The Conversation

I was sitting in a light airy canteen overlooking the Thames yesterday having a snack and watching the conversations going on around me. Body language can be fascinating. There were couples slumped in chairs saying nothing, groups of women convulsed by each other’s anecdotes, men on their own reading books or newspapers. There were happy folk and miserable looking folk. And then I spotted the two men deep in conversation. It was intense. Periodically they leaned in towards each other; hands gesticulated. Occasionally they sat back wondering where to take the conversation next. And then the tempo built again. I don’t think it was an argument, but there was an emotionally charged atmosphere clearly on view.

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Discreetly I caught an image or two, well out of earshot. I’m not entirely comfortable in situations like this. I feel I am an intruder, that I am visually eavesdropping. But the photographer within me sees an image that I want to capture because it shows real people. And because it raises questions to which we will never know the answers.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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18 Responses to The Conversation

  1. Len says:

    You have captured the intensity of the conversation so well Andy. The slumping of the guy on the left really adds to the feel of the scene.

  2. oneowner says:

    I admire your courage in taking a photo like this. I cannot, myself, but I do like this result.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. This is not my normal genre as you will know. But, this is what a compact camera is for. I was standing nearby pretending to look through my images and then put the camera down on the table switched on and lined up and then casually rested my hand on the top of the camera and pressed the button!

  3. You’re so right the body language is very telling. Nicely captured Andy.

  4. athyfoto says:

    Its a wonderful picture Andy. A real feeling of tension as both of the subjects are leaning in toward each other. There are so many questions posed while looking at this image, are they arguing? is it an emotional re-union? are they whispering or shouting? Its the stuff that keeps us looking.

    I have tried my hand once or twice with taking candid shots and I usually feel really uncomfortable. The results can often help to ease the guilty feelings though. Street photographers will probably be finding this idea of feeling guilty amusing, each to his own as they say.

    • LensScaper says:

      Interesting comments, thanks very much. I’m not comfortable either taking this sort of image, but the photographer within me exerts a stronger pull sometimes.

  5. theaterwiz says:

    I am usually not a fan of these kind of shots but this one really tells a story, the people outside the window inline with the inside peeps amaze me, well done!

  6. seekraz says:

    You were/are a respectful photographer, Andy…well done…. I really like the image.

  7. You’ve done a really terrific job with this one, Andy, truly you have. I, too, just LOVE the natural tension in the men engrossed in conversation here, it’s a beguiling piece you’ve captured and created!

  8. I doubt that you’d have captured a better image than this one at any rate. The dark silhouette of the slumped man is very effectively contrasted with the gesticulating man visible in slightly more detail. A great image.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much for all your comments, George. Much appreciated. This pair were totally engrossed in their conversation. I felt uncomfortable, more because of the other people on adjacent tables who were aware of my presence. I’m pleased I got this shot, and then I escaped!

  9. The guys who are walking by oblivious to the drama cements the tension in this image. 🙂

  10. janina says:

    ….they were discussing how to dispose of the body…..great capture!

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