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barista by spyed barista by spyed
blue bottle coffee company in san francisco.

More human condition than street, but I really loved this photo for a variety of reasons. There are things about it that could be improved, and so I would love critique from any street photographers out there.

this was about 3 months ago.. which was actually a life time ago for me. i've been meaning to post it since. but, I generally haven't had much motivation to post.

I've got a theory about creativity which I think is interesting. I had a lot of motivation to take photos when I took this one, and I was in a remarkably negative state. I had just gotten out of a long relationship and the funk of that was just all over me. So creativity was a wonderful outlet.

Since then I haven't had motivation to create art work/take photos. even though I used to carry my camera around all the time before lately I haven't been.

And I believe that is because I am moving from a negative to a positive state and have not yet settled.

When I took this photo and even now, I love it.. probably because to me there is a lot of information here not only about this photo but also about the emotional state I was in and comparing and contrasting where I was then and where I am now is deeply satisfying... for me the central character here is for whatever reason an icon to me, a summary of this moment in my life. so it's a very personal photo. but I do think it's nice to look at in general.

Anyway my theory is, I find that quality inspiration is derived through changing emotional state. positive to negative, negative to positive. and I also think that if one is stuck in a positive or negative state of mind, that their creativity is hindered and reduced to dabbling with time. perhaps one in a stable positive mindset or negative mindset is just skill building, repeating familiar patterns and getting better at them. but true deviation, creation, invention, inspiration, creativity is formed as one transitions from a positive state to a negative state or negative to positive. that's where the good stuff comes from.

lastly I think that the actual release of this inspiration in the form of actual creativity occurs once there is stability. so once you first arrive to a negative state, or once you first arrive to a positive state you find yourself actually producing and releasing.

so, maybe if you are sad in your life, or happy in your life, or unsure in your life.. think about this outline and this theory... maybe it will help you to know that creativity is on its way.. or if you're blocked, maybe you need to toss things around in your life to spark a change in order to produce inspiration.

what do you think?
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One of the most important elements of these sorts of images is that you get a central focus (the barista), and you single him/her/it out from the background. This you did well. You Nobody else is looking at the camera, there is little to detract from the focus of the photo, being the barista. Your technique for grabbing these sorts of shots can be improved though, through a few things. The biggest one is depth of field. You have a depth-of-field effect here, but it's not as dramatic a contrast as it could be. I would say that the background is too much in-focus. Another thing that is fun, if you can get a model to stand very still, would be to use a much longer exposure so that everything that moves around the focal point is blurred, so the focus is more easily distinguishable from the background. Granted, in a lot of street photos you don't have the luxury of having "models".
All in all, it's a great step back into your creative flow. Keep working at it.
What do you think?
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21 out of 21 deviants thought this was fair.

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Hexlaion Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015
MARX77 Featured By Owner May 7, 2013   Photographer
MT-000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
and yes i agree. If you're stuck in your life, like a stone in the middle of the river, you prevent creativity from flowing.
MT-000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
"hey renee there's a weird guy taking photos of us "
Siberiade Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011  Professional Filmographer
haahhaaah great!!!
Lily-Melody Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011
You are so right.
I really needed to learn that, it was fantastic to read.
Thank you.
animeluver97 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2011
awesome. hes like " why is this person taking my photo 0.o "
1LoveDrew Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Meeh... that is deep man, very deep. Those comments, they went through to me, and honestly, I was afraid that I was the only one who thought that.

Though I couldn't help but notice that there is someone looking at the camera.
georgewjohnson Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Something about shooting into shops and cafes, you look in and people are just going about their business, you raise the camera and snap off a shot. You always seem to find one person has seen you and they are caught expressionless, almost stunned like a rabbit in the headlights. That one person feels so isolated as though they are the only one who woke up and realised someone was about imortalise them in single picture. Simply wonderful.
Xerces Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Such a nice capture of the moment- a capture of different moments and emotions in other peoples lives. Well shot :)
disneyfreak98 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
I love how everyone else is involved in a normal day, like that one guy in the back paying and then there's just someone, I don't know, seeming out of place. Like he's not supposed to be there.
scarletwave Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
Well he said all of the things I was thinking. ( `junoknight ) And possibly you could achieve the better focus with a faster aperture, although it looks like you couldn't get it much faster, lol. Just a better focal point, really. This is alllmosst there. You seem to have almost focused on the plates there, right in front of him, which is the problem, in my opinion, with digital photography. It is a nice shot, though. Well done :#1:
Aylewand Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
Great shot.

The sharing in your comments is appreciated and really is welcome. You are appreciated for taking the time to go into what you were feeling instead of taking the short path of a quick comment. I believe that more sharing is better because it communicates that added touch of detail that gives a sense of caring. Of course that's a risk some are not willing to take.
JigenSuzuki Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010  Student Artist
radiolies Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
Those moments in between are sometimes the most painful. I look back at some of my lowest points, where I really found myself struggling emotionally, and realize that some of my best work came from that time period. I think those difficult periods in life put us in a desperate place...and the only thing we can do is create or express the pain of it. It's a coping mechanism and a very necessary process. Artists are lucky in this way that we can produce something positive from such a negative place. It seems it is the creative process itself that takes us out of the negative place. I've always felt that when I wasn't creating something, I'd fall into a funk no matter how well everything else in my life was if not creating was directly effecting my level of happiness. I think whatever perspective we have at the time or whatever it is that we're going through...all of it is valid. I do find solace in one part of what you wrote in particular... "so, maybe if you are sad in your life, or happy in your life, or unsure in your life.. think about this outline and this theory... maybe it will help you to know that creativity is on its way.. or if you're blocked, maybe you need to toss things around in your life to spark a change in order to produce inspiration." I love those moments of self reflection. It makes it all worthwhile.
TheWolfLadyTala Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010  Student Writer
Makes sense :shrug:
The theory I mean :D

I'm not too sure about all forms of art, but I know that when it comes to writing, everyone seems to do better when they are suddenly really happy or suddenly really put down. They don't call it angsty poetry for nothing :D
junoknight Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I agree with you. I find that I'm most creative when I'm at wits end and... in sheer exasperation and desperation either sit down at a piano or at my computer and go at it.
I do wonder though, did the barista know you took a picture of him? Haha.
Gonzale Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Professional Photographer
they look so lost :o
i like.
spyed Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
i'm sure you would have done it better justice but.. you know ;P

hey i'm coming to paris in a few months will you be there? :)
Gonzale Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010  Professional Photographer
i don't about justice... your shot's good !

as for your question, i'd love to, but it's gonna depend on what month you mean...
i'm gonna be here and there, and hopefully in paris when you come :)
00alisa00 Featured By Owner May 31, 2010   Digital Artist
You have centered the point here :D
lexxii Featured By Owner May 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty cool
KIARAsART Featured By Owner May 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
I love the guys look which is looking at the camera :]
bdwfh Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
homeostasis is hardly conducive to creativity, i agree.

a tighter composition may have helped remove distractions and make this a more intimate scene. i must admit that i struggle to find any meaning in this image, however. if there is a message here, i either fail to understand it, or i need to be you in order to interpret it. still, it is an interesting shot.

i hope you continue to enjoy shooting street. :ninja:
arnaudlegrand Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
IMHO : There is not enough connection with the environment to make it a powerful street shot (taken from the street is not systematically street photography). Moreover, a good street shot does not need a long explanation to create reaction : it must be powerful by itself, whatever interesting the text is or not. A good example freshly posted here : [link] Besides, on a more formal aspect, the coffee machine and its label take too much place in the foreground of the frame and disturbs me from your subject, without brining value to your picture. Maybe shooting closer would have induced a more focused scene. Hope this helps to improve your street photography. :)

Nothing to do with this, but been being a deviant for 5 years and loving it makes me thank you a lot for what you created here. ;)
sebeka Featured By Owner May 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I know that I usually [but not always :lol: ] make best pics when emotion in me hit's the highest point. Doesn't matter happiness, anger, maybe it's impression. If you're in a big slump then changing something radically gets you out of it - there I can agree with your theory.

Also - probably it's slightly different for each human. Since every one of us are different from others ;)
fruitfan Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I think the composition of this photo give a deep impression on me, especially, the eyes of that guy~~wanna find sonething out or just confused about the coffee menu
damphyr Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I get a very odd feeling from this photo, like somehow I'm outside, I'm supposed to be invisible and unseen, and everyone is going on about their days, and that one person has seen what he's not supposed to. Like the Sim suddenly becoming aware of the player. :XD: I dunno, probably alone in that feeling. Love the shot. :D
Damaged927 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not at all, that is what I was thinking :nod: It's like they broke the 4th wall (sorta) :giggle:
Satukoro Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
Are you missing a thumb?
Rastislav Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Professional Photographer
When I broke up with my last girlfriend of 8 years, I had so much to express that in one year I wrote a movie script, started painting again and dusted off my old camera. That lasted until I met my present love, I don't regret it since I love her with all my heart and I'm still very much into photography since then. In this case one out of three is pretty amazing to me!

I do think however that creative minds are at their best when in transition or in that in between world where things are not quite defined. Its that yearning that keeps the flame alive.

The shot is great! There's a bit of that in both characters, maybe more from left to right.
alexander-wookiee Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I like your theory. Creativity often comes from the extremes of self, which leaves all of us creative mediums with a problem. You have to choose between your art (may it be visual art, music or literature) or yourself. If you don't suffer, your art does. And vice versa.

Anywho, nice pic.
neo-the-foxycoon Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree with you. 100%
artgeza-II Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
As a traditional artist, I have used art during low periods in my life as a form of procrastination. Being fairly skilled, I find it easy to tell myself it's worth my while to hide from life when I'm making good art.
I guess, you can also ask - If I was happy right now, would I have pointed my camera in that direction and taken a shot of that thing?
Michaeldavitt Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Professional Writer
I want some coffees, coffee right now
Itti Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting theory you have, although it's not something I've noticed before myself.

I like the man's intense look; coupled with the cool lighting he looks almost sinister. I would suggest cropping above the beam at the top though, it makes a great natural frame and there isn't much of interest above it - if you cropped that bit out the beam itself would draw more attention to what's underneath it and you wouldn't keep dividing your attention between the two bits.

Cropping out the folk on the right would also focus more attention on the barista, but I suspect you have your own reasons for keeping them in.

I hope you feel more settled soon.
Reaper-X Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I think you have a valid point. I've noticed my work change from negative to positive, and I've noticed that the transitions tend to make people notice, because those feelings are raw and unquestionable. A moment of purity with these emotions because they're fresh.

I think what you capture is fresh emotion rather than someone trying to work out of a niche because it's comfortable. You can even see the various emotions as you let your eyes wander around the picture. Curiosity, contemplation, happiness and maybe some slight stress in the far right.

My latest pictures are as sad as they can be, and stem from a pretty harsh point in my life...but I'm sure later on I'll be taking some more pleasant pictures. There will still be a certain framework and style I will float around, but something within that will change. The characteristics won't all be there.

Great picture, dude. For what it lacks, I think it makes up for in valid points.
Queen-of-Randomness Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I know I find myself uninspired to write or paint when I don't have stability (employment, moving, etc). So I understand your theory in part.

In other news, I like the lighting in this shot. Warm colors in the back next to happy customers, cooler colors towards the front of the shot behind the counter. Nice. :thumbsup:
Commander-Luminaire Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
Seriously though, I agree. The best stuff comes out of when your life changes, there's so much new stuff to think about, and all kinds of creativity can come from that. When you're doing the same thing every day, it gets dull :B
Commander-Luminaire Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
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Submitted on
May 27, 2010
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Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/83 second
Focal Length
50 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 30, 2010, 5:16:35 AM
EF50mm f/1.4 USM