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Download JPG 3830 × 2645


Submitted on
May 26, 2009
Image Size
3.7 MB


232 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/200 second
Focal Length
55 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 24, 2009, 5:21:20 AM
Burning Can by spyed Burning Can by spyed
I learned a lot about photography via this photograph and that is why I'm posting it.

You're sitting at a cafe in Warsaw, and across from you a garbage can catches and fire presumably from a cigarette someone ashed out in it.

You pop up with your camera head to the curb to document this event. First error. You have got to be descreet, otherwise people are aware of you and are not acting as naturally, drastically reducing the chance that you get the natural brilliant shot you're aiming for.

After a while of sitting there you begin to conceal because people who saw you move in to position have since left. I got a little lucky because the trash kept burning and people kept walking right on by. Who could have expected apathy aroun this subject.

Even so, I took easily 50 photographs in this series, and I still don't feel I captured the right moment. I looked through the photos 20 times thinking I had nothing, until I noticed this man on the right who captured the bad smell with the expression on his face. But the angle on the second guard sucks and her face was priceless in some of the other shots.

I didn't get the right angle, I didn't get the right moment, even though I took lots of shots.

I should have kept my eyes out of the camera, focusing on predicting the elements around me and awaiting to take five total shots rather than being snap happy and not catching anything meaningful.

But I learned. And I found an opportunity with subject matter interesting enough to learn from. And that feels great.

Shred me! LOL

And `cweeks dude... thanks!
Add a Comment:
While you may not have captured the moment that you intended to, you have still captured a slice of life in this photo. It contains real people with natural reactions to the burning trash can, as opposed to people who are reacting to your and the camera's presence, and in that way it is very good.

Your choice to make the photo black and white was a wise one, as color would have just been a distraction. There are also no obvious signs as to where the picture was taken, which takes the scene out of the location, so to speak. The burning trash can could be anywhere, even a block away from the viewer's home.

Lastly, your technique has definitely improved. The picture is clear across the entire frame, and the scene shows depth, making the viewer feel as if he or she is looking at this scene through a window rather than a computer screen. All in all, not bad.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

ok, firstly wow i have never seen anything like this, and this is from a

ok, great composition overall, I like how you kept the camera discreet so people would just keep walking by and not try to pose for the camera. Even though the fire is dying because of the water, it still kept burning and it gave it that somewhat mysterious, eerie glow about it. I like how the trash can is the main focal point of the picture. The man over in the corner is the only one who decided to pay attention to the police trying to put out the fire, his reaction somewhat enhanced the meaning of the picture, that when people saw it they thought it smelled like burning trash. Overall very nice work on this photo, keep it up.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

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Vivial Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
vis a vis my school xD
MT-000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
Actually the man on the right looks like he is the pyromane and he's very proud of him. Ahahah
Yoh-Boo Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Many wouldn't have thought to take a picture of this, great job :D

I've featured this photograph in my streetlife journal [link]
Braja69 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is thought provoking and has nice contrast:)
unnoticeable-me Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like the picture :)
And I'm very happy that people from across the ocean come to visit my country too :)
TheFastFiduciary Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2009  Student Photographer
haha nice shot :D
lol it tells a story, thats why i love black and white :D
Color is a big ass part in photography XD
oO-Rein-Oo Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009   Photographer
I love what you wrote here and also the pic :)
agorf Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the advice. :) I like the shot, especially since this is B&W.
TheShadowMachinery Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2009
Very interesting comment, thank you for describing the process.
And I like this photo. Somehow those cops look kinda comical even with their faces not being visible: something in their poses as they seem to curiously stare what this guy is doing.
Slayer-1412 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2009  Student General Artist
live and learn :D
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