Saturday, 6 November 2010

How to take Portraits, whenever the occasion presents itself to you.

How to take Portraits, whenever the occasion presents itself to you.

Picture the scene, My wife and I are walking through a graveyard on a sunny afternoon. This place would usually be quiet and peaceful and a nice opportunity to film test a Yashica 635 twin reflex camera that I had just purchased. Within a few minutes we find ourselves in conversation with this charming old man, who tells us one story after another for over 30 minutes. It is Memorial Sunday and we were making our way home from the commemorations in the city centre and so was our new companion. I am struck with the urge to photograph our friend, an activity that makes my wife cringe ... but something that I have always been able to ask even complete strangers without fear.

The location was not perfectly lit as you can see. In shadow, with glaring light directly from behind ... but that's where he sat, so that's where we shoot. The image is misty, slight out of focus and bleached of colour from the glare ... but who cares ? It shows the character of a group of courageous people, the likes of whom we may never see again. The most striking part of this image [for me] is the shine on this man's shoes. This day is very very important to him and he has spent at least 24 hours preparing for it.

I hope that I find something as important to me ...

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