[17/100 Strangers]: Stephen


17/100: Stephen

Stephen, it turns out, is the husband of one of my repeat photographic customers from over the past two years. He is a car salesman who left work on a slow afternoon to watch his daughter at Karate class.

He watched me for a few minutes while I was testing out my new lens to see if it could capture decent action shots of the students on the dojo floor. He introduced himself to me and said he wants to buy a nice camera like mine. He asked me a few questions about how to select the right camera for someone like himself: new to photography, but wanting more than a point-and-shoot.

We spent a few minutes on this most interesting topic. I then asked him if he wouldn’t mind participating in my stranger project.

“Well, why not?” He agreed. So I suggested we step outside for some natural light. I’m not a fan of making photographs under fluorescent light fixtures.

I suggested that he stand in front of a stone wall pillar for our few shots. I explained that the lens was new to me, and I’m exploring how it responds to low light and dynamic ranges. The focus with this 50mm F/1.4 is different from what I’ve grown accustomed to with my telephoto. It’s no surprise that it’s going to work nicely for portraits, as expected. It’s not suited for interior sports action shots.

In this image, I achieved some great eye contact from Stephen. I discovered that I have more work ahead before using this as a carry around lens. Yes, I’m aware of the clipped region of white on his left shoulder and there wasn’t much to be done about that after-the-fact.

His wife was amused that he posed for me. She claims he is shy about having his picture taken. He is salesman after all, and I didn’t sense a bit of hesitancy or apprehension on his part. I sent her the image so she could print it out and view him looking back at her on the mantel for a change.

It was interesting that as we began, he was a stranger to me, and yet he previously had seen my work, and knew of me. I doubt this dynamic will be repeated in this first go-around. Yes, I can envision doing another set, already!

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