Two Blind Shots


Today I share a post with Melinda Green Harvey featuring photos that we each took in Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown. What a pleasure to have her excellent photography on these pages.

When she was visiting a month ago we toured around Victoria, cameras in hand. In Fan Tan Alley I noticed her taking a picture through some clear plastic vertical strips hanging in an opening in the wall that looks into a room under renovation. I would never have thought to shoot this subject, especially as the light at the far end was extremely bright compared to the foreground and alley. Anyway, I shamelessly stole her concept and took the shot above. She has kindly shared her photo from the same moment, which is below. And, she too is posting both these images on her blog today.

I don’t recall seeing such blinds before. I suppose they serve to let light in, to ventilate and to prevent smaller stuff from flying into the alley.

After quite a bit of processing I came up with something that satisfies me. The array of reflections or refractions across the top are one pleasing aspect, as are the vertical zones of soft and sharp focus. Melinda has captured the vertical aspect a lot better than I, with a diagonal thrown in that I never even noticed. It is interesting how much these two shots differ. Some of the difference arises from my having a 24mm prime lens on the camera. There was no chance of moving the camera forward or otherwise zooming, and I do recall thinking I would crop it. When I found that I could just darken the surroundings I only ended up with a minor crop.

Melinda was effectively twice as close as I was with her zoom lens, but I suppose she might have cropped as well. I know that symmetry is not her thing and it would seem that she was deliberately nixing that composition, whereas I don’t mind symmetry now and then. These compositional choices arise from which side of the fairly narrow opening we chose. Although on closer examination of the pictures I think there must have been two rooms and two openings side by side and that we photographed different ones at the same time. That part I don’t remember which tells you something about how observant I really am, and highlights another interesting aspect of sharing the same photographic space: the trivial false memories of everyday life. I also like how we each developed a different aspect of the lighting.

Two pictures of the same thing, at the same time, under the same conditions, but really quite different. I find this makes me think about photography in ways I normally don’t.


I know Melinda often shoots through windows into derelict and dimly lit places – it is something I am going to have to learn to do too, now that I am getting used to looking around back, another lesson I have learned from her.

Here is another of my shots from the alley, and here is another of Melinda’s.

Melinda and I have shared the photos, but we have not seen what each other is writing. As I prepare this post I am eagerly wondering what she has to say about the pictures.


My shot is with: Canon EOS 5Dmkii, Nikkor-N Auto f2.8/24mm lens, ISO800, 1/80th, ~f2.8.

Melinda’s is shot with: Nikon D7000, 62mm focal length, ISO400, 1/60th, f6.3





4 thoughts on “Two Blind Shots

  1. I think I can speak for your followers that it’s been a treat watching this colaboration unfold on both blogs. It’s exciting to see the viewpoints of talented photographers displayed together like this. There id not only the photos but processing style differences that I find interesting since I’m a technician at heart.
    I once worked out a plan to get 3-5 photographers to share 3-5 files (unprocessed) with each other with the intention of each processing the others (as well as their own) files for comparison. Though I never followed through on the plan, it’s still in the back of my mind.


    • Thanks Ken. It has been a treat for me to see what Melinda posts – quite a surprise sometimes too. Both in her compositions and the way she processes the images.
      I like that idea for a collaboration – I have seen similar done amongst HDR photographers where several of them are each given the same set of brackets to process and then share the results for all of us to see. It is very interesting to see where people’s imaginations and technical skills lead them from the same starting point. I think there can be quite a lot to learn for the participants and the observers.


  2. Thanks for thinking of our doing this co-posting, Ehpem, and I look forward to more of these in the future!

    I did crop my shot, just a bit, on the right side. I liked the dark-to-light effect from left to right, but there was too much light on the right and it was starting to overpower everything else. It had to go!

    It seems like there were two rooms and we each shot one of them, but my recollection may not be that reliable!


    • Hi Melinda – these collaborations in photoblogs have always interested me where people do something together – like sending around exposed film that gets double exposed by another person or sending a point and shoot camera on a trip to different photographers to see what they will make with it and so on. But, it has more fun to stand together taking pictures and chatting. I don’t think we tracked down enough empties, but there will be another time for that.

      It is strange about the two rooms. I don’t remember two rooms, but looking at the photos I think there must have been as I do recall that these openings were quite small. And I recall that I was not that far from you when I took my shot – just a few feet. I suppose I could go have a look.


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