Let me have it.

Door and Window

“By managing the attention of your viewers, you guide them to the heart of the story and free them from the difficult task of wading through an ambiguous image and its distractions.” Vision and Voice by David duChemin

Found this door walking along the streets of old Richmond near Virginia Commonwealth University. I was in search of a coffee shop called Rev It Up. I found the  shop and met the owners, Dave and Sharon, who are from Colorado. I enjoyed my mocha and she even gave me the extra shot (decaf).

Anyway, the streets around the campus are loaded with wonderful architecture and bright colors. The distraction I find in this image is the reflection in the window, other than that I like. I would love to hear your critiques of this image. Is it too busy? Does it tell a story? Or am I just focusing on the colors? Let me have.

This entry was posted in Architecture, doors, Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Bob Dein August 10, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    For me, the reflection adds another layer of story. I like it! Bob

  2. Earl August 10, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Monte, not too busy, but I was so consumed by the colors and the abundant architectural details that the reflections were not noticed until later. Beautiful lines in the siding and the moldings as well as those matching panes of glass in the window and door.

    • Monte Stevens August 10, 2010 at 8:50 am #

      That was the same for me, Earl. I never noticed the reflections until my post processing. And, these colors are truly this vibrant I have done very little adjustments except cropping.

  3. Don August 10, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I think it is very colorful but inviting, except I wouldn’t want to be the mailman delivering everyday with the mail slot that low, it’s more like a pet door for mice.

    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 10:52 am #

      LOL. I never even noticed the mail box in the door. Good eyes.

  4. pj finn August 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    The colors are great. I don’t find the reflections at all distracting — rather, I find them visually interesting. I’d be interested in seeing another version with just the window and it’s reflections surrounded by a bit of the blue wall.

    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 10:54 am #

      The colors were what attracted me to the scene and still are the major draw. I hope I have another opportunity to revisit this location again and will take more images with different perspectives. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Alan M. Collopy August 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm #


    Stunning, not only the colors, but the reflections and composition. For some reason, my eye was drawn to the black lantern on the right, and also how tall the window is in relation to the doorway. I like this!


    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 10:59 am #

      Then that asks the question is the scene too busy? I must go back and revisit this location.

  6. QPB (Mary Ann) August 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    I agree. The colors are very eye catching and, quite frankly, the reflections add a bit more character to the composition–a nice contrast, perhaps, to all the ordliness of the lines and the colors.

    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks, Mary Ann, and glad you agree. I love the colors also. If there is a chance to revisit this location I would like to try a polarizing filter and several different perspectives for this scene.

  7. David Leland Hyde August 11, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Hi Monte, yeah, that’s my question too, how do the people who can look out that window get in that door? They must be giants with a tiny mailman. Unless the window is in a stairwell. You may find it interesting to note how these strange factors tend to make people wonder about the photograph and perhaps look at it longer. For the critique of the image: definitely not too busy. Both Philip Hyde and Galen Rowell wrote or talked about how the eye edits certain elements out of images that the photographer and art people notice. So your gallery owner will notice the reflection, but most people may not if you don’t mention it. There is always Photoshop, but you might consider using the reflection and trying a slightly different angle to get it to repeat in the other windows. That is all for future reference though because you said that you didn’t notice it this time at the moment of capture, but you probably will next time.

    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 11:05 am #

      After reading you comment I do remember moving just a bit to the right of my first look through my viewfinder to remove my reflection in the window. So, I did see the reflection at the moment of capture but it must not have been that important in my thought process. And, yes I already have ideas for the next time I get to revisit this location. Thanks, again for stopping by and for your critique.

  8. sabrina August 11, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    Wow, wow, wow, Monte! I love the composition and the colours. For me this image is about the rectangle shapes seen everywhere except for black light and the flower box on the lower right which looks square to me. I am wondering what is just outside of the frame at the right and the top. Is this where you cropped?

    • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 11:07 am #

      Three Wow’s. I guess that means you liked it. 🙂 My only cropping was to straighten out the image as I have a tendency to drop the horizon on the left side. Thanks, for stopping by.

      • sabrina August 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

        Yes I do like it a lot, Monte! The reason why I asked about what was outside the top of the frame and to the right was because I was wondering if the image might have benefited from more breathing room along these sides. If you had cropped to exclude something in these areas, then that explains the composition. By including more room on the right, we could see more clearly the shape of the flower box and that would complete the visual tension of one of the non-conforming shapes in the image. I was thinking one or two more blue panels of horizontal siding at the top could be like the last brush stroke on an already strong image. Please keep in mind that these are just my thoughts. You are the artist so in no way am I inferring you should have created your image in this way–I was just wondering “what if”.

        • Monte Stevens August 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

          I’ve also gotten feedback on the right side of the image, the power of the white flower box and how it can lead us out of the image. I really did not have much room for cropping this image as I only had my 35mm lens and was standing in the street for this image. 🙂 I do have the opportunity to revisit again next week to this same area and will venture back to that neighborhood. There was a second coffee shop nearby and will check that out also. Thanks for your input, I do appreciate them.

  9. Don August 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Monte, when someone flipsout at work will they now say, “he’s going airline” instead of “postal”?

  10. Aswirly August 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    I agree with you about the reflections in the window, but I love the colors and the sense of balance in the image. It’s an inviting shot.

    • Monte Stevens August 12, 2010 at 8:05 am #

      The responses to this image have been varied and shows how different our tastes are. That reflection is an annoyance to me but to others adds to the image. I do have a trip scheduled there next week and hope to revisit this same place and the building next door. Have a super day!

  11. Eric Easley August 12, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I agree with Alan and Dave about the tallness of the window. This is an interesting shot, though I have a strange comment about it–I felt the extreme lower left needed something, maybe another flower pot, but, more precisely, something distinctly not rectangular. Also, I wish I could read the sign. however, I understand that this environment was not constructed by you.
    The reason I say my comment is strange is because the lack of purposely fooling with the environment is obvious, and the lack of an object on the lower left, and the lack of softer angles in the shot create a tension that drew me straight to the window and the intriguing reflection. This obviousness and lack gives this shot an uncanny feeling of honesty and imbalance, that I feel is poignant.
    My comment might seem overly critical, which is not my intention. Instead I am attempting to analyze my eye’s initial reactions to the shot. Hopefully, you realize I am trying to compliment you on a fascinating shot. 🙂

    • Monte Stevens August 12, 2010 at 7:55 am #

      Wonderful comments for me, Eric. I see where something may be lacking on the lower left, to balance out the lower right, rather than removing the flower pot on the left to balance the image. And, you are so right, what is placed in front of us is what we are to deal with, whether that is an image or life itself.

  12. Faye August 12, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Hi Monte! I love the bold colors and the architectural details of this image. I’m wondering if a slightly different composition could help – the elements seem to be competing for our attention. You know I’m a big fan of edgy compositions, but allowing both the window and the door to rest at the edge keeps my eye bouncing back and forth. Perhaps some space either at the top of the window or the bottom of the door might help to determine which is the more important – even if it means cropping off a portion of the lesser element. I hope this makes sense… lol. Great image to get a discussion going!

    • Monte Stevens August 12, 2010 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks for your input, Faye. I do hope to get back there next week and see what I can come up with. In all honesty we can probably never be fully satisfied with a “final” image as our tastes are so varied. I do like your suggestion of adding space to the bottom, so that will be one perspective when I go back there. And, again thanks for adding your observations.

  13. Ken October 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    I like the reflection. It adds interest to an otherwise blank area. The cropping may be a little tight but there is a nice balance going on here. This is my first visit here and I like your galleries and writing style. Thanks.

    • Monte Stevens October 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

      Well, thank you for stopping by and letting me have it, I mean leaving a comment. I will venture off to your website and checkout your stuff. Thanks, again!

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