Friday, August 19, 2011

the environmental portrait

John James started working on the Ohio River 45 years ago.  When I met him in 2006, he had been a pilot on the Anderson Ferry for twenty years and a part of the living history of the river.  Full of tales, thoughts & opinions of life on the water, his portrait is a cornerstone of my Rivermen photo project. Light & background are the keys to good environmental portraiture and aboard Boone #7 Ferry, I had both.  Metal walls painted silver reflected morning light off the river and an overhead canopy screened the direct rays of the sun and made it a great floating studio, & one where my subjects felt completely at home.  I shot fifty frames of John, horizontal & vertical - all with the same lens (75mm).  I tried to work quickly, but not rushed, and would drop the camera from my eye occasionally to talk with him.  I never asked him to pose - the looks are his, especially the pipe.  The whole shoot lasted 15 minutes and frames 28, 29, 31, 32 & 35 are below.  #35 was my choice - the one that became a 'digital tintype' and is now included in the ongoing collection of Ohio Rivermen.


 

 








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