Candid Portraits 4: The Coffee Maker

The Coffee Corner in Morton Street, Stanford, South Africa is the place where villagers gather, play games, do their wireless computer work, talk and talk, pamper their babies, relax, read the newspaper, pick up a fast snack, dream, cry, laugh and above all enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and affordable food.
Although the people saw me one morning walking around with camera-equipment virtually all pictures are made the ‘candid camera way’.
 

Most probably the most important personality in the village is Mister S. (phonetically: Shusaki). He is also regarded as one of the best operators of the coffee machine  and creates coffees with a consistent top quality. The owners of the Coffee Corner (Peter and Maureen Wolters) send Mr. S. to a coffee makers training when they started the business but after a few hours they got a telephone call from the trainer saying he could not teach Shusaki anything; “The guy is a natural coffee maker”, he said.

Hence this photo gallery dedicated to the “Best Coffee Maker of The Western Cape”. Yes: he is the guy with the hat, occasionally with a cap ;).

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Light reflection (2 pictures to compare)

I never use flashlights or other artificial lighting equipment. Personally I think that you can make perfect pictures with advanced artificial lighting but you loose the ‘soul’ of the subject. For me it’s the challenge to use the available light and picture as is, followed by enhancing the ‘soul of the image’ with photo-processing software. At this stage I’m fascinated by the influence of (natural) light and it’s colour (temperatures) reflecting on my subjects. The colour of water surface, for example, changes continuously partly influenced also by the surrounding colours of vegetation etc.

Take this cactus (botanical name ‘Cephalocereus  senilis’ but just say ‘Old Man’s Beard’). It’s one with white hair as seen with the bare eye but it’s not that white if nearby other (flowering) plants with different colours. Than the ‘Old Man’ suddenly becomes a colourful personality (or must I say ‘plantality? 😉 ). To enhance the colours I only had to move the ‘contrast’ and ‘brightness’ sliders plus the ‘exposure’ one in Photoshop a bit. More important was to photograph it at the right time of the right day. I made three pictures this morning somewhere between 10 and 11 AM and only one had more or less the desired ‘natural’ colours.

The second picture is the original (as is). See for yourself!

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Reflections at The Hairdresser

THE Hairdresser in our village is Belinda and she is not only a pleasant personality. Belinda is determined to make something special of your hair and she really likes it. No village gossip but just fun and in the meantime focussed. Stanford can be proud of its ‘Hair by Belinda’ and Belinda takes pride in her ‘pieces of hair art’! Not much art in my hair but since Belinda is taking care for it every two months I’m more aware of my ‘upholstering’. Anyway sometime ago we made a deal that I would photograph her while busy with my topping.

So I sat there with my camera in hand in front of the mirror; the lens adjusted to wide angle (16mm)l just to make sure not to miss anything.

All reflections are cropped and processed to B&W. Still have to work on details though.

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