“Crossing Into Darkness” by Steven Edson

As a street and documentary photographer, I am always looking to create images that are greater than the sum of their parts. I like stories that have a narrative – either based in reality or some form of fiction that reminds us of reality and human drama.

I am often attracted to a place as if it were a set in a film or a play, and then I look for the other elements to enter the scene, which will complete the photograph and make the photograph compelling to look at. That said, I don’t wait too long for those moments to converge as I believe that if its going to happen, it will happen sooner than later. I have stood around waiting and waiting and most times, serendipity just doesn’t cooperate and occurs when you want it to. There’s always the next photo to make around the corner waiting to be made.

In this photograph, the woman walked right into the scene and I was fortunately ready to click the shutter at the precise moment that she crossed from sunlight into the shadows. I am glad that she is alone and that there are no other people to alter the balance of this image. The shadow of the street light helps to further impact the positive, negative, light, and dark relationships that are critical to the balance of this image.

In the poem, The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot I am partially partially reminded a sense between reality and what is to occur, but without Eliot’s foreboding of how the world ends.

“Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow……..”

What are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

Observation and intuition are among other critical factors that combined to make this image successful. Luck also plays a major role in being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the right exposure, and a tight critical focus. All are happening together in a very precise span of time, most likely at 1/125th of a second. When I begin to think about all the factors that go into street photography and documentary photography, it amazes me that these kinds of photographers can do the work they do and bring back such amazing and genuine images.

If you could make this photo again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

If this person had been wearing a red trench coat, it might have added to the situation with a pop of color, but when I reflect on the structure, narrative, and visual sense of my image as it is, it’s perfect in its muted mono-tone colors and sense of place.

Steven Edson shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Steven Edson, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Equipment and settings

Nikon F3, Nikon 28mm f2.8 lens, Kodachrome 64

Every year we release four quarterly printed editions of FRAMES Magazine. Each issue contains 112 pages printed on the highest quality 140g uncoated paper. You receive the magazine delivered straight to your doorstep. We feature both established and emerging photographers of different genres. We pay very close attention to new, visually striking, thought-provoking imagery, while respecting the long-lasting tradition of photography in its purest incarnation. Learn more >>>

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