Before The Rush

I love empty places. There's an anti social statement. This doesn't apply to everything of course. Being the only one in a restaurant is always strangely awkward and it's never a great sign if you're the only one in a pub on a Saturday night, (I'm sure my friends said they were going to be there!) 

When it comes to photography, however, there is something very striking about a location being empty that normally is full of people. It shows the location in a different light and tone. This week's image shows the main concourse of the Grand Arcade shopping centre in the city centre. This was taken fairly early in the morning, just a few moments after the gates had been opened to allow people inside. This was a shot I had planned before heading off on the shoot and I was convinced it wouldn't be a problem trying to get a clear shot of the empty shopping centre - I mean, who was going to be around at that time of the day.....?  

I was wrong and the answer was a lot! Standing on the first floor looking down and along the main walkway - where the majority of the major brands are located, (note the Apple store towards the top of the image) it seemed as though every store employee, cleaner or security guard had decided to choose that moment to walk past. It took me almost five minutes before I managed to get a clear shot. Literally a few moments later and the concourse was busy again.

I played about with the image in post processing, trying to decide whether to go full colour or black and white. I tried an HDR filter and also a Polaroid filter that I love (see the blog title screen) and eventually settled on the monochrome effect. I think it helps to blend out all the different logos and colours of the shop fronts and creates a smooth image where the perspective of the shots takes precedent. 

Taken with a Canon 70D with a Sigma 18-250 lens