Photographer's Note

Robert Louis Stevens, the great Scottish adventure writer of the 19th century, might have had this young man in mind when he created the character of Long John Silver as the protagonist in his adventure story, Treasure Island. In the screen adaptations of Steven’s story for the cinema, the actors who have portrayed the famous pirate have included Wallace Beery, Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Robert Newton, Tim Curry — but none as terrifying as this three-and-a half-year old. He supports a threatening snarl, or perhaps a squint, to keep his eye patch from slipping off. Missing only are his flintlock, a sword in his belt, and a parrot perched on his shoulder. Ah yes, and the wooden peg leg!

I shot the image when a vagabond band of young pirates showed up at the house to give us a choice, ‘trick or treat’ on an unusually warm Halloween, October 31, 2004. We didn’t want to take a chance with the former, happily surrendering to him all the sweets he could carry instead. I decided to post the photo, inspired by several beautiful shots submitted by two talented portrait photographers Veronica, Innocent and Sabyasachi, The Prince.

Finally, both in taking the photograph and in cropping it, I was mindful of putting one eye of the little boy right down the centerline of the frame. It was discovered in 1997 by the British-born pyschologist Chrisotpher Tyler that in all great portraits (from Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa' to Rembrandt's self-portraits and Picasso's 'Dora Maar') the vertical bisector passes through an eye.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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