The Guitarist

The Guitarist, Pike Place Market, Seattle

Every city has a special place for photography. Seattle has many, and spectacular natural scenery to boot. Yet one of the best places for a photographer to lurk in Seattle day or night is the Pike Place Market. The market itself is almost too much of a good thing, and it can be difficult to isolate a single subject among the crowds of visitors.

I saw this busker setting up in a quiet corner outside a flower shop near the Market, and caught his image with my Ensign 16-20 on XP-2. I then thanked him with a dollar in his guitar case, which I try to do with all of the street musicians who are my subjects.

Processing in Photoshop was a challenge because of the extended tonal range in the original scan. The walkway to the right of the busker was in shadow, requiring that the darker values  be raised to bring out detail. The lightest values of the hat and books, as well as the miniature toilet for contributions, were an equal challenge in the opposite direction, and there is some loss of detail in these areas. However, the overall image is nicely balanced and the final print balances these competing elements fairly well.

This image appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Canadian Camera magazine.