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Bracken Hill: Willy Watson: Flower Seller

By andreduplessis
Bracken Hill Jan 09: Willy Watson

Please view this image large, thanks. Apologies to those members who voted soon after upload - I had to take it down to apply some selective sharpening.

Willy Watson, who is now 57, has lived at Bracken Hill outside picturesque Knysna since birth. He used to be a lumberjack, but now sells flowers to passing motorists along the N2 motorway. I bought two succulents from him, which I potted: 'Willy' and 'Watson'.
He took some convincing to be photographed. I started at the road, where he was selling, and then we moved to his house. This image was captured in a shady spot alongside his house. In the end he wanted me to photograph him in so many situations, and I had to promise to bring at least five prints of each image back to him next time I visit those shores again.

Thanks for visiting,

Tags: Photo journalism Black and white Portraits and people

Voters: jken, DaveU, Hoffy and 91 more

Editors' choice awards are given by the team to outstanding images. Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes



DaveU 17 1.4k 127 England
27 Jan 2009 3:00PM
I have the impression that the guy in front is sharper now as compared with my mental image of the earlier upload. Whichever, it's a superb photograph.
dandeakin 15 209 3 England
27 Jan 2009 3:03PM
Agree with the above. Interesting commentary as well. Another great image.
27 Jan 2009 3:08PM
Thanks. Yes, just a touch.. but nevertheless required. Thanks for visiting again, Andre
barbarahirst 14 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 3:11PM
Great photo
Nice write up as well
csurry 21 9.2k 92
27 Jan 2009 3:20PM
I love the interaction between the two participants.
HelenO 16 46 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 3:33PM
Excellent portrait. Full of character and interest. J
Buffalo_Tom Plus
16 2.3k 29 Wales
27 Jan 2009 3:49PM
Wonderful story and mono.Class image.
shandoor 14 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 3:54PM
Excellent image says so much
Bigtoe 14 7 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 3:59PM
Very good light and contrast.
VIKI 16 18 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 4:09PM
This is an excellent mono image. Well done.
Captsaigon 19 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 4:27PM
Lovely, real life shot,I like it

27 Jan 2009 4:48PM
Thank you all. I am so pleased that Willy's photo has been so well received. The boy in the window popped his head out to see what was happening outside, and as I liked that addition, I asked him to stay just there. He is the neighbour's son.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 669 England
27 Jan 2009 5:00PM
Good stuff,the boy in the window makes this one for me.
27 Jan 2009 5:05PM
Thank you to the screening team for the HC!!
Your recognition is very much appreciated.
Regards, Andre
ToothPilot 15 50 4 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 6:51PM
Congrats Andre, another award. Well deserved, especially in the small world of B&W photography.
27 Jan 2009 6:59PM
Wonderful André, excellent pic with that wide angle. Winner.
LesF 16 182 9
27 Jan 2009 7:15PM
A cracking mono and a superb image, congrats on the HC too

27 Jan 2009 7:51PM
Thank you everyone, and yes Ingrid, I like wide when it comes to portraits. I like to include something in the back that relates to the subject: landscape portraiture I call it. Andre
tony64 19 204 9 England
27 Jan 2009 8:16PM
Congrats on the award, this is a great pic full of ccharacter and certainly worth the time spent with him. I expect we'll see more of him?
fauxtography 17 6.6k 36
27 Jan 2009 8:21PM
An excellent image Andre, I like this a lot.
27 Jan 2009 8:22PM
Thanks Tony. I have some others, but they were more like record shots for him and will probably sink. However, as he has given me the pleasure of this one I shall upload that soon.
27 Jan 2009 8:28PM
Thanks Mark. Willy is very conscious of his bald spot, and only after ++ persuasion took off his baseball cap. He will be happy to hear that the sacrifice was worth it.
fauxtography 17 6.6k 36
27 Jan 2009 8:30PM
Ahhh so that is what the kid is looking at! Grin Congrats on the Award too.
27 Jan 2009 8:39PM
LOL. I never thought of that! Smile
kitsch 17 439 4 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2009 10:05PM
superb photography... love this shot!
congrats too Smile
27 Jan 2009 10:32PM
There's something about this guy's big feet that enhances the emotional sense of earth in this image. I like this a lot, so well done on the PA. Helen
chase Plus
17 2.5k 669 England
27 Jan 2009 10:36PM
Nice to see this get a PA,well done !
bfgstew 16 668 105 England
27 Jan 2009 10:51PM
You seem to be able to capture the essence of the person and the moment so beautifully. The mono of your pictures enhances this so well and this is a prime example, hence such an award.
croberts 18 2.2k 8 Ireland
27 Jan 2009 10:53PM
lovely connection, and it places the viewer so perfectly in the scene.

I'd love to see the uncropped version, as i feel it needs a little extra 'breathing' space??

lovely use of the wide angle too.
27 Jan 2009 11:17PM
Oh my! I have been so happy with the HC, and now this!! Many many thanks.
The colour version looked so good, and I was so tempted to submit that. However, I love B&W, and am just so glad that this site represents a credible and appreciating audience. Never mind the choice of medium.
Thank you to all that voted and commented on this picture of Willy, and an even bigger thank you to those members that make up the selection panel, and who are willing to take lots of time out every day to see that all of us get a fair deal on epz.
When I feel that a picture has received a good level of acceptance from other members, I usually print the comments out as well, and attach that to the back of the prints that I give back to the dear people that I photographed. I have prepared this for Thomas and others, and now I shall do the same for Willy. In his lounge he has lots of framed pictures on his wall, and this one will now take its rightful place there amongst the other faded ones. I shall post a picture of Willy and his framed photo some time after May.
Thanks again, this is so motivating.
chris-p 17 75 England
27 Jan 2009 11:23PM
Timeless and priceless ....congrats
27 Jan 2009 11:52PM
Thanks Chris & Chris Smile
Chris (Roberts) - yes, I was torn between a more horisontal '35mm' and the square crop. However, as I usually include a fair amount of background, my subjects sometimes become a touch small in the frame, and sensitive detail can be 'lost'. So I opted for the more square 'Bronica' crop, both to preserve more details, and partly also to create a different format feel to the image. There was so much character in the wall and the plants that I felt that the extra wall space will simply waste the potential of this one, and what's more - the boy in the window will then become too ineffective to sensibly contribute to the composition. My 1st attempt was just that, but this more cropped version is more powerful.
OMG 14 51 2 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 12:12AM
The others have said it all, this is just brilliant. Congratulations on the HC, it is richly deserved
funkeldink 19 1.6k 1 Australia
28 Jan 2009 2:46AM
oh yesssss
ToothPilot 15 50 4 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 7:23AM
Fantastic!! A Premier Award. Well deserved mate.
Keep on clicking.
LesF 16 182 9
28 Jan 2009 8:43AM
From HC to PA excellent deserves it.

yesja 14 South Africa
28 Jan 2009 12:42PM
Mooi Boet! The wide angle, big hands, bald knee. I want to see this guy. Will stop at the flowers next time I pass Knysna...
ovi 19 11 1 Romania
28 Jan 2009 11:23PM
Excellent composed...very interesting face, best choice of interest for b&w.
Love it!

ovi (voted)
28 Jan 2009 11:32PM
Thanks Pierre, and Ovi - great to keep the flag waving for mono Smile
dandeakin 15 209 3 England
29 Jan 2009 9:12AM
Well deserved EC. Nice one.
KennyG 14 Belgium
1 Feb 2009 10:43AM
You deserve the HC Andre - always consistent! Again, thnaks for all of oyur advice and suggestions.

Well done!

TommyStr 17 9 3 Norway
1 Feb 2009 12:51PM
Superb, as always
pennyspike 19 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2009 2:31PM
Well deseved PA. Smile
User_Removed 17 7 8 Netherlands
1 Feb 2009 8:29PM
perfect André, congrats.
2 Feb 2009 12:58AM
Thank you to all, Andre
6 Feb 2009 7:28PM
That's my Uncle..!!! Smile
Amazing as ever Andre! Well done and congrats! If only I could...
Nephew Andro
6 Feb 2009 7:56PM
Thanks Andro. Just hang in there Smile

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