Posts Tagged ‘scream’

OK, I got a lot of great feedback on the last Movie Look post. One challenge I got on GetDpi was to see if I change the colors around, would it give it a different feel to the pictures? Like I mention in the original post, I knew the color treatment that I wanted to do to depict the scene. Therefore, it was kinda challenging for me to change the complete feel of the pictures. Instead, I decided to pick the greenish Matrix hue again and apply it to all 4 pictures. This time, going for the darkish feeling that Matrix reloaded gives. I made the pictures a little bit more edgy to stress the high contrast movie look. I’m still not sure if I like this set better, but it does give quite the contrast to the original set.

Title: Matrix Reloaded
Matrix Reloaded

Title: NekoJin Reloaded
NekoJin Reloaded

Title: Cold Stone Killer Reloaded
Cold Stone Killer Reloaded

Title: Scream Reloaded
Scream Reloaded

I never knew riding BART was so dramatic.

This was Fleet Week in San Francisco. I promised the kids and wife to take them to see planes. Knowing traffic and parking was gonna be a pain, we decided to take an adventure on BART. I will be posting more Fleet Week pictures later on, but I figure this would be a good set to start with. Don’t be expecting your normal plane across the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge picture. I know my limits. Armed with the M9, I doubt I’ll be able to catch anything that’s flying faster than 5 miles an hour, let alone a fighter jet cruising at 700mph.
I knew I need to capture some interesting pictures within the limitation. Also, knowing that I will be walking around pushing a stroller, I’m even more limited on how and when I can shoot. So, what’s better than to see what interesting characters and scenes I can find on BART while the kids are strap to the stroller?

Starting with this pic. What feeling does this picture invoke for you when you see it?


I notice this mom and kid sitting across from me. Talk about “Decisive Moment”. As the door open, I notice they both turned their head. *Click* caught it. Since this is a set about Movie Look, I should digress a little bit here regarding my color treatment here. Ever since I started playing with Color while editing video in Final Cut Pro, I started to study more and more of movies and how color play a role in creating the drama. You can read about my video venture in my autobiography part 3.

Since street photography is about capturing a moment, about capturing a picture that tells a story. What’s better to augment the picture with color to build drama. Of course, the picture will need to have some substance in it, but by tweaking the color for that Movie Look, it will help develop the story even more.

Back to the question before you saw the picture. What feeling does this picture invoke for you when you see it? Now, are you curious on what’s going to walk through that door next? Does it invoke fear and anticipation? Could this be a scene in a horror film?

Here is the next picture. Once again, What feeling does this picture invoke in you when you see it?


I notice this gentleman walking in and resting by the door right in front of me. I knew I had to take a picture. Focus, *Click* Got it right when my kid turn to look at me. I’m sure this is a very nice man just waiting for his stop, but the contrast between the look on the kids face and the veins popping out of the fist of the man make me want to create a sense of fear and sinister in this scene. I gave it a cold blue tone. This is actually not too far fetch from the cold fluorescent lights that typically white balance on subways in New York. The cold tone also complements the man’s blue jacket and blue push cart.

Looking at people on BART used to be one of my favorite pass time. I used to commute on BART 5 days a week, at least 1 hour each way. Typically crowded during commute time. What do you do for 2 hours day? Look at people of course. I used to pick an interesting subject per trip and start to study them. Start with their look, their outfit, their gender, their age, their body language, their facial expression, what they’re doing at the moment, etc. Trying to figure out what they do. What’s the story behind them. And hopefully before they get off on their exit, figure out a story for that person. Of course, I never approach anyone to confirm what my observation told me. All in all, it was an easy way to kill an hour.

Here is another one. What feeling does this picture invoke in you?


I first notice her ear. NekoJin!! I love Cosplay!! ok, that and in many other ways! But this was interesting. She sat parallel to me on the other aisle. I had to do some pre-focusing and shoot with the camera rested on my leg.

This picture could easily be a sci fi anime movie remake into live actress scene where she’s feverishly checking her iphone. Perhaps to see where her next destination is? Or to make sure she doesn’t loose contact as she goes through the tunnel. Yet another picture with the color quality that creates drama. Creates anticipation. Once again, telling the story.

Here is the last shot of this set. What feeling does this picture give you?


The title of this picture gave away what I tried to accomplish. The greenish Matrix Movie Look of course. I notice this Asian guy standing between the crowd. His hair, his leather jacket, his demeanor. I had to take the pic. I actually already packed up the camera since it was crowded and I’m sandwich between my kids stroller and bunch other people. But I knew I need this picture. I already had the Matrix words scrolling down my eyes. Put the camera to the eye, focus and *Click*. Then quickly put the camera away again.

As you notice in this picture. I tried to capture the scene with foreground, Guy with ear phone one to show high tech, our main “talent”, leather clad Asian NEO, and the back ground, questionable guy Agent Smith checking out NEO. The green shade just put this picture into the whole Matrix context.

Once again, another picture that’s able to tell a whole story.

Overall, I must admit, this is probably one of the most interesting set I done so far. I’m sure a lot of Leica purist frown upon doing too much “Photoshopping” to the picture. In fact, Everything I done was in Lightroom. Everything you see here is just a matter of playing with white balance, contrast, and crushing the black to give that Movie Look. If I do get a lot of interest, I might write up more of a tutorial on how I achieve these looks as well as provide my presets. But do note, you will still need to tweak your own picture since lighting is all different.

Is the Movie Look still true to the heart of Street Photography? I think so. Street Photography is about capturing that “Decisive Moment”. It’s about making a picture tell a story. It’s about invoking a feeling when you see the picture. The Movie Look enhances all of these criteria without adding/Photochopping to what’s already store in your Camera RAW file.

Feel free to leave comments if you agree or think otherwise!!