May 22, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not

Thanks to Simon Abrams for requesting that I blog about this one from Nicaragua.

I had spent the better part of the day on the back of a motorcycle as it wound and bounced its way through the mountainous jungles of San Juan del Rio Coco's coffee country. The last farmer's home we visited as the day came to end was this man's. He was sitting in his hammock listening to a soccer game as we pulled up. He had no pretense whatsoever. My arrival and almost immediate photographic activities didn't even get a passing glance from him.

Only after 15 minutes or so did he seem to warm up to the idea that I was genuinely interested in his efforts. Sure enough, once that nut was cracked, it provided almost an hour of him sharing his story, his home, his farm, and his aspirations. He even had me climb up on his roof to shoot the view of his road. He got into it. You can check out other nearby images from the Flickr feed to get a sense of that time together. (Sorry there aren't more there).

This portrait came about because the light that was bouncing around the space just off his porch was so luminous, delicately textured, and otherwise monochromatic that I couldn't let it go without putting someone in there. He was the obvious choice.

For the first few shots he stood close to the wall and I wasn't feeling it. I asked him to step closer and as he did, he also relaxed his stance. I made a dozen shots in about a minute and felt that was sufficient. I knew my own enthusiasm wouldn't abate but politeness dictated I stop. At one point some chickens ran into a few frames but I opted for the less distracting composition.

There ain't a stich of retouching or a lick of Photoshop on this shot. That's increasingly my M.O. I recommend it.

Make pictures and don't let good light go to waste.

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