100 Strangers : Round 2 : No. 180 : Louise by phil_howcroft

100 Strangers : Round 2 : No. 180 : Louise

On Sunday we went to Nottingham Green Festival at the Nottingham Arboretum park. To quote from the festivals own website the festival “provides the place for everyone to learn, explore and try the latest in everything environmentally friendly and ethical, while having lots of fun in the beautiful setting of the Arboretum park”. With that in mind, it could be argued that taking my vintage forty something year old Industar И-61 lens, was a big nod to recycling, re-use of equipment.

The event is always great to photograph and in the four years we’ve been going, it has always provided me with a stranger or two.

As we made our way past various information stalls, I started a conversation with Louise. She was on an information stall for the National Education Union (the biggest teachers trade union she told me). I told her both my daughters were teachers and we went on to have a chat about secondary schools and how they were all becoming academies rather than LEA schools.

I asked Louise if she worked full time for the union. She told me she was the rep for Nottingham and Notts and didn’t get paid, she just did it for the what she described as the “warm afterglow of doing a worthwhile job”. She told me she was elected by her members.

She was giving away tote bags with some goodies in them (pens , stickers, information leaflets, campaign leaflets etc.) Some of the literature included information about school funding , cuts to arts , sports and music, inclusion not exclusion, defending LGBT+ education, sexism in school. I asked her if I could have two tote bags as I would pass them on to my daughters.

After our chat, I told Louise of my 100 strangers project and asked her if I could photograph her for my project. She said yes straight away without hesitation. Where the information stalls are located is under a canopy of mature trees, so the lighting was always going to be tricky. I asked Louise to move to an area that had a few shafts of light. I shot this at about f4, ISO 400, I usually try for f5.6 as I always think it is a sweet spot for many lenses when shooting portraits. The shutter speed was 1/100th of a second which is quite slow by my standards for portraits, but the old Industar И-61 58mm lens has done a great job under difficult conditions.

Edited in Rawtherapee and GIMP. I had to recover the highlights in Louise’s hair (that’s bright light on her head as opposed to hairdresser highlights !)

Thank you for being stranger number 180 Louise, good luck with your Union activities.

Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page


My own strangers can be seen here:


Love this one Phil. It's somehow set apart from you other portrait shots. fav
September 16th, 2019  
You are the 365 expert on portrait photography. You always post magnificent portrait shots. Louise has a charming smile in this shot. Great in b&w. Btw good story-telling,too. Fav.
September 16th, 2019  
I love her facial expression, as if she is about to say something really funny. She looks full of twinkle in the eyes and character
September 16th, 2019  
I love the self-conscious smile !
September 16th, 2019  
Great in b&w, like the bokeh and all the tones. Fav
September 16th, 2019  
Interesting face and nice b&w. You are really going full speed to your second 100! fav
September 16th, 2019  
Well done
September 16th, 2019  
What a very interesting srory and a great portrait Phil. We had a session on portraits at our U3A meet this morning, so watch this space!
September 16th, 2019  
Your subjects are always interesting & willing to be photographed....Loiuse is doing sterling work....she will be pleased with her photo!
September 16th, 2019  
@gamelee thanks Lee , maybe it is the vintage lens that renders the image differently :)

@busylady i look forward to seeing your portraits judith

@happypat thanks Pat, I hope she is pleased

@sdutoit thank you

@caterina Thanks Caterina, my second set of 100 is taking a bit longer than my first set :)

@quietpurplehaze thank you so much haze, much appreciated

@ellida cheers graham

@casablanca thank you Casa, that is a lovely comment

@sangwann dione thank you so much for your continued and positive support :)
September 18th, 2019  
Another gem, Phil. fav
September 19th, 2019  
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