I am not being sarcastic in my title. I do believe the elderly have an inner beauty that others lack. Sometimes it comes across as a serenity, a resignation with their lot or indeed a deep satisfaction with a life well lived. Other times it comes across as an outer grumpiness (think Victor Meldrew) that masks a soft heart underneath. We had the ‘angry young man’ so why not the angry old man? As I slide downhill into late middle age I feel proud of being a curmudgeon. I like being grumpy. I’ve earned the right! And I look forward to mellowing when I am in my dotage. But not just yet please. My aunt, may she rest in peace (although I doubt it) was the most warm-hearted and grumpiest person I ever knew. Never married she did so much good for others but was a staunch Labour party supporter and would throw things at the TV whenever Margaret Thatcher came on. Sterling stuff! “That ****** woman”, she would shout. Hard to argue with the sentiment. She had little tolerance for well, anything much. And I take after her, I fear.
This lady smiled and waved at us as we walked through Sai Kung today. I approached her and asked in my broken Cantonese, por por, ho m’ho yi ying nei? Grandma, may I take your picture? She consented. I took only 2 frames and this was my preferred shot, in both colour and black and white. (For the techies this was at ISO 3,200 with the 5D mk III).
I will have a print made and take it to her.
I hope you like her.
4 thoughts on “Portrait of a local beauty”
Excellent pictures; I definitely prefer the mono version and am pleasantly surprised at the lack of noise at this ISO. Certainly identify with feeling we have earned the right to be grumpy as we must be similar ages. Maybe we should get lapel badges ‘proud to ge grumpy’, or maybe just ‘old git’?!
Thank you, Roland. I am about to hit 55 – freshly early (retired) on the basis I no longer enjoyed what I was doing. The body screamed – give me a break. So I did! Some colleagues and I had T Shirts made for a conference a couple of years ago that had on the front GORM and on the back, GRUMPY OLD RISK MEN. Aye, we were reet proud!
nice portrait, the light on her face is very nice.
Thank you, Barry.