Exactly one year after starting the 100 Strangers project I went on the prowl for stranger 100 today – my target to complete the project within 1 year was 13:51:53 and I found my #100 with a little under one hour to spare. I had a couple of ideas how I wanted to close my project and I was delighted to find my stranger happy to partake in both ideas – one requiring a bit of technical mucking about by me and one quite cheesy.
That stranger was Steph – an education consultant which basically means that she finds jobs for teachers. I don’t often ask much about people’s jobs any more, realising that most of the time they are on their lunch and therefore enjoying a break from work so instead I moved onto what Steph likes to do outside work.
Steph enjoys socialising, how often does that one crop up ;), and going to the cinema to watch all sorts, action / adventure / chick flicks … and most recently The Hunger Games – most definitely not a chick flick!
Steph also enjoys going out for nice meals with her fiance … who will be her husband in 10 weeks time! Steph has just come back from her hen night and although everyone had a great time and survived, they are also full of the cold – it didn’t show though. After the big day Steph and her husband will be honeymooning in Cuba.
For my 100 Stranger finale I couldn’t possibly fail to ask my maddest thing question and yet again "falling" featured as Steph has bungee jumped three times in New Zealand and sky-dived once in Australia.
Whilst chatting to Steph I took the opportunity to dig out an Agfa Isolette II that I have been carrying with me for weeks now and so began my technical mucking about … first I switched my DSLR to ISO400 to match what I hoped was in the camera then used it to take a meter reading in shutter priority @ 1/200 which is the fastest the Isolette could manage … I dialled in the settings on the Isolette and clicked the shutter … nothing – I’d forgotten to wind the film on (the recommended approach with the Isolette is to wind on the film before taking a shot, not after). So I wound the film on and tried again … still nothing – this time I had forgotten to cock the shutter so all that I achieved was to lock the shutter again. So I tripped the shutter using the manual override but after all that I wanted a clean no mistakes shot so I wound the film on, cocked the shutter and finally took a photo in a manner that suggested I knew what I was doing. Steph’s smile did not falter at any point throughout this and it was great to be able to point the camera at her and not have to worry about timing my shot with a smile as well.
Taking advantage of the good nature of my final stranger I now dug out a poster that I had prepared comprising my previous 99 strangers – I knew I would get glare from the laminated sheet but nonetheless I achieved my basic aim of taking a single shot with all 100 of my strangers in it – corny I know but I like it!
Making my final analogue error of the day I thanked Steph and explained that her photograph would be available tonight … completely forgetting that I would first need to wait to get the film developed. With that I disappeared and took a few snaps with the Isolette to use the film up and handed it in to be developed – only 2 weeks to wait to see if the film shot is in any way usable.
Steph, thanks very much for helping me with my project today – I was lucky to find someone so obliging and comfortable in front of the camera (2 in fact). I hope your big day is everything you hope for and that you enjoy your honeymoon – I bet that Cuba is a beautiful and interesting country.
And so ends my 100 Strangers project. First up I would like to thank everyone that has helped me on my journey – all 100 strangers that have taken part (and also those that turned me down but nonetheless stopped to listen) plus everyone on this group and amongst my contacts and the wider Flickr community that has encouraged me and provided help and advice throughout. I have learned many things even though I still fail to put several into practice but I have grown comfortable with the project and I have enjoyed many many conversations with an incredible, diverse and interesting group of people.
Putting my project aside I have greatly enjoyed following other’s projects and will continue to do so – there are so many fascinating stories on here and a wealth of styles and approaches to enjoy. I think this is also the right point to thank the moderators for all their hard work keeping the group true to its ideals.
To anyone just starting out I hope that you enjoy the project as much as I did – it took all my courage to approach my #1 but I’m glad that I did and I settled into the project quite quickly and it really has been the most amazing experience. To anyone struggling to get started – 10 seconds of courage is all that it takes – just do it!
If anyone cares to indulge me and is willing to donate a little time, I would love to know what people’s personal favourites amongst my project are.
Please feel free to provide constructive critique on the technical aspects of this photograph.
This picture is #100 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