This is my best friend. He is the only friend I still have who connects me to my childhood and the person I used to be a long time before my life trajectory took a different turn.
We were both into our rock music and would play music and jam the blues in his bedroom for hours as younger men. Back then I used to write poems and he put the music to them. These days he writes poetry and plays at a venue in St Helens, a northern post-industrial town desperately trying to reinvent itself and failing. The venue, The Rendezvous, as with many pubs in the UK, is currently suffering economically. He arranged a performance poetry evening with an open mic night and invited me to come along and help raise funds. Live music venues are slowly dying out and it was my honour to go along and take part. We had a great night and we both took it in turns to "perform" poetry under the influence and recapture our youth, albeit fleetingly.
He also asked me to take some shots of him performing with the intention of using the images as the cover of his next poetry book. I don't do portraiture as well many of you know, architecture is my thing, so this is my first ever portrait type shot. It's a tribute to my friend, my past and hopefully live music venues everywhere in some subtle way.
Critiques | Translate
Noel_Byrne (22102) 2014-04-03 11:56
This is a fascinating portrait, and beautifully executed. As soon as I opened the gallery, this jumped out as I could not tell if this was a waterfall, a cave with some light in it, but closer view shows this really interesting shot. A beautiful conversion to black and white too. This is your first portrait? Bravo, its a brilliant one.
macjake (54000) 2014-04-03 13:00
so you're a rocker and a poet eh?
Who'd have guessed!?
Writing poetry...is it just me or does it seem to be a fading art/skill nowadays?
Not to get TOO off topic, but i read recently that because of technology, with children focused so much on computers, texting, etc....TYPING is becoming the most used form of language, therefore writing skills and penmenship are becoming a thing of the past...strange isn't it!!
as for your story, at the risk of sounding 'girly' or sensitive, its a beautiful heartwarming story that you share.
the passion you have is conveyed well in the note, as is the bond and friendship you have with this childhood buddy.
as for the photo itself, i would prefer to see it in the smaller format. But that's just me. And what i mean by that is I wish I could see it without having to scroll down the page...but thats not YOU, thats the format TE uses i suppose.
The noise in the shot is almost impossible to avoid, as the lighting must have been very poor, but it also gives a grainy richness too - and alot of people enjoy that look and feel.
I also enjoy the side profile with the cascading hair over the face. Makes the individual seem more mysterious.
excellent post my friend
CLODO (29730) 2014-04-04 1:05
I am a little disappointed by the grainy aspect of the picture, as if it was taken from a photograph on a newspaper, nd also to scrol to see it in total (the new TE dimension is not suitable for the vertical pictures). I appreciate the portrait, half hidden by the long white hair, seeming to show that he is shy.
rigoletto (34231) 2014-04-06 11:52
what if kurt cobain saw his sixties... artwork at its best. i'd suggest you to stick to this genre, but such a sentimental result comes only out of some thousands.
willperrett (6390) 2014-04-06 14:47
Dark, grainy, unsharp. And a great piece of work. Those "issues" are actually what makes this intimate urban portrait work so well. A sharp, perfectly lit image wouldn't have half the character or atmosphere.
P.S. are you "hooked up" with Barcelona, or can you meet up in the Peak?
tyro (19254) 2014-04-07 4:57
Ah, ha, you've been found out. I couldn't help but read your message on the forum in reply to Craig's (macjake) critique of this picture - yes, I generally do like pictures which demonstrate sharpness and clarity - I just can't help my obsessive and anally-retentive traits, I'm afraid - but in this case I can certainly forgo any demands for sharpness because I find this a very artistic image indeed.
We can barely see this man's face for his long locks of hair yet we can see enough to see the intense concentration on his face and we can feel his emotion even although we can't actually see what he is doing or what he is looking at. Those dark-rimmed spectacles are the focal point of this image, acting almost as an extension of his eyes, perfectly framed by his flowing hair. The "grittiness" and grain (or, nowadays, "noise") and the totally black and featureless background add to the mystery, intrigue and emotion.
An excellent portrait, very artistically captured in very poor light and one I am sure would make a perfect image for the cover of this man's book.
So there you are, having momentarily relaxed my overly tight sphincters, I can tell you that I love this one.
ourania (28300) 2014-04-08 13:28
it's great that you're back on TE and with a new photo that really stands out in your collection. I like very much how bold and intimate this portrait is, how it makes you feel close to a person you don't know and of whom you have only a rough description. The hidden face and the dark context create mystery but there's also fine luminosity and dynamism that make you think you can see through this effective rough and tender sketch. Exceptional work, congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely evening,
kathryn_weir (2056) 2014-04-17 19:08
I am smiling now because I have been browsing your gallery and had been thinking about my critique , then I read your comments for this photo.
My critique was to read....is there any form of photography that you cannot turn your hand to? I love your fabulous architecture shots and then thrown in amongst is this very "artistic" portrait. I enjoy everything about this shot. The grain, the mono treatment and the soft focus.
it sounds like a great night
Congrats on such a wonderful memory captured here
- Copyright: Michael Wright (mjw364) (7004)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2014-03-08
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D7000, 18-105mm 3.5 - 5.6G ED AF-S VR Nikkor
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/4 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-03 11:17