Photographer's Note

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On the night train from Casablanca to Tangiers, fourteen years ago.

These two Moroccan Army officers were our companions for the night, and through a mixture of my schoolboy French and my girlfriend's Spanish we were able to communicate quite well. Later, when she got some hassle from some young guys in the corridor on the way to the toilet, the chap on the right went to 'sort them out'. They didn't bother us again.

Of course, technically this is appallingly bad, but I've always liked this shot for some reason. Maybe because it's a memory of a meeting with the kind of people who restore your faith in humanity.

A trick I sometimes use in poor light, and one that only works with negative film, is to under-expose by 3 stops, in order to give me a hand-holdable shutter speed. For example, with the meter suggesting a shutter speed of 1/2 a second, I can use a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second; just about hand-holdable. With the wide exposure latitude of colour print film, you can usually get a printable negative, even with this degree of under-exposure. The results can be unpredictable, and usually with pronounced grain, but it allows you to get the shot when otherwise it would be impossible. Of course nowadays with digital, you can just dial up the ISO.

If you're wondering about the RED, it's from the red night lights that were illuminating the train compartment, not from any digital trickery or scanner malfunction.

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Additional Photos by Ben WX (ben4321) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1801 W: 133 N: 2077] (9875)
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