Today was a day of contrasts! My first “Stranger” was well within my comfort zone and the second (#62 Lee) well outside it. My first has the world at his feet and my second has recently seen his world well and truly fall apart.
My previous stranger was back in November so this is by far the longest absence I have had since I started this project and to be honest I’ve found it difficult to get started again ... Monday brought a load of silly excuses, Tuesday the same although I finally did pluck the courage up but then got rejected! Today though after a few more excuses I finally spotted Joseph and was spurred into action. One cheeky grin and a positive response later and my project is in full swing again.
Originally hailing from London, Joseph is a 1st year Maths student at Newcastle University, he chose this particular degree largely because he enjoys the subject and is not yet sure what he wants to do once he graduates - pointing out that it is still a long way to go. Teaching seemed to be top of the list at the moment and he has no interest in going into Finance unlike most of his coursemates.
Although it was mostly his degree that brought Joseph to Newcastle he told me that he also plays the fiddle and Newcastle has a particularly lively folk scene which was an added attraction. If you’re really quick then you will be able to catch him playing at the Cumberland Arms in Byker tonight.
Feeling on a roll I traipsed out my favourite “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?” question … well, apparently at the peak of his teenage angst years he told his parents he was going away and wouldn’t be back for “a while”. He then travelled to his mate’s house in Derby and just started walking - sounds a bit “Forest Gump” now as I write this! He stayed in youth hostels along the way before finally ending up in Birmingham (about 40 miles way) after dodging across the multiple lanes of Spaghetti Junction in the dark. If I understood correctly he was following the motorways as the most obvious way to navigate. That’s fairly crazy in my opinion ;).
I used flash again as the light was fairly dim, bouncing it off the window of Fenwicks, but the first couple were overexposed so I dialled in -1.7EV and was pretty happy with the results that gave so took another 4 shots mixing it up a bit although when I asked Joseph to turn away slightly but maintain eye contact I stupidly kept focusing on the same eye which was now the “back” eye. My focus was spot on and that left the leading eye a bit soft - quite ironic really when it’s normally my actual focusing that is the problem ... Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!!! As a result this photo is one of the over-exposed shots - rescued in Photoshop.
Thanks very much for taking part in my project Joseph, I liked your general bemusement throughout and I think it helped to get a nice cheery portrait. Hope you enjoy your gig tonight and good luck with your studies and the future.
Please feel free to provide constructive critique on the technical aspects of this photograph.