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Sunday, October 11, 2009

I began my trek in photography in 1968 while a student at Purdue. Since then and almost 100,000 images later (at least the ones that I have kept track of) I have taken 3 pictures that in my opinion ...rise above the others. Tastes in photography are relative, so you may not agree and that is fine...differences in likes and dislikes are what makes life interesting.

The first of my favorites was the father and child taken at the Black Panther rally in 1969. The second was the image of the child in Spain peering through an iron gate. Both have been posted on the blog. The third is today's post. It is ironic that all three are black and white since my style is often over saturated colors.

For the next three days, I will be showing photos of the "Fall Festival" in Evansville with several images but this particular one deserves a day of it's own. It was taken this Saturday, the last day of the festival. He, like so many of the other booth workers was tired from a very busy week of crowds, noise and bad weather. I took his picture as he stood on the wooden crate like sidewalk in front of the dartboard...enticing the next passerby to win one of the big stuffed animals displayed in his 3 walled world. His face remained with me the rest of the day...haunting me...his eyes looked right through me as I snapped the shutter. When I got home and downloaded the picture... I was stunned at the raw unpretentious questioning expression on his face...perhaps asking why the picture? Was it anger, curiosity...disgust? I had made a mistake two earlier times...once at a Panther rally and once in Arenys de Mar, Spain...I didn't try to get a photo release so I could exhibit the image. I wasn't going to make that mistake a third time.

I printed off a photo release, mustered up my courage and left for the Festival in hopes he was still there. I finally broke through the crowd and found myself starring him face to face. I really didn't know if he was angry that I took his picture and did not know what type of response I would get from him. He told me he remembered me from earlier in the day and wondered why I took his picture. I told him my story and gave him an 8X10 print of his soul....

He was the one of the most humble, down to earth, nicest people I have ever met. He gladly signed the photo release and told me his story of traveling on the circuit for 30 years....On Saturday...I learned about a whole side of life so different from my own. A life of freedom from corporate walls and time clocks. A life of traveling one city to the next...night after night...same gig...different time zone.

Chris is from Chicago and Chris if you are reading the post today...Thank you so much again for trusting me... a person who stepped into your space and stole a piece of your soul. I promise to display your image in the best of light...with the perfect mat and frame.

I am entering the image in an Arts exhibition at the end of the month.......and I will proudly display your soul and tell anyone who will listen what a truly nice person you were.

Dan

22 comments:

Highton-Ridley said...

What a beaut, Dan. Oodles of texture and grime, fantastic treatment and lit beautifully. Very nice; one of your best imho!

Dan Felstead said...

Mark thank you so much for the endorsement. This is one of my favorites but I did not know how folks other than me would take the picture!

Dan

Jen said...

Wow.

Amazing photo, amazing story.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks on both accounts Jen.

Dan

Patty said...

I love Chris. I love the photo. This photo is a winner.

I love what you said about stepping into someone's space and stealing their soul. That is what I do everyday. I have found that most people don't mind.

septembermom said...

What an interesting story. That photo is really terrific. His eyes are riveting in the photo.

Hazydaisy said...

Dan, you have a winning shot here without a doubt! So glad you got the release form. It is interesting as you say, that your favourites are all B&W images. This one has such impact, I've been staring at it for ages now. Congratulations!

Dan Felstead said...

Patty...thanks. I haven't gotten that many photo releases and I was very apprehensive about asking...but as you say...he didn't mind a bit.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Thank you HazyDaisy...I too am glad I got the release so I can enter it in an upcoming exhibition at the end of the month.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...that is how I felt when looking through the viewfinder...it was all about the eyes. Tomorrow I am posting the color version of the photo as well.

Dan

::She Poet:: said...

In it's own way, this photo is stunning. He looks very mean but the rugged details bring out his mystique and I've learned to never judge a book by its cover. Whatever appears on the outside may be very different on the inner self. I'm definitely not a pro but I think the b/w version brings out more of his character and expression than a colour shot. Good luck with the exhibit!

PS: You had me cracking up at your comment yesterday. Thanks for visiting.

Rebecca said...

Those eyes...you captured something there. The soul? Good luck with the show.

Dan Felstead said...

Pura...that was certainly the case here. His demeanor was not the same as the person beneath the surface. Thanks for the well wishes with the exhibit. You just never know on these things...as long as the image is photographically correct...exposure, clarity, composition etc...that will get you past the juror and into the show but to win is up to the subjective view of the judge and his/her particular tastes. I will let you know the outcome.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Rebecca thank you so much and I will let you know the outcome!

Dan

Simply Heather said...

I am so impressed with you Dan! Your ability to go back and ask the man for his permission amazes me. You're awesome :)

I'm not surprised that he is such a nice, warm and friendly person. So many with the toughest of exterior are. Some carry The Spirit and are more in tune than others who you'd feel would without doubt.

This was a blessing to you, and I imagine will continue for a time to come.

:)

Dan Felstead said...

Heather....great thought. It did cause me pause after I talked to him and the other Festival workers...sometimes we are so quick to judge...I think it is human nature to do that but a part of human nature I wish we could rid ourselves of.

Dan

tricia said...

This photo is in a class of its own. The wow factor is off the charts.

Dan Felstead said...

Tricia...thank you so much. It was one of those instances when I was at the right place at the right time.

Dan

Sunny said...

Wow, this is outstanding!
Sunny :)

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny ...thanks again! Does your son live out of town?

Dan

Cynthia L. H. said...

Yes, the eyes truly are the windows of the soul.
I am deeply moved.
Thank you, Chris, and thank you, Dan.

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...thank you so much for the comment. I don't know that Chris has visited the site but if he has ..I am sure he will appreciate the comment as well.

Dan