Photo Review - Uzes Books by Elliott Espinoza

"A snap really, but I like this photo for the story as much as the image. These children flopped down outside the patisserie to snatch a few moments with their books (not phones) while their mother was inside. For the love of reading…over cakes. There is a lot that can be improved in this photo. I’d like to know what to concentrate on first when given just a moment with street photography." Elliott Espinoza

Initial Thoughts

This is what street photography is about: capturing these special moments, anomalies in everyday life. Children reading books on the street, instead of looking at their phones, or even the sweets in the shop window is a rare sight, especially in this day and age.

Even without your description, it is obvious what is happening in the photo, and this is what good street photography does. It doesn’t need additional information or context. Rather, it contains all the necessary context within the frame. It should all be there, in the photo itself.

Making Improvements

There are a few little criticisms I would like to share. First of all, the shot is not very dynamic. Perhaps tranquillity is the point of the photo, but in a good street photograph there is usually a situation, movement, or positioning of subjects in the frame, that really grabs our attention and leads us to the point of the photo. That moment is missing here. The three children are pretty small in the frame and don’t necessarily demand attention. A way to correct this a bit could be framing the photo a little differently in post-production, like this:

Original (3:2 ratio)

After cropping (5:7 ratio)

It’s just a slight correction, but it brings the children a little closer, and additionally we have lost some unnecessary details from the top and bottom of the photo without losing any of the necessary components of the photo.

Another possible flaw is the choice of doing the photo in black and white. While it brings that vintage street photography feeling, it takes away from the relevancy of the message, which is, children in the modern society, overwhelmed by technology, still choosing to read in their spare time. As it is, we could easily think this is a photo taken in the ‘60s or ‘70s. I could be wrong, as I have never seen the colour version, but I believe the whole point of the photo would be more evident if it was in full colour.


This is a lovely street photo with a really nice ambience and message. Possibly the message would be even stronger if it was done in colour and if the reading children were a little more prominent in the frame.

#blackandwhite #photoreview #photocritique #streetphotography

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