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Bratislava - The Character

By AlanBW
This is the final image of a short series from our visit to the capital city of Slovakia.

As our all-too-brief time in Bratislava’s small, fascinating and very beautiful old quarter was coming to an end, we made our way back to the main square, where we would be met and taken to our transport for the next stage of the journey – to Prague. Various tour groups had arrived since we got there and several pockets of people were gathering together to listen to their guides, some of whom were holding up an umbrella or small flag to identify themselves and their group. In one part of the square there were benches and some visitors were gathering together there. On one bench, all alone and with a large and heavy-looking backpack at his feet, slouched the astonishing individual pictured above. Dishevelled and fierce-looking, he was being shunned by other people in the vicinity, who were very suspicious of him shouting and gesticulating. There was no visible evidence in the form of a bottle or can that he had been indulging in alcohol, but he certainly acted as if intoxicated as he was ranting and raving loudly. His one-man protest, the nature of which it was impossible to tell as I speak no Slovakian, focussed my attention fully. I positioned myself as inconspicuously as possible at a suitable vantage point and waited in the hope that he would turn my way and give me the opportunity of a shot. I also hoped that he would not suspect me of trying to photograph him, as I had no wish to become a target for his invective! I had my camera trained upon him for several minutes but his head was moving from side to side very quickly as he aired his views to the world at large, which, it must be said, largely ignored him. As luck would have it, eventually he turned his head sideways and glowered at something or someone across the square to the right of me and held his gaze for a sufficient time to allow me to squeeze off two shots – and fortunately he knew nothing about being photographed! I feared that he could have become somewhat boisterous and even louder if he suspected me of capturing him on camera. I will never know his full story, or what has become of him now, but I hope that all is well.

Tags: Travel General Man Candid People Slovakia Black and white Bratislava Portraits and people

Voters: helena, MDaniel, Barbaraj and 124 more

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helena 17 134 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 8:44AM
Excellent Alan, a well timed capture, nice one Tara x
Barbaraj 14 450 England
1 May 2007 8:51AM
Well worth the time spent. Really interesting face. Thankyou.
trissie 14 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 9:20AM
A superb character portrait Alan, and a great story.

Trish x
tull 17 181 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 9:39AM
Cracking candid Alan a wonderful character study and a great narrative.

bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
1 May 2007 10:03AM
Excellent capture Alan.I like that tousled beard.
Perhaps he was ranting about tourists!LOL.

mickp 15 9 7 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 10:07AM
Thought I recognised the style. Well captured image, as always.
DolphinLady 15 54 1 Wales
1 May 2007 11:38AM
A wonderful character shot Alan.
Love all the detail in his moustache & beard.
Possum 14 148 England
1 May 2007 11:41AM
Very well taken under the circumstances. Totally fitting in black and white. I find your descriptions as captivating as the images they accompany.
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
1 May 2007 12:14PM
Yes, he definitely looks like someone I'd want to stay clear of. What a character, his face drums up all kinds of theories.
You're very brave taking these candidsSmile
iajacks 15 24 England
1 May 2007 12:41PM
a great candid that work well with the B&W treatment ans it nicely contrast the hair.

well done ian
peter_oak 15 1 England
1 May 2007 12:52PM
Interesting face,well cought.

1 May 2007 2:14PM
Your patience paid off Alan, great character for a portrait, well timed, great shot, Adiran
forestrich 14 2 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 2:22PM
Super charachter study. Works superbly in mono. Well captured.

franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 3:11PM
Excellent portrait and an interesting story Alan.

Libby_M 14 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 3:34PM
this is super
great detail and lighting
fab colour
well taken
AlistairJ 15 6 England
1 May 2007 3:49PM
lovely story and great shot, well worth the wait.

JimV 14 6 3 Canada
1 May 2007 3:54PM
Great character shot in every sense Alan, aided as always, by your superb write-up. Looking forward to your Prague shots, look out for George Rusky, he might just get you first!
Rgds., Jim
GeorgeRusky 15 1 4
1 May 2007 4:24PM
Excellent shot, interesting character, well,captured expression.
Bow to the Lady.
phototime 15 8 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 5:14PM
This is a great shot Alan,lovely detail and lighting,great character well taken.

Great portrait! B&W is very effective for this type of photo. Well captured. JNC
Phoebecat 15 1 Italy
1 May 2007 5:49PM
Great candid - pity you couldn't understand what he was on about.

cats_123 Plus
17 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
1 May 2007 6:42PM
what a greta shot to finish on..perhaps he was re-telling his antartic expedition? Smile

Androo 14 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 7:03PM
Another brilliant capture.
myrab 14 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 7:55PM
What a super portrait Alan, it works really well in black & white.
jan 1 17 12 Netherlands
1 May 2007 8:18PM
Wish I had that amount of hear. On my Head.!!!
Really a caracter, Alan. Good shot.
MikeEG 14 10 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 8:58PM
Great shot Alan, you really do find these characters, a well captured candid, has he a part time job around the 25 Dec?

davewaine 14 141 3 England
1 May 2007 9:04PM
What a character! I assume your lens was nearer the 300mm end than the 28.
Guillaume 14 119 2 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 9:07PM
Great portrait and incredible beard! B/W works well in this occasion. Well captured Alan as always. You are the master of this kind of shots!!
SueTurner 16 81 3 England
1 May 2007 10:31PM
well done, worth all that effort, I know how you feel about take a shot of someone, you never know how they are gonna react, and you want a natural shot which you have achieived well done

1 May 2007 10:48PM
Amazing image Alan, worth the time, patience, and perhaps risk!

Rende 14 38 4 Netherlands
1 May 2007 11:06PM
Very nice, natural portrait, full of character.
1 May 2007 11:23PM
Wonderful capture of a very interesting looking character. Well done!

Regards, Kent
Nigel_95 Plus
15 262 2 United Kingdom
1 May 2007 11:35PM
It is a very good candid shot Alan, but given your description, you have more courage than me.

glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
2 May 2007 5:23AM
Well taken, he looks like he has some spunk too, Spot on! Click!!!

GlenD 14 United States
2 May 2007 7:04AM
Nice capture Alan you really pick the best out of the crowds. would of been intresting to have kown his BG to go with the shot but sounds like that was best left and your disciption will do fine! Smile
A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 8:24AM
excellent candid character portrait - good detail and expression capture.
DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
2 May 2007 8:24AM
Really powerful portrait and great bg info. Bruce
sunshot 16 24 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 9:41AM
well worth waiting for alan, what a cracking expression.

TelStar 16 116 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 9:45AM
Great timing Alan; you caught him very well.

Blenkinsopp 15 320 4 England
2 May 2007 10:24AM
you've really caught the character
cat_mc 14 17 Australia
2 May 2007 1:04PM
awesome character portrait alan
gingerdelight 14 298 11 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 1:45PM
This is such a good portrait shot, with such character! Well done!
x Carol x
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
2 May 2007 3:19PM
Terrific portrait, great exposure, more so under the circumstances thet you describe.
dianah 14 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 5:11PM
A fabulous portrait..a wonderful have captured him superbly.
RockArea 14 18 3 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 5:18PM
Superb portrait, Alan. Probably best for him and you that your shots went unnoticed.

danbrann 16 640 17
2 May 2007 7:55PM
I hope he is still sitting there when I visit later in the year. This is a piece of skillful and outstanding photography.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2213 United Kingdom
2 May 2007 9:06PM
Great character shot, love the curly beard. I don't find his features disturbing. In fact, I think it is a sensitive face. Perhaps he was just having a soap-box moment?
VNelson 16 3 United States
2 May 2007 9:49PM
Wonderful portrait...the more you describe how you get these the more I know I wont.

Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
2 May 2007 10:29PM
Alan..great narration..and a superb photo to go with it...

Sezz 16 619 15 England
2 May 2007 11:05PM
A brave man you are Alan! an interesting expression you've captured here, i'd have run a mile - thanks for your narrative, always makes the shot more interesting!

Sez *
dionne 16 29 United Kingdom
3 May 2007 7:46AM
Excellent exposure - a face of real character - what a shame he did not look at you however, as Sez says, had he done that you may then have felt the need to run as opposed to taking the time to push the shutter button!!
pluckyfilly 14 351 33 United Kingdom
3 May 2007 8:04AM
gosh you have a lot of comments and very justified to - what a great portrait pic you have displayed here - well done, sorry I missed the click here and now cant find it but seems you dont need me with so many followers. Loved the story line to, its simply great.
KingBee Plus
15 548 2 Scotland
3 May 2007 8:10AM
You're a brave man, Alan Woodland, and a talented photgrapher to boot. Great shot and great story (as always).

Slaterm 14 496 1 United Kingdom
3 May 2007 8:48AM
face full of character - well captured
Tandberg 17 1.2k 2 England
3 May 2007 9:35AM
thats a face thats lived lol
xinia 16 54
3 May 2007 3:56PM
very good capture under those 'dangerous' circumstances :>)
mollye 14 3 United Kingdom
3 May 2007 5:16PM
An excellent portrait with so much character, its certainly got my vote.
Rock 18 10 2 England
3 May 2007 6:44PM
The B/W is a most suitable media for this subject.
First Class shot !

ginz04 17 281 20 United Kingdom
3 May 2007 7:17PM
hi alan another rather excellent character shot.
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
3 May 2007 7:46PM
Superb portrait and congratulations on your patience and cunning.Excellent.
Terrific portrait Alan.
Hughmondo 14 14 Zimbabwe
3 May 2007 9:42PM
What a character, he is the perfect eastern european! Love the accompanying story!
4 May 2007 8:47AM
What a fun and intersting story , i enjoy reading about your adventures , i am impressed by the portrait you have captured the essence in black and white of a very colurful character ,marvellous shot ....Riff
tuhin 14
4 May 2007 1:49PM
Nice One.
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
4 May 2007 2:31PM
a chracking capture Alan
4 May 2007 5:51PM
a very interesting face very well captured. Lent itself to B&W too. Nice one Al'

John (-:
firzhugh 16 13 New Zealand
4 May 2007 6:58PM
great mono portrait, like the look and crop
daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
4 May 2007 9:31PM
Ah - he looks like a figure straight out of Doestyevsky! It's a great shot, as has been said. I like the clear focus and the hairy beard, which has come out so well. Good write up too.

hebdens 15 5
5 May 2007 9:25AM
poor fella, sounds a bit unpredictable ! great face though.
panda 16 5 1 England
5 May 2007 11:11AM
Super shot Alan, I have never got the nerve to take these surrepticious shots, fantastic character shot.

Regards Phil
thorn 16 124 2 Scotland
5 May 2007 12:35PM
Hi Alan,
I think he is a very interesting person,he looks kindly,he might have been loud but i think he's alright.Great character you've captured,love the b/w work and contrast and i hope all is well with him too.Take care.AnnSmile
Jasbe 15 116 England
5 May 2007 3:35PM
excellent shot alan, love the expression you've captured.
5 May 2007 5:52PM
Excellent B/W portrait, well done.
daffydill56 17 190 United Kingdom
6 May 2007 7:37AM
What a wonderful character study.Superb work.

Mavis 19 143 2 England
6 May 2007 10:43AM
Superb detail in this amazing portrait of a very proud looking individual , whiskers and all . xxx
kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
6 May 2007 11:42AM
Well caught and a great description of this character
6 May 2007 7:49PM

KevinMW 14 14 Wales
6 May 2007 8:08PM
With the wonderful image AND your brilliant description of the scene, one can almost SEE the events unfold. Pictures are supposed to paint a thousand words but yours adds that little bit extra. Look forward to your next series (from the wonderful city of Prague).

7 May 2007 12:44AM
Splenid capture Alan - what a great chracter candid portrait!

7 May 2007 1:02AM
Great candid shot Alan.
paul162brown 16 12 England
7 May 2007 10:02AM
Great shot, amazing PF. Paul
Chant57 Plus
15 395 3 United Kingdom
7 May 2007 10:54AM
Alan, your narratives are so interesting, and give such background to your images, that the viewer almost feels as if they were actually there. Lovely character portrait, well suited to the mono style.
lynsfiona 17 5
7 May 2007 5:38PM
What great character! Well taken. Lyns x
korni 14
7 May 2007 7:21PM
Impressive shot....
NevP 15 853 13 Canada
7 May 2007 9:59PM
He looks quite a wild character, nicely taken.
MickS 16 23 14 England
7 May 2007 10:24PM
Watcha Alan,
excellent character pic.
Gaz_H 14 150 1 United Kingdom
7 May 2007 10:56PM
Brilliant photo Alan
sputnki 16 10 Canada
8 May 2007 2:30AM
Guerrilla photography at its best!

TonyFrith 14 3 6 United Kingdom
9 May 2007 7:50PM
Great character portrait looks good in B & W
John_Humphreys 15 69 2 Ireland
9 May 2007 10:34PM
Superb candid shot. He looks like a bit of a wild man alright. I love "SPUTNIK'S" depiction of you as the Guerrilla photographer - very apt! John
10 May 2007 12:18AM
How not to vote for a picture with 99 points? Smile
Just joking, it's really a beautiful shot, very expressive.
moglen Plus
14 14 1
10 May 2007 9:08AM
It amaizes me where you find all these wonderful portraits from. thanks for click on spirits watch. glen x
barry john 17 25 England
11 May 2007 1:12AM
brilliant portrait

really crisp and a great story to boot

Barry John
marcc 14
11 May 2007 3:48PM
Excellent portrait.
foggytwo 17 36 1 Scotland
11 May 2007 9:07PM
Brilliant capture Alan,this is really great.
brownsilent 14 7 2 United Kingdom
14 May 2007 12:49PM
Well, here I am, too late to say something new and original.
Excellent, brilliant, crisp, great, amazing, superb... I agree with everything.
Carl40 15 18 United Kingdom
15 May 2007 2:29PM
Great shot Alan he looks quite the character.

Vee_Enn 16 100 England
16 May 2007 2:34PM
Well done
DaisyD50 14 3
19 May 2007 8:37PM
Stunning shot. Great character shot!!
annefromleo 15 11 1 United Kingdom
20 May 2007 6:53AM
25 May 2007 7:30AM
Well caught! Nice candid portrait. Den Smile
imagio 14 12 1 England
27 May 2007 8:41AM
Excellent image
limmy62 Plus
14 12 United Kingdom
27 May 2007 9:42AM
Superb candid!!!
Malc_V 15 England
27 May 2007 4:15PM
Superb work Alan.

GrahamBaines 13 39 United Kingdom
31 May 2007 7:42PM
Such a wonderful character, with a good story, excellent candid.

13 Jun 2007 12:55PM
Going off the story you may qualify for the VC, i think if it had of been me and he caught me taking a photo i would have said "what do you do with your old blades?" but its an oustanding image, like it
19 Jun 2007 6:57PM
very inspirering shot. thanks for the comment please can you check back onto my profile in a few days to give me some feedback on my new uploads. Thanks AJFisher
20 Jun 2007 8:41PM
I very much enjoy your candid shots, but I'd have to say this is my fave...and the black and white really set the mood here, well done!
25 Jun 2007 9:03AM
This is like your thousandth comment: great portrait work here -- the detail and the model's expression are just great.
Bucks 18 238
27 Jul 2007 9:03AM
Very impressive.
AlanBW 15 20 England
27 Jul 2007 3:40PM
Cheers Mark, much appreciated - Alan
GalleryGirl 13 4 2 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2007 3:35PM
Love this photo - what a character! Well done! - Marilyn x
AlanBW 15 20 England
15 Aug 2007 4:17PM
Thanks Marilyn, much appreciated - Alan
HectorRivera 13 17 1 United States
17 Nov 2007 5:37PM
Excellent protrait collection.

AlanBW 15 20 England
20 Nov 2007 8:26AM
Thanks Hector, very much appreciated - Alan
MorneR 13 South Africa
17 Apr 2008 12:20PM
HI Alan

Love this one, especially the B&W. Keep up the good work.
AlanBW 15 20 England
17 Apr 2008 1:20PM
Many thanks Morne - Alan

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