I can say the conversions your doing aren't bad , but I have no idea what your working from. How good a B&W conversion is depends on how much of the information you've brought over from the color shot.