Man on a Bench
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: ILCE-7RM2
  • Taken: 15 December, 2015
  • Exposure bias: +7/10EV
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 55mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

I was wandering around one of the parks in Mendoza, Argentina, and saw this gentleman sitting on a bench watching the world go by. I approached politely and he had no problem me taking his portrait. A lovely guy, from Chile originally but he had left there just over 40 years ago. We didn’t talk politics, so I don’t know why, but my maths is good enough to work out that it would have coincided with the assassination of Allende and the long rule of Pinochet. He talked fondly about the beautiful coastline near Valparaiso and suggested I check out the homes of the great Chilean poet and national hero, Pablo Neruda. A softly spoken man on a bench.

Photographically, I processed this all within Capture One, desaturating the overly vibrant green in the background and a little of the reds in the skin too, darkened the corners, reduced the highlights… I have several other variations of this portrait and I’m not sure if this will end up being my final choice. Either way, I’d still open the file up in Photoshop and play around a little bit more. I want to lift the shadows in the eyes, add some punch to the whites without losing definition on the cap, remove the blue from the bottom left corner, check it out in B&W… I’m not sure if it comes across in the portrait or if it’s just my memory, but he really was a gentle bear of a man. Respect!

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