The Eyes Have It
There are a lot of things that go into making a photograph. Composition, graphics, color, spontaneity are a few. The one that moves me the most is emotion. It may be dramatic or subtle.
While working on a senior citizen housing story, I spent a lot of time just wandering. One time, while roaming through the dining hall I noticed a gentleman having lunch by himself. Something in my gut told I needed to say hello and make his picture.
The man had a subtle intensity in his face and his eyes. He graciously allowed me to make a few frames, told me a story or two about his life then went back to his lunch.
On the technical side, I carried a minimum of equipment. That day I was wandering with one body, two lenses and a pocket full of Tri-X. For the man’s picture, I merely had a Nikon FM and a 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. I loved that lens for portraits because it was incredibly sharp. The focal length allowed me to work close, sometimes inside a person’s comfort zone. At f/2.8 it was fast enough for most available light situations. My subject here was sitting at the end of a wall of windows. I couldn’t have asked for more. A soft light fell on his face while the background faded into darkness.
Sometimes you are just blessed with an image handed to you from the Heavens. In those situations, make the exposure, say thanks, and keep looking for the next one.