Waiting for Manna – Montreal, 2010

Waiting for Manna

A new image,  “Waiting for Manna”, in my series of street photography from Montreal.  A young panhandler naps or meditates, totally cut off from the world around him, while a passerby disappears into the edge of the frame. The hot summer sun bathes the scene, the windows reflect the bustling life of the Montreal streets, yet the scene speaks of isolation and disconnection. The Ross Xpres lens on my Ensign 820 captured the scene in crisp detail on XP-2.

The Sunny f/16 rule dictated 1/200 second at f/16, allowing both excellent depth of field and a fast shutter speed to freeze the pedestrians’ movement.  Fortunately, this scene included only sunny areas in the critical regions, eliminating the struggle to preserve detail between the sun-bleached street and shade under awnings.  The original 6×9 cm image included much distracting detail from windows at the upper end of the picture.  Cropping from the top to a square image drew in the busy pedestrian world with the remaining reflections, while juxtaposing the napping panhandler and disappearing pedestrian in opposite corners of a square image.  This creates a tension between the passive napper and the passerby, who disappears in the distance without interacting with the panhandler, emphasizing the young man’s disconnection from the street’s activity.