Inside the Photo
As a photographer, I know how many of us prefer to be in the back side of a camera, so I was really pleased to capture this image of Mark, a fellow camera dude. We were both in the front row of the annual storytelling festival, Tellabration, in Pine, AZ (his wife Liz is a friend, colleague, and one of the storytellers who have been doing this for 13 years).
Mark too is a friend, colleague I have known some time. Each year he is active at the event doing photography and bringing a new mix CD every year for playing music during the break. I look forward each year to getting a copy of his music selections.
The light inside the auditorium was pretty low, and I was running my fast, trusty nifty fifty, the Canon f/1.4, so that aperture was wide open. Shooting at 3200 ISO, the image was of course grainy, but it is actually that texture I like here. The background was dark, and raising the shadow levels in Aperture brought out the patterned but soft image of the person in back (likely on their mobile phone?).
The black and white effect was enhanced with Silver Efex Pro. Magic again, although some people (you know who you are) chide me for using a pricey filter set.
I took the photo rather quickly so I would snap one before Mark knew the camera was aimed his way.
But it is the expression on Mark’s face that makes it for me. He might be about to say something, or he is pondering the next thought, or maybe just enjoying the moment. These are among my favorite photos, when I can capture someone in a moment, before they see the camera and go into some sort of pose mode. I so much more prefer a candid shot to a staged one. I seem to get lucky with these kinds of photos, can I take credit for a lucky click? I only took one, and it worked well.
A longer lens often works better in these situations because you be farther away. Mark was shooting likely a 70-210? on his Nikon and I could see at his screen glance he was getting great face details for images I would end up cropping to get the same composition. But damnit, I love the sharpness of my nifty 50! And it makes for a smaller amount of gear to have to move around.