<<< o >>>the moments in between 28 comments + add yours

I know; it's too soft, the DoF is too shallow, the light isn't especially wonderful ... and I could go on. But Alan, the gentleman in this shot, was kind enough to spend time being photographed by a whole group of us last Saturday afternoon. So, by way of a rather poor thank you for his time and generosity, here he is.

On an unrelated matter: don't be too surprised if I don't post much over the next week or so. I have a work related issue hanging over my head which I'm hoping will be resolved by the end of next week because, at the moment, it's a distraction that's getting in the way of nearly everything else. What makes it especially irksome is that it requires a decision, but it's not my decision to make, and I have a horrible feeling that it's not going to go the way I would like ... hmmm.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.39pm on 18/11/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM
145mm (232mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + people
comment by peter at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

excellent portrait. it makes you really wonder where he's been and what he's seen...

comment by Shervane at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

You are brilliant in portraiting people!

comment by [ PIXEL VIKING ] at 09:51 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Whatever happens, I hope you'll find time in the future to let all us wannabes know how to do what you do. I would love to one day walk the Blackpool beach with you but untill then I'll have to do with your future tutorials. All the best and thank you for your time and effort... Rico.

comment by mooch at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

God is with us all. Well, seemingly. I like this shot. He looks almost like a fisherman, I expect him to be wearing a reefer jacket with a pipe tucked in it. I like the tones also, subdued, reflecting the dark undertones.

comment by m at 10:11 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

He reminds me of Robbie Coltrane!

comment by george.i. at 10:14 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Red Rackham's Treasure? "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!"

I dig the anchor.

comment by shooter at 10:23 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

I have to say you have hit the nail on the head with your assessment, the only additional point I would make are that the eyes are too dark...

comment by John Washington at 10:24 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Great shot Dave. Looks like Captain Birdseye after a bad day at sea ;-)

comment by Claude at 10:29 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Beautiful strong portrait, very expressive. Well done.

comment by Arthur at 10:51 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Interesting to see you using f2.8: at 1/30 I take it the IS was again lending a steady hand? How are you finding the lens—are you enjoying it more than the f4?

comment by djn1 at 11:10 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Thanks all.

Rico: when the dust settles at work I'll devote some serious attention to getting the tutorials sorted out.

shooter: yep, the eyes are a bit dark.

john: yep, whereas your version looks like Captain Birdseye meets the Shining ;-)

Arthur: when I bought it I wasn't sure that the expense was justified – it's a lot more expensive for one extra stop and image stabilisation – but in low light there's absolutely no comparison between them. It's a stunning lens.

comment by Annika at 11:29 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

A lot of people latley, I like it. This one has a beautiful face. And sad eyes.

comment by deenee at 11:43 PM (GMT) on 24 November, 2006

Theres a hole life in this picture for me. Great.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 12:05 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Not as sharp as one would like, but it still is powerful.

comment by Christopher Shipman at 01:14 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

I am a fan of your work in general. Loved your previous shot (of the girl with the camera). This one... not as much. The capture itself is excellent. What a great looking character with his weathered, salt-of-the-earth look. And is that a tatoo(?!) on his cheek? His eyes are very expressive, and I have no problem with the DoF or lighting. Something, perhaps in the post processing (?), is bothering me a bit about this one. Don't know if I'm using the term properly (probably not), but this looks a bit too "grunge" for my tastes. And maybe the dodging could have been a bit more delicate on his shoulder. I can't believe I just said that (must have had too many "drinkies" this evening:) You're a better photographer than I am, so it feels ridiculous to criticize, but anyway, there you have it.

comment by Ben at 02:16 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Yes, it's too soft. Yes, the DoF is too shallow. Yes, the lighting isn't great.
However, the mood you captured here is spectacular. I think it's a wonderful photo.

comment by jezblog at 03:14 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

I know; it's too soft, the DoF is too shallow, the light isn't especially wonderful ...er....who cares...... the art of portraiture is to capture the character to show that human being...i really like this...... very human image ..... a sailor.. maybe a fisherman.....a hardlife ...slight sadness in his eyes.......but still dignity...gritty yes but soulful...... nice one Dave.... Cheers Jez XX

comment by P.J. at 07:04 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Great portrait -- I don't find it too shallow... hope everything works out for you.

comment by Jennifer at 11:16 AM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Stop being picky - you've captured his character - wanted to say soul but sounds a tad too dramatic and a little bit voodooish!! Hope things turn out ok, good luck.

comment by navin harish at 12:45 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Afer whatever problems you have mentioned with this shot, I guess this still is one hell of a a potrait. I love the expressions on his face.

comment by Mark at 05:09 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

DJN, sometimes the images is more important than the technical parts than DOF, sharpness, etc. This is one of those instances.

comment by kurt at 05:23 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

great color treatment here. and the vignette effect is perfect.

comment by Alice at 06:09 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Fantastic shot! The emotion in his eyes really lends a lot to the photo. I hope your work situation turns out for the best. Keep up the great work!

comment by kate at 06:15 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

Stunning. Made me stop and study every detail. :)

comment by craig@id7.co.uk at 08:14 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

mate I wish I could say dont bring your work home, but sometimes its just not possible to get away from the day to day troubles that build up. I too recently had 9 months of work related issues that eat me up, but thankfully its all over now, and everyone concerned is able to move on, I just hope you can too.....SOON.... Dont ever knock your work, its good to be self critical, but to me this shot is technically perfect, when you realise that an image can be soft, DOF can be shallow, light changes, and yet you can still grab the moment and make it work then you know you are truely a photographer..... for me this works taotally for the subject.

comment by Jamey at 08:53 PM (GMT) on 25 November, 2006

I think this has come out rather well, actually. It's one of those 'mistakes' (well, not really a mistake but you know what I mean) that ends up looking quite good. And now for a blatant plug... My version of this guy is going up tomorrow :)

comment by Jamey at 03:46 PM (GMT) on 26 November, 2006

Not tomorrow, I mean Monday. D'oh.

comment by Jennifer at 03:47 AM (GMT) on 28 November, 2006

I really like this one.