Softspoken Confidence

By: Gustav Hoiland

Feb 27 2012

Category: portrait

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Focal Length:50mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 7D


Before getting to this man, I want to direct any curious readers to a just-published five-page spread of my bicycle photographs from Shanghai (from 2009) in Urban Velo magazine: Or pick it up at your local bike shop, a smallish near-square publication of great quality for the cycling inclined.

Bathroom? Yep, just down the hall to your left. And then Noam Chomsky very unassumingly saunters by. On his way back I asked to grab a quick portrait under some decent light by the wall. He was happy to oblige.

So the big, mind-wracking issue I’m still trying to figure out is some deep disappointment at having not taken more advantage of the situation. I knew this setup would turn out a decent photograph, and as expected it did, but then I realized with the 2+ minutes I had before his return I could have … I could have set something really phenomenal up. I could have captured an immensely detailed and intentionally lit portrait of an incredible human. But instead I got a crappy-resolution semi-blurry document… technically of terrible quality. I played it too safe… but alas, mistakes like these are how I’ve always learned.

Dear brother, this one’s for you.

BONUS! The resulting quote from the brother’s response to this:

“Perhaps the realization hasn’t set in for you yet, but really, after helping the most important intellectual of the 20th century relieve his bladder and taking a portrait of him, your life is complete.”

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