Two Beautiful.

A rough count of the people who have been good enough to be photographed for this project so far revealed a degree of sexual discrimination.  Not through any policy on my part of course, but nevertheless there have been more men than women featured.

Strange really, since you would think I would favour shooting beauty rather than the beast, yet I seem to find more of the latter.  Having reflected on the reasons for this I’ve concluded that it is a consequence of attitudes to being photographed.

Unless I have a particular topic in mind for the day I never go out looking to capture images of one sex over another, and I will generally approach anyone who I think will make a good picture.  The fact that more women than men have declined my offer may well play a part, but how much of that has conditioned me to expect a masculine “yes” and a feminine “no”?  If that is the case perhaps I’m giving off some air of negativity to women that exacerbates the situation.

This week though I have been fortunate in photographing some beautiful women who can help to redress the balance, and even then there has been a spectrum of responses.  Men who I approach tend to say “go for it” or words to the equivalent and stand upright ready for the shot.  When I photographed Jo on Monday, surprised as she was that I had asked to photograph her at a bus stop, she was prepared to move and pose to suit me.  By contrast when I shot Sita on Wednesday, although she knew me well and was keen to pose as requested, her nervousness made her a far less compliant subject.

Today I experienced two different attitudes.  Hayley is a photographer’s dream.  She’s slim, attractive, wanted to be photographed and was comfortable enough in front of the camera to take direction easily.  How could I fail to capture her beauty?  (Actually with more time, and the option to try some different locations to counter the bright sunlight I might have got more, but that’s not really how this project works).

I met Hayley at the school where Gill my wife works as she was there for some practical experience and I was running a short session on photography for some of the pupils.  I don’t know her well, but I can’t wait to photograph her wedding next year based on working with her today.  She’ll be stunning and a dream client.

I was a little early arriving at the school so waited a few minutes in the school office where I photographed one of the school administrators as she was answering the phone.  She was too busy to pose, but had no fear of the camera.  Unlike Hayley her attitude was one of tolerance rather than enthusiasm.  Still got a nice picture of the old “Trouble & Strife” though.  Guess which is which?  😉

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Potency

In the couple of decades that I’ve lived on the coast I never grow bored of the sea.

In our last house we had a sea view from Megan’s bedroom window, and I could often lose all sense of time staring out across the ever changing waters.  The trouble is I can’t expect that every reader of this blog shares the feeling, or is as captivated by the power of the sea as I am.  Three hundred and sixty five pictures of water might be asking a lot, so I try to vary my topics from things that I’m passionate about, things that I’ve learned, things about photography, the people I meet and so on.

This week I’ve had two ideas for something to write about, each of which I thought would be easily illustrated with photographs, yet it seemed that something in my subconscious was against them for today I spurned a number of opportunities for one, and couldn’t seem to get the other on my radar at all.  Consequently I’d walked for a couple of miles without inspiration.  In my desperation I was starting to see faces in the landscape around me…

My friend Sita likes my ability to portray faces, and regularly compliments me on the portraits that appear here, yet portrait stems from portrayal; a representation of some facet of the subject.  Who says that has to be a face?

I ask the question because as my walk neared it’s end I spotted a Hannah and Adam, a young couple who like me were in the sea’s thrall.  They’re two attractive people so it would be a shame not to share their faces with you, yet for me the portrait that captured them and their relationship was from behind them as they succumbed to the hypnotism before them.

I knew I liked the composition of the shot, but as the sky clouded over the image felt too cold for the emotion evident.  I warmed the colours slightly but still the sea was grey so I resorted to monochrome. still too cold but a little retoning and we have a result (although it was a shame to lose the fabulous redness of Hannah’s hair).  My first portrait of the back of someone’s head but I love it.

Potency.  Potent sea.