People often ask how the image 94 Years came to be. Simply put, it was an unplanned image that evolved quite naturally.
I was trying to photograph my 94-year-old grandmother, whom I’d been visiting and who was sitting on a couch near the window.
This was the scene:
I had always been interested in her hands, and the story they tell. I realized that in my “mind’s eye” it was the hands I was interested in here too, and their positioning as they cradled her head.
So, I decided to shift my position – the beautiful constraint of using fixed focal length lenses is that they force you to compose in different ways – and take the photo from above.
The “inspired” composition was arrived at accidentally when she shifted the way she was holding her head. In the interim, I had increased the shutter speed to avoid blowing out the highlights in the hair and on the hand nearest to the window. This created a surrounding darkness – a natural vignette – as the details in the dark clothing were masked:
I then cropped the image to, once again, emphasize her hands:
At this point, I had the composition I wanted and I knew that any subsequent post-processing was an opportunity to either enhance or ruin the image.
Following some selective contrast, levels, and progressive vignetting adjustments, I arrived at the final image:
In looking at this a few years later, I realize that I may have been a little heavy-handed with the post-processing. But, the image stands as the image was: 94 Years.
I hope this was of interest.