A study of transparency, reflection, and warm versus cold colour. The theme is isolation - the couple are sitting in a beautiful restaurant, with good drinks in glasses in front of them, and with a stunning 61st floor Bangkok cityscape through the glass next to them, but they are ignoring all that - and each other - to focus on the glass of their phones in their hands, instead. The bokeh and long focal length brings back a subtle reminder that my own view of this scene is isolated through glass of yet another sort, too.
The symmetrical composition is set up to emphasise this division, with the structural beam separating their two halves of the view, as the centred table separates them. Finally, I waited for a waiter to walk past and shot at just the right moment to catch their blurred ghost dividing the scene in half - adding a bit of kinesis to the image, and the blur producing another kind of glass-like transparency; the motion of the waiter again puts another barrier between us and the scene, and emphasises the motionlessness of the city in the background and of the couple in the middle ground.
This was shot in live view with 10x magnification to get accurate focus with the f/1.5, which would have been impossible with the viewfinder. The downside is this introduced a bit more noise and some hot pixels to the image. Handheld at 1/5th of a second, believe it or not.
Editing: Levels, tone curves, hue, saturation, healing some hot pixels, dodging and burning to homogenise the background and emphasise our isolated subjects. No crop. Resized and sharpened.
Place: 43 out of 60 Avg (all users): 5.1000 Avg (commenters): 5.6667 Avg (participants): 5.1111 Avg (non-participants): 5.0909 Views since voting: 297 Views during voting: 135 Votes: 80 Comments: 7 Favorites: 0
Wow! What a steady hand you have! If I can pass on a tip that I use in low-light situations, a piece of string attached to the bottom of the camera long enough to reach the floor with your foot on it pull up hard against the string and hand-holding 1 second becomes a doddle.
Thank you for your detailed write-up which adds a lot about your motivation and thought processes which, unfortunately, the voter wouldn’t have had access to but really this deserved a higher score than you received. I do like the blur of the waiter I like the shallow DOF and I like all the glass elements and their different functions, it also illustrates how divorced we become from each other with these mobile contraptions that dominate our everyday existence. As you can tell, I like it a lot for all the reasons you’ve stated, I can imagine myself in exactly the same situation doing very similar and also playing with the other images you’ve thoughtfully included. I think we have to recognise that it may have a limited appeal but I do think you could have improved it with a closer crop excluding the foreground furniture and honing in on the couple so, same format clipped bottom and sides.