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The Original Blues Guy   Featured in PhotoFlash #044
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest SECOND PLACE Winner
 
The "Original Blues Guy"
The "Original Blues Guy"
1/50 at f/5.0; Lens 16-35; Focal Length 26; ISO 200

I was photographing a Tow Zone sign on Clark Street in Chicago when a voice startled me. "Pho-tog-raph-y!" the man bellowed, nearly making me jump into the street. I turned, and this fellow was staring at me. He pointed to the "Blues Chicago" night club just over his shoulder and proudly proclaimed he was "The Original Blues Guy." He told me he'd pose for some photos. As I shot, he said he hasn't played for a while because he lost his harmonica. I don't know if he ever played at all, but he was a great character. I gave him a few bucks, and we both went away happy.
© John Caruso
Canon EOS Digital ...

 
 
 
R. M. Jenkins
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/8/2004
    First, what a wonderful story! Second, it's amazing the people you meet when you have a camera in your hand. Just think... if you weren't photographing something you'd never would have met this interesting person... now, I wonder where his harmonica went? Third... the tones and b/w look amazing.

10/4/2006 12:37:45 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

R.M.-
Thanks so much for your comments. I agree that having a camera in hand really gives us myriad opportunities. This guy was a real hoot. I got so many great shots of him, it was hard to pick just one. As an aside, his fingers were splayed like that because, at that moment, he was playing air guitar while posing.

10/4/2006 1:37:09 PM

 
Mitch Spence
BetterPhoto Member
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Mitch's Gallery

member since: 3/16/2004
 

Oh, I really love this one too. I've truly enjoyed wandering through your gallery.

10/23/2006 2:06:28 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Mitch--

Thanks again for taking a look. I appreciate your kind words, and am glad you like the gallery.

10/23/2006 3:38:18 PM

 
Melissa Gurdus
BetterPhoto Member
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Melissa's Gallery
gurdusphoto.com

member since: 11/24/2005
 

Amazing portrait with awesome conversion into black and white...terrific lighting and composition, John!!!

11/1/2006 10:04:30 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thanks so much, Melissa. It was one of those that felt "right" the moment I pressed the release.

11/1/2006 3:14:03 PM

 
Sibylle Basel
BetterPhoto Member
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Sibylle's Gallery
castingshadowphotography.com

member since: 4/3/2005
 

Hi John!!
Great, Great shot! And I love the story behind it. It is amazing the people you meet. I love this shot!
I hope all has been well with you.
Sibylle :o)

11/1/2006 5:19:15 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Sibylle--

So good to hear from you again. I'm so pleased you liked it--and I think the story does add a certain something. Thanks for looking.

11/2/2006 8:35:11 AM

 
Vicki Hunt
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 12/28/2004
 

This really is wonderful!

11/4/2006 8:11:13 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Vicki--

Thank you very much! I appreciate it.

11/6/2006 5:36:42 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
 

Hello John,
I came across this photo on Sharon D.'s thread of October hopefulls.

I think this is a true masterpiece of urban artistry.
The personality and style of this "Blues Guy" is immediately self-evident...even without the interesting story in the caption.

I applaud you for what will most likely be recognized among the winning photo entries for October.

Bob

11/20/2006 1:55:18 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Bob--

You make me blush with your very kind and encouraging words. Thank you so much for taking a look and for your comments.

11/20/2006 2:08:21 PM

 
Brian Lobdell
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 6/7/2005
 

John, I agree with Bob and echo his sentiments! When I saw this there was an instant feeling of a "life" that was captured here. The black and white medium is overlooked so much of the time anymore - until we see a mesmerizing image like this. Truly a gallery exhibition piece!

11/21/2006 9:06:12 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Brian--

I truly appreciate your comments. It certainly was one of those instances when it felt like all the planets just lined up and I was simply glad to have been there when it happened.

11/21/2006 11:23:30 AM

 
Colette M. Metcalf
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member since: 4/29/2003
 

Congratulations, John!!

11/23/2006 4:13:46 PM

 
Mitch Spence
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member since: 3/16/2004
 

Very well deserved. Congratulations!

11/23/2006 6:05:22 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thanks Colette and Mitch. I feel quite honored.

11/23/2006 8:18:29 PM

 
Kenneth Mucke
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/5/2006
 

Congrats John on your well deserved winner

11/27/2006 3:13:59 AM

 
Sylvia Rossler
BetterPhoto Member
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vivid-imagination-pictures.com

member since: 7/6/2005
 

YOur favourite made it !! Big congrats on your win John :o)

11/27/2006 4:29:08 AM

 
Kay E. Mahoney
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 4/23/2003
 

Congratulations on your second place winner.

11/27/2006 5:06:39 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Kenneth, Sylvia, and Kay--

I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you so much.

11/27/2006 5:10:32 AM

 
Donna W. Neal
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/8/2003
 

Congratulations on your well deserved Winner John

11/27/2006 5:21:10 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thanks, Donna. I'm still reeling.

11/27/2006 6:46:02 AM

 
Holly Shao
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/3/2005
 

John, this is GREAT, and congratulations on your Win!! Love the details and the B&W tones.

Holly

11/27/2006 7:09:24 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Holly--

I appreciate your comments.

11/27/2006 7:33:23 AM

 
Melissa Gurdus
BetterPhoto Member
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gurdusphoto.com

member since: 11/24/2005
 

John, this is a fantastic street portrant and a most deserved win!! Congratulations!!!

11/27/2006 8:08:44 AM

 
Janine Russell
BetterPhoto Member
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photosbyjanine.com

member since: 6/22/2005
 

John, congratulations on your Second Place Winner!

11/27/2006 8:59:01 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Melissa--

It's so nice to hear from you. Thanks for your well wishes!

11/27/2006 10:00:52 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Janine--

Thank you very much.

11/27/2006 10:01:40 AM

 
Sibylle Basel
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sibylle
Sibylle's Gallery
castingshadowphotography.com

member since: 4/3/2005
 

Hi John!
Congratulations on your winning shot!!!

Sibylle :o)

11/27/2006 1:30:17 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Sibylle--

It's so great to hear from you again. Thank you for your well wishes! I appreciate it very much.

11/27/2006 1:58:00 PM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
 

John, congratulations on this fantastic win! Talk about story-telling in the photo!

11/28/2006 6:23:29 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Christopher--

Thanks a lot! I appreciate your comments.

11/28/2006 8:31:14 AM

 
Donna LaMattino Pagakis
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 1/12/2004
 

Congratulations on your SECOND place win!! Excellent portrait, great story!

11/28/2006 4:07:53 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thank you very much, Donna.

11/29/2006 4:58:26 AM

 
Jimmy Bhogal
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/21/2006
 

Excellent work John ! Truly a winner in all respects ! A very strong Image!!!

Regards- jimmy

11/30/2006 10:04:24 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Jimmy--

Thanks for your kind words.

12/1/2006 4:49:29 AM

 
Sherrye Nozaki
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/26/2004
 

Great story and Great photo! Very cool:) Congratulations.

12/16/2006 1:44:44 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Sherrye--

Thanks for taking a look. I'm glad you liked it!

12/16/2006 8:31:11 PM

 
Debbie E. Payne
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Debbie
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member since: 3/21/2006
 

John -- This is a great street shot! You have something that I admire - you've transformed that ability to interact with strangers into a fantastic shot! I aspire to be able to take shots of people but haven't gotten over that hump of approaching strangers to "ask for the shot". Any helpful tips? How lucky you were to have been approached.

I have enjoyed your gallery. Found your site after reading your testimonial of Brenda's class which I enrolled in yesterday.

1/2/2007 9:17:56 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thanks, Debbie, for your feedback. As for approaching others, I'm still a bit on the shy side myself. As you said, it was lucky that I was the one being approached! As for helpful tips, I think the best one is to just be open and to smile. A smile goes a long way toward making others feel at ease. Thanks again!

1/2/2007 9:28:07 AM

 
Jane M
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/30/2005
 

Apologies for the late congrats John (I missed the Oct winners). This is just so fantastic in it's originality. You have sucessfully given the viewer a real sense of his character through the whole comp and his expression. It's superb!

1/7/2007 6:37:38 PM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

No apologies needed, Jane! I appreciate your comments very much. Thank you.

1/7/2007 7:23:33 PM

 
Kate Jackson
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Kate
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member since: 4/9/2004
 

What a great opportunity came up for you John and you certainly didn't let it slip and came up with the goods! Belated congratulations!

1/17/2007 1:59:35 AM

 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
 

Thank you very much, Kate. It's always a great feeling when things all fall into place so nicely. Thanks again!

1/17/2007 4:49:54 AM

 
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