A Casual Portrait

Bruce-6-16-13.9x9Bruce, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I’ve mentioned spending time at Ayla’s, my local coffee shop. There was a time, while I was not working after surgery, that I was there virtually every day from 9 to 11. It’s hard not to meet people under those circumstances, and Bruce was one of those people I ran into once in a while. The group I frequently sat with were mostly close to my age, and it was a pretty average representation of our little town. Talk at the shared table ranged from politics (too often) to restaurants and books people were reading. This day I had carried my camera with me and left it on the table, not taking any steps to hide it, and after a bit it was forgotten. As casually as I could I set the camera to “live view” and  just let it sit there for a bit. The light was almost perfect, coming in from a large bank of windows to my right. The one concern I had was the too busy background, but I was pretty sure I could fix that in Photoshop.

I was impressed by just how quiet the camera was, not Leica quiet, but very subdued. I left the camera resting on the table and tilted it up slightly as I pressed the shutter. No one noticed! I made four exposures, this being the best. After I converted it to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro2 and cropped it square it looked every bit as good as the film images I used to get with my Rolleiflex or Hasselblad; but with the ‘blad everybody in the place would have noticed. I made a print and gave it to Bruce’s wife who was very pleased. That’s something I need to do more often.

Pentax K5IIs with 35mm macro lens. The image was processed in Photoshop CS4 and converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro2.


4 comments on “A Casual Portrait

  1. Marc Isolda says:

    Damn Willard that is one fine portrait, seriously all the right elements!!!!!


  2. Mike Crape says:

    Well done, the result is excellent!


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