Today I started off walking past Hype tattoo parlour (one of my “targets”) but there was a joiner working in the doorway so even if I had plucked up the courage to venture into the unknown then I wouldn’t have been able to get the shot I wanted anyway – strike #1. Next I approached an elderly gentleman sat on a park bench – at 85ish he was a definite change of direction for me but alas he listened politely before courteously saying “I don’t think so” – strike #2. Ah well …
… and so I found myself reverting to type with another bloke younger than myself – but the encounter was no less enjoyable for this.
Jordan was sat on part of the old Roman Wall finishing his lunch when I walked past and spotted a camera draped round his neck – this was enough for me so I approached and with very little discussion he agreed. Early on I asked what his camera was and he held it up – a Fujifilm bridge camera which I think he said he got for his 21st birthday as he wanted to buy something meaningful – this was his first proper camera other than compacts. Timing being everything I then took my camera out of its bag and he commented something along the lines of it being a real camera and that he felt “emasculated” – ouch!!! Not a bit of it – I’ve seen iPhone shots and “handbagcam” shots that prove it’s what you do with it that counts! We talked a bit about the project and whether Jordan liked photographing people and although he said yes it’s really urbex photography that appeals to him at the moment but as a newcomer to the art he’s still quite open-minded about what he likes.
It turns out that Jordan and I also share a passion (or curse) in that we are both avid Newcastle United fans and we talked quite a bit about that. He asked me my thoughts on the upcoming derby but we got side-tracked onto how the new signings were fitting in so I’ll put it on record that we’ll win 3-1 … you heard it here first ;). Jordan is not a season ticket holder but still gets to see about a quarter of the games a year and hopes that will increase now that he’s living back in Newcastle.
Jordan, similar to my previous stranger, is an English Lit graduate from Manchester (I think) but hasn’t quite worked out what his vocation is going to be so he’s working on a fill-in job at the moment and has recently been doing night shifts – sooner him than me!
I gave Jordan my camera to flick through the shots and he seemed to like the shots but technically I don’t think he pops out from the background enough and I reckon I missed a trick here – he was in no hurry, easy to talk to because of our shared interests and being into photography might well have been happy to entertain a little technical endeavour and I wish I’d tried using a little flash to light him whilst stopping everything down to shut out the ambient light and try and get a bit of contrast between him and the background – but this didn’t occur to me at the time and instead I was simply quite pleased that I noticed that the first couple of shots were underexposed and took the time to dial in a bit of exposure compensation (manual exposure would be way too much for me to cope with here). Of course I didn’t use those as I preferred the composition of the one posted – so photoshop to the rescue again ;).
Jordan, thanks very much for helping me with my project – it was fun talking to you.
This picture is #26 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