Behind the Scenes
of Caught Between Arrivals & Departures


January, 2020


Welcome to this little peek inside and behind the scenes of my shot caught.between.arrivals.and.departures that I published the other day.

So what about the shot?

One of my Flickr contacts had asked if this was one of those shots that involved a whole lot of waiting patiently for something to happen or for interesting subjects to come along. It absolutely was not. I happened upon these two girls who were playing some sort of hide and seek or peek-a-boo in and around this sign. I said in a reply on Flickr that it was one of the easier shots to grab for me because I’m assured eye contact from kids because my wheelchair is such a magnet for them. It absolutely turned out to be another one of those advantages of the handicap! So much so that I’ve wondered before whether to start a series on kids in street photography and how they turn their little heads and generally go out of their way to get a good long look at me! Ha ha! Anyway, that’s definitely going to be at the back of my mind…

“Fixed” edit of the image as it appears on Flickr.

Photograph by Christian Stops ©2020

That being said, the shot did come with some challenges. The first one was to get the shot fairly quickly after arriving at the scene. This is important because as eager as they are to check me out, as quickly they’ll lose interest in me again only to go on playing their game. That means it’s crucial to get the shot with eye contact when they look. Obvious!

That being said, the shot did come with some challenges

The other challenge turned out to be technical. I had my A7Rii and the 135mm/f1.8 lens with me. The A7Rii’s got pretty decent autofocus, but its Eye AF requires that you press an additional button together with the shutter button and that’s just not something I’m easily able to do. I guess I could’ve put the camera on single spot, or flexible spot small as I think it’s called with the Sonys, to make sure my focus is on the little face between the signs and not on the sign itself or the edge of it. Unfortunately, I messed it up and the face is not in perfect focus but the writing on the signs is. It’s not super obvious or I wouldn’t have published it, but it is something to learn from for me. I guess my excuse is that I’m not yet super familiar with the Sony system, but really, it’s just a user error. After all, closing the aperture to maybe f2.8 or f4 would also have made sure to get everything in focus. As I said, there is a lesson in it!

Previous “low” contrast version of the shot.

Photograph by Christian Stops ©2020

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes…

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, I also published an edit I wasn’t all that sure about 2 days later. As I was thinking about my next upload and looking at possible candidates, I realized that the contrast and tones weren’t quite like I wanted them in my street shots. I like contrast-y and dark and the shot just didn’t deliver, I felt. So I went back in and made the blacks richer and generally tweaked the contrast and am now much much happier with the image. Thankfully, the good folks at Flickr included the function Replace Photo without affecting faves or comments.

As part of this behind the scenes look I’ve included two more images that I think are pretty cool, but haven’t published anywhere. I hope this is interesting for you guys! 🙂


  1. Judy

    Amazing to read about the amount of work that goes into the final shot you post here or on Flickr.
    It’s not only interesting to read but really entertaining!
    You write so wittily and fluently.
    The whole Website is a lesson in photography, writing and creativity.
    The most awesome thing is that you write in English, which is not your native tongue. It is mine, but I couldn’t begin to write so apparently effortlessly.
    Looking forward to the next episode!

  2. Gerhard

    Hallo Christian,
    erstmal finde ich es eine ganz hervorragende Idee von dir uns hier an deinen Überlegungen und Gedanken teilhaben zu lassen. Ich denke es soll aber auch eine Aufforderung an uns den Betrachter sein Stellung dazu zu beziehen.
    Meine Persönliche Meinung ist, das erste kontrastärmere Foto gefällt mir besser, da durch die Kontrasterhöhung und Zunahme der Schwarztöne der Blick des kleine Mädchens strenger auf mich wirkt und diese vorherige Freundlichkeit im Blick verloren geht.
    Weiterhin bewirkt die Kontrasterhöhung eine gefühlte Zunahme der Schärfe in der Schrift auf den Info – Tafel und lenkt somit mein Auge ab.
    Du hast dieses Problem ja bereits selber erkannt und beschrieben.

  3. Roland

    I think you chose the best shot of the three to publish even though any of them is ‘good enough’, but I think the impact of a scene is lost when the photographer shows us several variations at the same time. The lowest picture may have been the best had it not been for the stripy leggings visible which distract from the angelic expression on the child’s face. Being me, I would have no hesitation attempting a composite of the top and bottom images – not sure how well that would work or whether you would consider that ethical.

    Seriously, you find the Sony menu system too extensive and confusing and you find it hard to quickly access the setting you need to change? I’m shocked!! 😉
    My RX100 has more than 30 menu screens, so I guess your A7R2 has many more!

  4. Werner

    Was ich hier sehe und lese begeistert mich sehr. Die 3 Streets sind super gut. Ihre Geschichte und deine Geschichte sind nicht nur spannend, sondern sie gehören zusammen. Ich schreibe in Deutsch, weil Englisch für deine Besucher kein “abschreckendes” Merkmal sein soll, hier zu schreiben, falls man sich in der Sprache nicht so schriftsicher fühlt.
    Freue mich auf die Fortentwicklung und bin sehr neugierig!

  5. Arne

    I agree! A very interesting read and great images from the airport. I like the one you posted on Flickr lastly as well, I guess it’s one of the girls, too. Very nice stuff! 🙂


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