April 26, 2010

Underrated (By Request III)

A slightly different shot had been requested as an homage to the hard work that brings us our morning cup of coffee but this shot has had me under it's spell since I chimped it on the scene.

That's 160lbs of green coffee on that man's back. He spends all day long moving those bags around a serpentine warehouse. He does this with several colleagues assisting in the heave-ho hustle that marks the decidedly masculine side of dry-mill work. (The women tend to be involved in spotting and picking out defects).

I converted this and all the shots from that day into black and white thinking they work better with a limited palate. The light, the motion, the energy, are much more prominent when undistracted by colors. No one needs to know his hat is red.

To make it, I stood in one spot for a few passes of the guys. I had my shutter speed set slow enough to give the shot some motion and tracked each guy as they passed. This is one of only a few that's reasonably sharp, with a composition that speaks to setting, collective action, and the hard work at hand.

It's one piece of the remarkably labor intensive world of coffee production. If any of the pictures from my trip speak to something deeper, I'd hope it'd elicit a newfound appreciation for all the work and resources that go into a cup of coffee. $4 for an Americano seems cheap sometimes.

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