QUICK SHOT: People Watching at 4.25pm By Ibraar Hussain

QUICK SHOT: People Watching at 4.25pm

By Ibraar Hussain

Dear Steve, I’m not much of a ‘Street shooter’, but at times I do indulge in this oft confused type of photography.

I was out with the Missus one day, we went for a traipse down the South Bank – so named as it’s the South bank of the River Thames! Very original I must say!

I’m not one for South London – anywhere South of the River, as we of the North side of the river don’t consider the denizens of the Southern Boroughs real Londoners, I mean the river cuts them off from us, and they differ in culture, traditions and accent!

Anyway, the closest I’ll usually go to their part of the world is along the South bank where there is much to see and much to do, this particular afternoon, at 4.25pm according to Big Ben opposites was by the Salvador Dali exhibition and I was lounging leaning against the building and people watching,

I had my trusty Contax G2 by my side, with perhaps the best ultra wide angle lens of any camera – the Carl Zeiss G Biogon 21mm attached, with a Red 25 Filter screwed on for maximum contrast and a roll of Fujifilm Neopan Across 100 loaded –

People were going to and fro enjoying the Summer and the light was superb – I saw this tourist with his camcorder doing what people usually do and lifting my camera with it set to f8 – composed, focussed and shot.

After developing and scanning I saw how good my shot actually was!

I was impressed to see how much of the activity of the people had actually been caught – wow I thought – the South bank frozen in Time. After some Digital darkroom work here’s the result – shot in July 2007, Contax G2, 21mm Biogon T* @ f8. Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100. Developed in Ilfotec ID11 and possibly the best ‘Street’ photo I’ve personally ever shot.


  1. I love the image, Ibraar – nice one! I can see more grain in the sky that I would expect from ISO 100 B&W film – could this be a result of your “digital darkroom” work?

  2. Hey Ibraar, I have an unrelated question for you. But as you have a Fuji TX-2 I thought you may jbow the answer..

    I just picked up a Fuji TX2 that seems to be in great shape. However… with film loaded and the camera turned off, the LCD panel with the # of exposures remaining remains on (the one next to the shutter button). It never turns off. The main LCD on the camera back turns off.

    The manual states:
    1. Set the shooting mode selector to OFF
    2. All indications on all three LCD’s disappear

    Is the manual incorrect (it happens) or is there something wrong with the camera?


    • good question Huss – I’ll get back to you tomorrow as the camera is in the car.
      BUT I think the LCD with frames remaining stays on if camera is off – as long as the battery is ok so I should think this is normal – but will double check on the morrow.

      • Thanks Ibraar! Some other owners on RFF responded (I reached out in case I had to return the camera and the clock was ticking) and the display remains on. The owner’s manual is incorrect. On the Xpan and TX-1 all the displays turn off.

        Kind regards

    • In the XPAN both LCD panels turn off when the selector is off. It has actually just two.
      Mine had to be repaired once because it sucked battery.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys.
    The image has to be processed to a certain level – I just call it ‘digital darkroom’ work – if i had exposed this onto paper in a darkroom I’d have done exactly what I did on the computer – which to be honest bar some dodging and burning wasn’t much at all.

    People forget how much DR and latitude Film has and when the light is right it can give something to be proud of – sharpness and clean lack of grain isn’t everything – nuances of light, tone, detail are all some of the beauties.

    Thanks again

  4. Y’know, most of us – if we’d been at that spot – would’ve just seen crowds streaming by.
    But that frozen moment gives us a perspective that’s packed with interesting people-detail.

    To our ‘digital eyes’ it _does_ look just slightly processed. Cool that it was provided by the light with filters and the response of the Acros film. There’s a nice real/surreal tension.

    I just read that Acros 100 is ‘Orthopanchromatic’. I think the ‘ortho’ means that it’s less sensitive to some colours than others.

    • The HDR is the actual Film – I darkened the sky on the right and the clouds, and gave a bit of light to the buildings and some faces to lift some detail – but generally the HDR effect is what the Film captured because of the light being fantastic, the Red 25 Filter and the huge DR of the Film and the processing in ID11.

  5. Ibraar!

    I love how you brought out the clock face on Big Ben.

    You took this in 2007 and wait 9 years to send it in?!



  6. Yes, it was 10:25
    I like these kind of details in photographs.
    Also it’s funny the guy is shooting something out of the frame.

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