100 Strangers : Round 3 : No. 211 : Aulton by phil_howcroft

100 Strangers : Round 3 : No. 211 : Aulton

This is Aulton (not too sure on the spelling) who I met in Nottingham Arboretum on Wednesday.

Ruby and I had gone on an afternoon walk, exploring the outskirts of the city centre.

As we walked around the lake at the bottom of the Arboretum I noticed two people sat on a bench. From a distance I thought they might be stranger material.

As I approached them, I gave them a nod and Aulton said he liked Ruby;s coat (she has quite a collection of coats). I introduced Ruby to them and let them stroke her.

Aulton and his friend were enjoying a drink they had purchased from Tesco’s. I asked them if they were a couple, but they were just best friends !

They told me they were going to get a boat and take it on the lake ! I told them there was a big problem with that idea as there are no boats in the Arboretum.

“We can get one from Highfields boating lake”

“Well you will look a bit obvious carrying a boat 3 miles across the city centre!”

“Are you a copper? Those boots look a bit copper like”

“Do I look like a Copper? I’m retired ! These boots were £15-00 from Lidl, really comfy and ideal for walking a whippet”

“I had trials with Benfica you know”

“Did you. What happened?”

“I had too much attitude, they released me”

“Ahh right”

“Does Ruby want a drink?”

“I don’t think Dogs should drink white wine”
“Good point, I had a mate who gave his Dog some special brew, it went a bit mental “

“Can I take your picture for my project?”

“I can take you both if you want”

“Just take me”

So I directed Aulton for some shots.

“What’s your name?”


“Phil what?”

“Phil Howcroft”

“Ahh right, nice to meet you Phil, are you sure you are not a copper?”

As I continued the conversation, Ruby was distracted by a squirrel and pulled on her lead, I dropped my camera, it landed on the lens. I tried to use it and it would not focus. That sort of brought the shoot to an abrupt end.

When I got home it would not focus with my other auto focus Sony lens, so I was really cross !

I then realised the diopter on the electronic viewfinder had moved and a quick reset and everything was back to normal !

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:

Lovely portrait. You really captured his personality. Fav
February 11th, 2020  
Round 3!! I feel like you were on round 1 the last time I was around to see. Love the story - are you sure you're not a copper? ;) Glad the camera fix was minimal.
February 11th, 2020  
A great portrait and what a story !!
February 11th, 2020  
Do I understand he was a footballer at the level of Benfica? He must have been quite a good player. I really like your shot and his eyes peeping and very well focused from above his spectacles. Now I know why you take Ruby wherever you go. One day she will charge you for the service, hehe.
February 11th, 2020  
Lucky escape there Phil... bet your heart was in your mouth for a bit!
Nice story & you meet all sorts. Great detail of his beard & face. The coat looks expensive so not just hanging about homeless then!
February 11th, 2020  
Great portrait, great conversation! Fav
February 12th, 2020  
@lostphojo thanks David, this shot almost missed the cut and i was worrying if it was up to standard :)

@happypat i was really worried Pat, i should have had the strap around my neck

@sangwann dione, yes he said he was an apprentice at Benfica, but didn't make the grade

@beryl thanks beryl , much appreciated :)

@kuva Megan , many thanks for your visit, I've been doing my strangers series for 4 years !
February 13th, 2020  
@chejja Caroline, many thanks for your kind words, visit and fave, very much appreciated :)
February 13th, 2020  
Phil this is absolutely great. The portrait and the story! I like the pose of your subject, with the glasses halfway on the nose, also excellent focus and DOF, as usual. I was not connected for a while and I had missed this pearl. fav
February 13th, 2020  
@phil_howcroft Time flies - it doesn't feel like I've not been around for 4 years, but I guess I have.
February 13th, 2020  
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