I would never have taken my Sony a900 with me for a trip like this. But I had the GF1 with me almost everywhere, even during the evenings. But when I go out in the nature just for photographing I normally take my a900. I will keep two systems, and use GF1 for street and travel. But the GF1 has cured me from the temptation to buy a Leica M9 and I have sold my a700 and all APS-C lenses.
I think it is perhaps the background that makes the first. The dark figures behind really bring the face out of the background yet dont overly clutter the image... Sitting on the floor, hands under chins we get the real sense of the negative space they help draw in.
I love it.
The second is wonderfully candid and natural. Yes, I prefer the first from a aesthetic viewpoint but I find myself keep coming back to the second for clues, which is wonderful.
Thanks for your kind comments. The old man is looking on a film with street life in Berlin from the thirties. He may have been a small boy then! The man on the bus was reading an old book and left the bus outside the culture centre. He was very concentrated on reading!
Stickan, my feelings reflect what everyone else has posted about your first portrait. Even without your description, which I do like to read, I can feel this man's concentration and connection with whatever he is looking at. The tones and focus are really good - very nice details...his clothing, his hair, his face and his glasses. Without knowing him, I get the strong feeling that you caught him in the moment very well.
I can see what drew you to your second image. I think I would like to see a closer cropped image that would allow me to focus in on him without the passersby...but that is just my thought and it's still early for a Sunday morning for me.