OK, everyone can see that this isn’t Woody Harrelson … what AM I talking about!!!
What I am talking about is the fact that the demographics of my project sucks – almost all white, almost all British, almost all younger than myself and mostly blokes.
So when I spotted Lamar with a basketball tucked under his arm I reckoned there was a good shot to be had … “Hi, can I just ask … can you spin that ball on your finger?”, I asked. “No, but he can” replied Lamar pointing at Jack. Well, so much for demographics – welcome to my latest stranger … white, British, young & male ;). Still … everyone knows that White Men Can’t Jump!
I double checked with Lamar that he really couldn’t spin the basketball then asked Jack if I could take his photo in action and he had no problem with this – which is hardly surprising since he and Lamar are apparently part of the Newcastle Eagles Academy team (and known to score a few baskets from the reports that I read afterwards).
The photo doesn’t show it but Jack is TALL – I’m 6ft and I actually joked that I wasn’t tall enough to photograph him – I wish I’d asked him how tall he was but I’d guess around 7ft – if Clayton hadn’t already taxed our Maths brains I’d be measuring distances and angles and offering prizes for people to work it out. But I reckon I’m in the right ballpark, give or take!
As I’d been approaching Lamar and Jack it became obvious that something had caught their attention just as I got close but it was too late to change my mind and as I was explaining what I was after we got interrupted by some of their mates. In fairness though Jack kept talking to me even though his mates were trying to talk to him – I did ask if I needed to get a move on but he said no I was fine and he continued to give me his undivided attention – his smile in the photo I’ve submitted was pretty representative of the encounter so thanks for that Jack 😉
I took a couple of shots of Jack with a “normal” wide open aperture then stopped everything down to try and capture the spin of the ball. This had somewhat mixed results so I’ve gone with the shot that makes me smile but with a nod to his spinning prowess included.
This is probably the first encounter for a long time where I’ve walked away unsure that I’ve got a usable shot – the combination of Jack moving whilst spinning the ball, his mates being around meaning I didn’t take the time to check the LCD closely to see what I had captured, a fairly slow shutter speed (1/20) for many of the shots coupled with my naturally shaky hands and the fact that a gust of wind seemed to catch the ball every time my camera locked focus 😉 all added up to a bit of a lottery. I’m quite happy with what I got though – the focus is well off but I think the shot sums up the encounter quite nicely and that’s what is important to me for my project.
From my perspective, it’s a shame his mates turned up – I’d have loved to talk to him about how their season was going and as an academy player what his hopes and aspirations for the future were but I reckon sometimes you need to know when it is time to walk away even if your “stranger” seems quite happy – and this was one of those occasions.
Jack, thanks very much for taking part in my project – it was a fun if slightly “through other” meeting – good luck with the rest of the season.
This picture is #28 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