Prashant (Stranger #11/100), NYC High Line

This is Prashant, who kindly agreed to be Stranger 11 in my ongoing 100 Strangers Project.

Whilst an incredible learning event, the 100 Stranger’s Feb 2013 meet up in Brick Lane did have an impact on my thoroughness of interrogation/conversation. The general MO was about taking pictures, so I fear I channeled an excessive amount of my energy into accosting and directing Prashant and his girlfriend as they strolled down NYC’s High Line. That’s something I realised after shooting this portrait, and which I’ve corrected on subsequent shots (to come).

So embarrassingly I can’t tell you more than they had the feel of NYC locals, enjoying an intense intellectual discussion before I ambushed them. Prashant’s associate was incredibly game holding the gold reflector in harsh wind; the day we shot this was maybe -10C with the wind. That glow is light, not heat! Wanting to get the street art in the backdrop, and shooting from the narrow overlook, demanded a wrestle with a hard winter sun for backlight. The reflector is maybe a bit harsh bouncing that light back in. I figured we’d need to warmth of the gold side to give Prashant equal stage with the bright rainbow backdrop, yet perhaps a more diffuse white side would have given a more even tone.

Prashant was a great guy – he took the shoot very seriously, yet with a cool sense of humour. He also put up with dazzling himself by removing the shades. When I first saw him the shades gave him a fantastic edge to go with the sharp discussion, yet I much prefer the shots without them. There’s a keen intelligence to that gaze, and I think it better expresses the focused character that came across when we spoke.

Prashant – thanks so much for agreeing to be part of the project. I hope you had a fantastic day after we’d met and that you like your pictures!

Sorry to my contacts for recent inactivity – hopefully the above note of holiday explains things! Look forward to catching up soon. Hopefully you’re all fantastically well.

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