Wow, a very expressive photo.. the black and white emphasizes the expression of the old mans eyes which tell so much and nothing. just can’t stop looking at the photo and asking questions.
One of your most touching photos, mr. schuman!
I hope this man has a family he can tell his life story to. I’d love to hear him talk, I’d have so many questions. Even no being of the same culture, I would learn from his experience, wisdom and a more detached approch to life.
What a “profound” shot! So much emotion captured in his eyes…and the lighting, the black and white film, and the detail truly conveys nearness…I’d venture to say that you have captured his essence…very nice!
When I glimpsed the photo, I was first amused, as I can imagine what he must have looked like as a young man. But as I took in his expression, I could not look away until after many more minutes. My ma-thu (grandma in Lao) often held the same look in her eyes. I could never assume what she was thinking nor what this man is thinking here, but for me, I see reflection upon their life and the wisdom that follows. I remember your pictures from Japan as well! I seem to resonate strongly with your photos of old Asian people, lol. So, keep ‘em coming!
Scott, your b/w portraits are lovely…you have a gift for capturing people that goes far beyond surface; one can feel the inner lives simmering away behind flesh and wrinkles and the public “walls” we erect around ourselves. Thank you.
For some reason I love pics of older people. I find myself scrolling quickly through your blog appreciating it all but I pause and I look long and hard at these shots – but I don’t know why. I look into the eyes, over every wrinkle but I’m not sure what I’m looking for, perhaps some wisdom, a glimpse of my future self. I feel sad and I feel happy looking at these shots — not really entirely certain of their life story and whether I should feel one of these emotions more than the other. My experience with these pictures is as much a reflection on myself, my life and my reaction to aging as it is the subject of the shot and their story.
If anyone can articulate their fascination with these shots please do!
Classic! and so deep in thought… I love the dignity in the elderly, how ‘time’ is expressed in their faces and body and of course how they keep it all unified through their clothing. Thank you- enjoy your work a lot!
Quite often, we tend not to see the elderly as we move through our daily lives. We tend not to focus on them for a number of reasons. The aging process generally de-sexualizes the elderly, and younger people quite naturally do not normally focus on them or think of them as having a style or a sexual life. Who really finds creaking joints, wrinkled skin, stooped shoulders, etc., attractive? Often times, it’s only when we see the elderly in a photograph that we are still enough, and focused enough, to apprehend the gifts they may or may not contain within them. We may catch a glimpse of the knowledge and experience of life inscribed within them (as well as on them), perhaps even of the ghosts that they have loved or known their whole lives, but are no longer among the living.