Photographing Northamptonshire : Rose of the Shires


He was going about the business of getting pictures with paint rather than film and I was engaged in  my customary dithering about whether to approach him for a photograph for my Strangers Gallery. A gust of wind caught his easel while he was a distance away from it so he went back to it and started to dismantle before the painting got damaged. I could see my potential shot disappearing so quickly covered the 20 or so yards between us and I asked him if he would mind if I took a photograph. He seemed a little uncomfortable at the prospect but he said yes. I took the photograph above and then asked if I might take his portrait. He asked why and my mouth mumbled something incoherent about my strangers project while my brain was screaming that some bastard in Philadelphia was making me do it to make me more comfortable photographing people, I’m not sure he understood but I took the shot below.

I got back to my truck feeling pretty pleased with myself and then the LUG effect kicked in. I had just taken a portrait in full sun at around midday. Not a crime but on this occasion I could have avoided it. I went back into dither mode for a while but decided that I would rather replay the ordeal than spend the rest of the day kicking myself for not getting what I knew to be a better shot. Back I went and explained the characteristics of light to an obviously accomplished landscape artist, think about that for a moment. It bears repetition, back I went and explained the characteristics of light to an obviously accomplished landscape artist, am I an imbecile or what? Perhaps people who find this sort of thing easy will now appreciate how nervous I get in these situations. Fortunately for me, “Cyppo” was graciousness personified and we crossed the road for some open shade and I took the photograph I should have taken in the first place. If, as I was, you are curious about the name “Cyppo” I will save you some time. I have already offered his name up to “Google” and it provided the link under his portrait.