85 and available…
I am still reviewing my wonderful pictures that just recently I captured on my second (of many more to come) trip through rural Romania. This is an image from Maramures that I took on my first trip to Romania in the fall of 2014. Maramures is a land where time has stood still; where the old ways and traditions remain intact. Exactly how long the people will hold onto those traditions remains to be seen. As the older population slowly dies away and the younger generation moves to more progressive areas, the people of Maramures are starting to represent a dying culture.
Sometimes the best way to photograph in this area is to wander aimlessly around. On a lazy Sunday a group of older men were playing cards on the side of the road. As my wonderful female guide and I stopped and chatted with them, I photographed their game in process and then got individual portraits of them. Oddly enough one resembled Harrison Ford and another Robert De Niro. Despite the famous familiarity, I was drawn to another man in the corner of group with a quiet, but lively, spirit about him. He had these amazing twinkling and mischievous blue eyes.
Oftentimes when I process older people’s photos I am inclined to accentuate their wrinkles and lines; defining features that tell stories that one can only wonder about. This man, however, was a special case. From the start I wanted to show the gentleness and softness of age, much like his personality. What better way to do it than with an 85mm lens set at 1.4 and shot with available light? The lens blurred a wrought iron fence that was behind him to buttery softness.
As we started to walk away the guys all started roaring with laughter. My guide translated what all the hoopla was about and I had to laugh myself as that feisty man wanted me to know that he was 85 and available… What are the chances of that?