Man in Red


Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts © Steven Willard

You don’t have to look too closely at this image to see it isn’t as sharp as it should be, but it is a good example of how I’m trying to broaden my approach to photography; that the image and what it conveys should be more important than how it was made. The subject should trump technical “flaws”.

If I had thought of the possibility of this image beforehand I would have brought my Pentax, the “real” camera I left in the car, but I was with friends and I didn’t want to encumber myself. Besides, I didn’t know if cameras were even permitted in the gallery so I grabbed this scene with my iphone. It was dark enough that I really didn’t expect the photograph to work, but Apple, Snapseed, and a little Photoshop pulled it off.

Many of my images are made with large prints in mind. I often use a tripod and work hard to produce the best image I possibly can technically. I sometimes even stitch several exposures together to get more detail in the photograph. That’s one way to work; but it’s not the only way. Here I just wanted to capture this candid moment. I confess there was a time when I wouldn’t have bothered. If I couldn’t make a photograph that was sharp and properly exposed, I just didn’t bother. It’s taken me years to loosen up and give myself permission to make pictures like this and I as I look back I’m saddened at the thought of all the photographs I didn’t make. Here is one of the things photography does well; record a fleeting moment, and I haven’t been using it. I’m afraid I’ll never be very good at taking candid images like this, but I’m trying to do better, to be more spontaneous. There’s no reason not to with digital cameras. I’m sixty-six years old and I’m finally starting to loosen up. There’s hope.

Taken with an iphone 4s and processed in the phone in Snapseed and in the computer in PhotoshopCS4.


3 comments on “Man in Red

  1. Mike Crape says:

    Great capture of a moment. Your new challenge and look forward to you capturing more ‘fleeting moments’. I always remember the line ‘The best camera is the one you have.’


    • Thanks Mike. I was missing your being there for a while. Glad you’re back.
      It’s so easy to get all wound up in the quest for gear, but ultimately it’s the image you want, not the camera. At least it is for me.


  2. A lovely shot! Nice composition and lighting. I totally agree with you. A DLSR might give you sharper images but photography is so much more than that.


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