Years ago I was shooting the annual report for Anderson Consulting, and they had me travel virtually around the world shooting their clients in action. A dirty job but someone had to do it!
One of their clients was Spain’s Social Security Department. Shooting in Madrid, Cordoba, and Toledo, I basically had a free hand to photograph the people in their environments; environment portraiture being one of my favorite genres.
We were there in February during carnival, and I was walking around looking for interesting subject matter in Madrid’s most famous square (packed with tourists and locals) The Plaza Mayor, and saw this local artist starting to draw this young girl’s portrait.
As I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and also my fellow photographers that take my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, always decide where you want to be in relation to the sun before you bring the camera up to your eye…and that’s just what I was doing.
In order to get the side light I wanted both on the girl and the artist, I needed to stand behind her; which is what I wanted to do in the first place. I wanted the artist drawing and the little girl looking over her shoulder at me as if she had just discovered that I was there.
To get her attention I would make the ‘psst’ sound and each time I did she would turn away from the artist to me, and just as she did I would click the shutter. It didn’t take long before the artist began to get upset, and finally he stood up, through his small piece of pastel on the ground, and started ranting and raving. He was yelling at me in Spanish and since I speak and understand the language just enough to get by, I knew pretty much what he was saying.
It didn’t take long before we had drawn a crowd, and as it grew people started laughing which made him more irate. He finally throw off his sunglasses, hat, and coat and “put up his dukes”…which made me start laughing;…which made him start jumping up and down.
Finally two local policia came up on each side and tried to quiet him down, and now he started in with them, which was not in his best interest. They picked him up by his elbows, and with him screaming what sounded like obscenities, carried him away.
That seemed to be a good time for me to make an exit from that side of the plaza. That was a very long time ago and for all I know he’s still locked up in Spain’s “ho-ho” house.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.
I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.
Keep those photos and questions coming it to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.