Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Eleanor Carty » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 122015

“Happy Stranger” photo copyright Eleanor Carty

“Happy Strangers”
In the midst of February I was walking into downtown Flagstaff for a photo assignment and ended up with this lovely picture.  I saw these two at a distance walking down the street and their clothes, body language, and general appearance began to really intrigue me.  I asked the couple if it would be ok to take a few pictures of them and at first they were messing around with each other as most people do when they are put in the spotlight; but all of a sudden they broke into laughter and even though they did not appear wealthy, were carrying around large bags, and seemed to be wearing all the clothing they own, they are the happiest couple I have seen in an astonishingly long time.  This really made me want to reevaluate the way I look at things; the way I look at the little details in my own life.  Even though I do not know these people and they are not living this typically ‘great’ lifestyle; I don’t feel sorry for them.  They are genuinely happier than most people I see on the daily and seem to take so much pride in what they already have. I look to people like this for real happiness.

I personally love taking photographs of people because I feel as if they can say so much about somebody just by capturing them in a split second.  Emotion is the way we human beings run; we feel emotions every day ranging from passion to anger to blissful, and when these emotions are captured in an image, it is truly beautiful and cannot be replicated even if tried.  Don’t get me wrong, I am amazed by the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife that inhabit the earth also, but humans will forever be the most interesting creatures to me, there are not two single people even remotely alike in this world and that is a fascinating reality.

When editing this image I decided to change it to black and white, the reason for this being that the subject is so powerful that it needs to be simplified, the main focus is solely directed toward the two characters in the photograph.  I own a Canon EOS 7D and the particular lens I shot this image with is a telephoto 28-135mm.  I shot this image at an ISO of 300, a focal length of 85mm, the shutter speed at 1/640 of a second, and the aperture at F/ 5.6.  It gives me so much pleasure to document the happy times of other peoples lives and this picture will forever resonate the true essence of love between these two humans, and I am proud to have even got the chance to capture this moment, and that is what I believe photography is all about.

About the Photographer:
Hi I’m Eleanor (Ellie, Bella; any will do).  I’m a college student at NAU and am currently studying Photography and journalism.  I am originally from Surrey, England but have been living in the USA since I was twelve.  From New Jersey to Virginia to Arizona…  I take a huge interest in communicating to various audiences through the lens of my camera.  My main purpose is to exude emotion through my images and hope to interest those that view them, there are so many people, places, and ideas out there that deserve to be seen, heard of, and acknowledged.  It takes less than half of a second to capture a single moment in the click of a shutter, but it is a memory that can be passed down through generations, for decades. For years, I have been learning through the right side of my brain and it has brought me a lot of luck in achieving my goals.  I have been able to document my own and honorably other peoples moments in life through photographs. Your adventures are something that should be remembered and treasured.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

  One Response to “Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Eleanor Carty”

  1. Why no comments yet? There was no need to read the text to fell my soul with the light they transmit.

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