Monday, 1 November 2010

Stranger #7 - James, Avid reader

Came across James, sitting neatly on a stump on the riverbank as I was walking the dog in Henley. I had brought my camera along with the intent of getting another stranger shot & his intense concentration on his Dick Clancy novel was endearing enough to catch my eye.

I wish I knew what James did, because although he IS an avid reader, it's probably not a very good label for anyone. Not sure I would have got an answer even if I had asked. James is the first stranger I've talked to that was somewhat reluctant to be photographed... although I realise 6 prior strangers is not exactly a conclusive social trend. He seemed perplexed by some weird chap coming up & wanting to take his photo for no apparent reason. I did explain the 100 strangers project, but this clearly only partially explained my oddness. "What are you going to do with these photos after the project?". Good question indeed.....

Am I learning anything through the project from these first 7 strangers? Well I think so.... One has to think quickly about composition & what you want of their character to show in a portrait, and you only have about 5 or 6 shots to get it. It does make you consciously think about your shots - digital photography allows us to shoot blithely away, knowing that each shot costs nothing & that if you take enough shots then there is bound to be a decent one in there. The 100 strangers project requires a completely different ethos entirely and will create another working methodology that will be useful on occasion

Far from the best portrait in my strangers project so far.... although his concentration on his book attracted me, it lacks a connection with the viewer.

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