For the third day this week I took my camera along to Grey’s Monument in the centre of Newcastle hoping to photograph another stranger and as my lunch break ran out I was very close to returning empty handed, also for the third time, without even a rejection to talk about.
Then I spotted Maria … tall, slim & beautiful she walked with an air of confidence and boasted a pair of long earrings that had caught my eye. Most importantly she was browsing some stalls and not in any particular hurry. After a minute or two to compose myself I approached her and asked if she would mind if I took her photograph, she asked why and so I explained about the project. She wasn’t familiar with Flickr but she said that she would be interested to look at the photo online so I gave her one of my cards and asked her name. To my shame I know nothing else about her or what she was doing as the social aspect of the project completely went out of my mind as I turned into a shaking wreck behind the camera. I couldn’t believe how much I was shaking – I guess it was to do with being in such a public area. Anyway, I tried to hold the camera as steady as I could and took one photo which was too dark so tried a little fill flash (this is how much of a wreck I was – given an initial shutter speed of 1/8000 it never crossed my mind that fill flash wasn’t going to work). I quickly deleted that one and dialled in some exposure compensation instead and fired off another which looked better on the screen and I was pretty sure would be fine once I was out of the very strong sunlight. At that I thanked Maria and we both went our separate ways.
It was another few minutes until the concept of sync speed occurred to me and explained the almost entirely blown out flash attempt. Once I reached a more shaded place I had a look at the photos and my fears were realised – the correctly exposed photo was disastrous with absolutely nothing sharp because my hands were shaking so much. However, the first looked nice – sharp around the face and also better exposed than I initially thought (sorry about the deep shadows though).
Another one in the bag and this time I really have pushed myself out of my comfort zone – I made the first approach, in a very public location and there was absolutely nothing notable or unusual about the situation to make it easier (as had happened with Mike (#2) and Victor (#3)).
Maria, you are beautiful and I’m pretty sure you know it – you posed so naturally with a lovely smile – thanks for taking part.
This picture is #4 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page