April 29, 2010

Dry Mill Worker (By Request)


I was strolling among the 98% female workers sorting out defects from the green coffee in Pueblo Nuevo, Nicaragua and this woman caught my eye. She's pretty. Simple as that.

To make this picture wasn't easy. I struggled with the conditions in the sorting area as most of the women had their backs to the light source. She was no exception. She was shy but seemed to like the camera and the attention I was giving her despite the laughter and teasing coming her way from the others. I could hear the tone of it all but remained locked in on making a decent shot.

Here's a series of things that went through my head in the minute we spent together: Pretty, 50, flattering, relax, small aperture, focus on the face, don't ignore the arm, see the lines, simplify the background, breathe, maybe a smile, "sonrisa", she's cool, cooperative, mysterious, pretty, breathe, show coffee, reassure, gratitude, hope.

It's a cacophonous place in my head while I'm shooting but I've gotten used to it. Those ideas, and probably a dozen more, roll up and down my arms as my head engages my fingers.

Reviewing the picture is a more reflective exercise but I feel a bond with her. I feel like we have unfinished business. Nothing prurient, just that there's more to share. I look forward to showing her this image when I roll through Nicaragua on my Northbound ride. I'll make a point of it.

Also some housekeeping. By now I'm backing up on requests to blog about my images. That said, I'm also liking the process. It's motivating to write for at least one person who cares. I'm going to stop numbering requests and simply note that it's "by request" in the the title. We'll see how that goes.

Make pictures.

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