I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend (who does not want to be identified) and I was watching her as we talked. I was fascinated by the aesthetic of the intricate way the shadows played through the window and on her face and clothing.
I told her about it, but obviously she couldn’t see it. I realized that, of course, I could take an iPhone photo and show it to her. So I took a black and white photo of her and her surroundings. I’m not the kind of photographer who carries her camera looking for opportunities. My work has always been planned in some way. The landscape work I’ve done has always been on specific photography trips.
When I got home and looked at the image again I saw that there was potentially good art. The iPhone camera is making a difference in terms of spontaneity but this is still, so far, the only one I would consider good art. So when I realized that I did the appropriate work to make it happen. The work made some subtle and significant changes in the background but neither the woman nor the shadows were touched. There is an authenticity that is always important to me.
It’s the first fine art portrait I’ve done in a long time.
Interestingly the more expansive version is my preference in the photographic print. But on the web I prefer the closer portrait. The shadow details work better on the web in the closer image. In the photograph they work beautifully in the larger image. The medium matters.