Smoke Break

Smoke Break

Right next to the San Diego Convention center is a very large, very modern, very clean, but somewhat sterile-feeling hotel. Around the side, between the hotel and what I think is a cargo storage area for the Port of San Diego, is the cleanest alley I can recall ever seeing. And, sometimes, in that very clean alley behind that very clean hotel are hotel employees in very clean uniforms having a dirty old smoke break.

("'Scuse me, do you mind if I take your picture?" "You want to take our picture?" "Yeah, do you mind?" "Nah, whatever.")

Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/2, shutter 1/4000, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: straightened; cropped; max recovery adjustment; dodged over the men, the wall, the ground, and the fence; burned over the sky and background building.

Thoughts for improvement: I wish the ashtray thingy weren't right behind the one guy's head. I also had some trouble getting both the horizontal and vertical lines straight, and I'm not sure that the compromise I made looks right. Otherwise, I'm happy.



I like your composition for the most part. It's interesting the way the fence-line descends, and yet doesn't really spoil the perspective.

Nice shot.