Pietro (Stranger #16/100), Venezia San Marco

I’m a bit of a slave to backgrounds for my stranger portraits, and having seen this ace shop front glowing through the grey pillars of San Marco square, I camped the spot for half an hour waiting for an appropriate stranger.

Pietro was that man.

He was smoking a black cigarette with a look of focused thought. I explained the project to him, and how so far I’d taken portraits of Londoners and New Yorkers. He gave an exact nod, and stated “…and Venetians.” Flicking his cigarette straight into a bin three of four metres off with effortless precision, he straightened his jacket and we started.

He didn’t want to check his shot on the LCD, saying he was too old, with a wry smile.

There’s a car colour for the Fiat Punto in Italy titled “Intellectual Grey”. If I didn’t name my shots by formula for my project, that’s what I’d call this portrait.

Thanks Pietro for letting me take your portrait, and for the elegant intelligence you shared.

Tech wise, this again used on camera fill flash with a little softbox. Perhaps I over exposed the right side of Pietro’s face, but generally the flash is serving me well. It’s fun to have a portrait in Lightroom and play the “shadows” slider end to end without noticing a change to peoples’ faces.

This is portrait #16 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved. I can’t recommend it enough.

Hope everyones having a great weekend.

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