100 Strangers 8 of 100 Carl

100 Strangers 8 of 100 is Carl:

8 of 100 Carl
ISO 200, 85mm, f1.8, 1/160

Previously I posted a Stranger photo of Mariah who works at a local coffee shop that I frequent fairly often. During that encounter she spoke highly of the owners of the coffee shop; the husband and wife who own it. She said that they were “the best.”

Meet Carl, the owner of this coffee shop. Though I’ve spoken with him briefly in the past as he rung up my order I’ve never been able to really sit and talk with him; to get to know him a little bit. Today my son and I sat drinking our lattes and having lunch and Carl walked up to our table and asked how we were doing. At this we began to talk and it turned into a nearly hour long conversation.

Carl is an Army vet who has since retired from service. He spent years in service (exactly how long I didn’t ask). He loves coffee and just over a year ago he and his wife opened up this shop. He’s very active in veterans affairs and he has a program in which he delivers coffee to our troops overseas.

We spoke a bit about politics and the role of our armed forces over the past few years. “We really need to just pull out of the Middle East altogether,” he said. “I mean, what exactly are we doing over there?”
He spoke about the action he saw in Iraq during Gulf War version 1.0 a bit among many other things.

The thing that I took away from our conversation is that Carl is passionate about his family, community and country. Being the son of immigrants I think has shaped much of his perspective regarding life in the USA. My wife is an immigrant and I think that as my son participated in the conversation he was aware of that similarity. In fact as we were driving home my son said as much.

When we were wrapping up the conversation, I asked Carl if he would mind if I took a photo of him. Though I didn’t explain the Stranger Project in detail I told him that I loved taking photos of people that I meet and get to know and post them on social media and tell a little about them.

We happened to be in front of a large window that was letting in absolutely amazing light. I asked him to simply stand positioned at just a slight angle to the window and I moved in such a way as to not have other people in the background.

Technical stuff: Because the light was so amazing I didn’t have to really do much as far as post production is concerned. The big thing was that SOOC, Carl’s eyes were way stark and vivid. I actually brought them down a bit because they were just too much. That’s a first; actually pulling back the eyes a bit.

Also, the more that I use the 85mm and get used to it, the more I love that lens. I took a total of 12 shots and didn’t give him any direction beyond having him turn to the window a bit.

Thanks, Carl for allowing me to take your photo. I’m certain we will see each other again as my family drinks our lattes now that we’ve become so acquainted. I’m looking forward to it.

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