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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congratulations Heather!

Heather...you have won the first day of our contest! Sunny...your guess was very close...
The post about the clown had several of the key components of the clue. It had the "nod", the "streets" and "not being seen again" but it lacked the key part of the clue...."young and naive". The picture above was taken in the 70's...and truly I was "young and naive"! Heather...when you have the chance, choose your photo and email your shipping address to my Google email:
felsteadd@gmail.com and I will print it up over the weekend. Below is the narrative that went with the picture posted on November 22nd of 2008.


Arenys de Mar, Spain. The Gold coast. I spent 3 weeks in a hostel while hitchhiking Europe in the 70's. I walked the winding bricks streets camera in hand hoping for a chance of a lifetime. I found myself staring eye to eye with a child. I was so mesmerized by the innocence and lack of any pretense that he offered me. Almost hypnotized by the spell, I couldn't look away. Finally I realized...I have a camera, I can capture this spell forever and relive it as many times as I need for the rest of my life. I raised the camera, focused, and released the shutter. As I looked through the viewfinder, he was still staring. I nodded my head and walked away. I looked back before I rounded a corner and he was gone. Was he really there? 6 months later in the darkroom after returning home, I watched with skepticism as the image at first ghostly began to develop. Again, I was fixated on the eyes and he returned the innocent inquisitive glance. He WAS there, the child that explored my soul without permission. Now many years an adult, he must be a philosopher or shaman.

9 comments:

Sacha van Straten said...

This is a timeless photograph.

What makes it so is the fact that any interpretations we make might be as true as the next person's response.

This boy might just as easily have grown up to be an electrician or carpenter, although shaman sounds so much more appealing.

There's a luminosity to the print that makes the image ethereal. That seems to get lost in a great deal of digital photography, and is something I'm working on trying to re-create in my own digital work.

Another gorgeous photo - many thanks for sharing it.

S

Dan Felstead said...

Sacha,
You are right. Luminosity is still the bane of digital photography. This photo was obviously film since it was taken over 30 years ago! Tri-X asa 400. I hate to say it, but the best way I have found to capture that luminosity right now is photoshop. Seems sort of manipulative but without it, digital is till lacking. But the advantages in my opinion far outweigh the old darkroom!

nishaa said...

Beautiful and evocative photo.
Maybe he grew up to be that rare person from whose gaze Innocence didn't disembark somewhere along the way.

Dan Felstead said...

Nishaa,
I hope you are right. We need more people like that. If he retained that innocence into adulthood, I need to find him for I can count on one hand souls I have known in my life that possess that rare quality.

Sacha van Straten said...

Hi Dan,

Have you tried some software called DxO Optics?

I have it and it works absolute magic, especially on RAW files. You can even select your original film stock and it makes your photos look like they were shot on that film! Insane, but surprisingly good.

I'll mail you a couple of pictures I took yesterday using a high digital ISO. Colour, of course, but evocative I feel.

DIgital involves a whole different learning curve, which after four years of using pre-sets I'm beginning to explore.

I miss using Tri-X pushed half a stop. Those were the days!

Sacha

Cynthia L. H. said...

Dan, I had to come back today and stare at this some more. You are right...he is mesmerizing. ;^)
Reading your post again, I thought of the quote, "The eyes are the windows of the soul..."
It fits perfectly here. My daughters jab me in the ribs sometimes and say, "Mom! Stop staring!" when we are out in public...but I am fascinated by people, and if someone meets my gaze, I think there is some kind of spiritual exchange that goes on...
You got me thinking of all of this with your next to last line, "...the child that explored my soul without permission...."
Fascinating.
;^)

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...I am glad you found the picture...it is one of my favorites. I swear it was like a staring contest when I passed him. Neither of of spoke...and like you said there was definitely a connection. I often wonder if he ever thought about it after I left. Probably not...to him I was just another person on the street.

Dan

Sunny said...

Congratulations Heather!
After I answered I realized I had the wrong post, I was going to change it but Heather had already gotten it.
Hopefully I will do better today.
Sunny :)

Dan Felstead said...

Heather, Cynthia and Sunny...don't forget that tomorrows post will be at 8:00am central.

Dan