We were sitting at the kitchen table, Steven, wife Susan, Marc and myself. It’s an interesting mix of talents and experiences. Steven is a writer, Susan was an editor of a national photography magazine and a commercial photographer. Marc has had several careers, from working on the Hubbel telescope to camera and instrument repair, and now fine art photography. We are all keen on photography and have been for years. We all got our starts in film days and have now made the move to digital, and we enjoy getting together for food and conversation that frequenty slips into periods of near uncontrolable laughter. What could be better than that?
I had been carrying my camera fitted with an old but wonderful manual focus lens from Pentax film days, a 50mm f1.4, which works out to the equivalent of a 75mm, a nice portrait length with wonderful bokeh* . The light, broad overcast, came in from a north facing window that wrapped beautifully around Steven’s face. It was only there for a moment.
There are those who would find falt with a portrait with closed eyes; clearly I don’t agree. This was a moment in our conversation that caught Steven in contemplation and is in perfect accord with his personality. He is a smart, gregarious, animated man who thinks deep thoughts; this is just one side of him, but wholly characteristic and acurate. I’m happy to call him a friend.
Pentax K5IIs with legacy 50mm f1.4 manual focus lens. The file was processed using Photoshop Express, Snapseed and Stackables on my iPad Air.
*Bokeh is a Japanese word that translates roughly as the way a lens renders out of focus elements of light in a photograph. It is a real but difficult term to describe, and is the subject of huge amounts of discussion on Internet forums. The short version is that while two different lenses may produce images of equal sharpness, one may be more pleasing because the out of focus elements in an image are smoother and less jarring. Such lenses are especially prized for their bokeh when used for portraiture.