I guess I can appear strange to onlookers when they see me taking photographs of blank walls or raindrops forming on car roofs. It is something I am aware of as I am out shooting. It can be inhibiting at times, particularly in Cork, especially with the big and bulky DSLR. The iPhone is a much more discreet photographer’s tool.
Anyway, there I was on a side street off Grafton Street, Dublin, camera pointed at a blank wall waiting for tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people to pass by. Tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people! Yes! For the type of photographs I am looking for, (blur) tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people make the best images. More on that in later posts. So, I am there; waiting. Always looking around waiting for the image to take form, and I see raindrops on the rooftop of a parked BMW. I have to take a photograph of it. I have to take two photographs of it. As I setting the shot up, I sense I am being watched and ya, I am. There behind me peering through a shop window is a well-dressed gentleman with the most quizzical of looks on his face. Curious, bewildered, and thinking what the hell is this fool doing taking photographs of car roofs. But as we exchange glances, I see a wonderful smile appear on his face and he nods hello to me.
Now, I rarely ask people can I take their photograph. There are many reasons; mainly I would not feel confident that they would oblige and secondly, neither would I feel confident of a good result. Portraits are not really my thing.
But, for some unknown reason I found myself gesturing with the camera to this stranger behind the window, enquiring as to whether I could take his photo or not. He nodded and smiled and I raised the camera and shot. I nodded in return to thank him and went on my way.
As I said, I normally do not do portraits – family ones, yes, but otherwise it is not for me. Maybe in years to come this will change. I do like the result here. I imagine this man as softly spoken, kind and gentle. A loving father, a good husband, a faithful friend; a decent man.