Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ol' Steely Blue!

Aimlessly strolling around an old communist flea market in the outskirts of Budapest I rounded a corner coming face to chin with this older, steely blue-eyed local with a very stern demeanor.   Frozen in mid-puff of his cigarette he coldly stared as I politely walked by.  Fighting the temptation to cry out, "I didn't do it!", I slipped away before he busted me for doing whatever it was I was sure I must have been doing wrong.

Waiting until I was safely out of site the photographer in me started screaming....Go back you fool!  That's a face that has to be photographed!!!   So with some reluctance I worked my way back around, pretending to be interested in everything else but that man with the steely blue eyes, who was now nowhere to be found.

I walked all around berating myself for letting this photo opportunity apparently slip by when there he was, sitting in front of his bicycle repair shop.   Slinging my camera over my shoulder, I poised it so I could secretly take his picture as I walked by.    Being clever I walked by and secretly did it again just to be sure I got the shot.  When I checked my images, he was staring directly into the camera in both images. Busted!   Unfortunately I cut part of him off in both pictures so bracing myself, I walked back up to him, and simply said hello.  He just stared at me.  I ended up pantomiming a request to take his picture which he surprisingly responded to with a positive slight nod of his head. He posed for this picture and is actually smiling, which was a little disappointing because it took some of the edge off but at the same time is endearing.   I wish I got his name, I wish I could have had a conversation with him.  I just know he had a story to tell.  I'm glad he didn't hit me.


  1. love it. they look a lot less scary when you can look into their eyes.

    i have a photo from rural hungary of an old man driving a little cart that he made from what looked like a bicycle, a lawnmower and a wheelbarrow. He was carrying potatoes with it.

    I like photographs of elderly people. The lines in their faces make me wonder about their stories.

  2. Equeyaya, You should email your photo to Jo. I'd love to see it.

    I had been meeting and photographing people the whole trip but this guy had such a no-nonsense, incredible presence, he really took me aback. When he later ended up smiling that took me aback too. There was something really unique about him that I didn't capture in the photo. I think it's like a nice sunset, sometimes you just have to be there to get the full impact.