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Thread: Once a Jolly Swagman

  1. #1
    WJT's Avatar
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    Once a Jolly Swagman

    A dawn I was doing a shoot when I met this gentleman. He is a "swagman" which means he has no house or commitments, just his swag which he carries and thats his home. He works for a while, then moves on to other parts usually by hitch hiking. I have only seen three swagmen in the last ten years. Once there were thousands . I didn't expect much from this shot given the background and lack of atmosphere but edited it in monochrome and it turned out OK. I hope to organise a real shoot some time with "Bushy". C&C welcome.
    Once a Jolly Swagman

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    You bring out his character very nicely. I look forward to seeing more of him. For those like me who need to be informed of the definition and lifestyle of a swagman, it's especially helpful that you included his swag in the photo.

    Notice the wide halo of light around the left side of his hat and also to a lesser extent around the right side. Even if that's not introduced by your post-processing, which is very nice, you might want to consider getting rid of it, as it pulls me away from concentrating on the subject.

    By the way, not that it matters, but I wouldn't consider this a monochrome. Your post-processing seems to have two major tones (pink and gold-brown, for lack of better terms) that go very well together.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Quote Originally Posted by WJT View Post
    A dawn I was doing a shoot when I met this gentleman.
    A gentleman with many tales to tell, I suspect.

    Good image, Wayne. What I particularly like is that it treats the man with the respect he deserves. The Scottish equivalent (the Tramp - they tramped around the country) is now, I think, long gone. Haven't seen a tramp on the road for a long time.

    One man used to spend some time helping out an uncle of mine on his farm. Jimmy would sleep in the hay shed. He'd suddenly arrive two or three times a year (usually at lambing time and when the shearing was under way), would stay and work very hard for a few weeks, and then disappear just as suddenly. For many years when we had pretty good celebrations at my uncle's house to take in the New Year (fiddles, accordions, bagpipes, etc), Jimmy always timed his arrival for just after midnight ... and he was always a most welcome and honoured house guest. He had himself been a piper in the Black Watch regiment. Why he took to the road no-one knows.

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Very nice image, monotone really adds to the imagery.

  5. #5
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    A gentleman with many tales to tell, I suspect.

    Good image, Wayne. What I particularly like is that it treats the man with the respect he deserves. The Scottish equivalent (the Tramp - they tramped around the country) is now, I think, long gone. Haven't seen a tramp on the road for a long time.

    One man used to spend some time helping out an uncle of mine on his farm. Jimmy would sleep in the hay shed. He'd suddenly arrive two or three times a year (usually at lambing time and when the shearing was under way), would stay and work very hard for a few weeks, and then disappear just as suddenly. For many years when we had pretty good celebrations at my uncle's house to take in the New Year (fiddles, accordions, bagpipes, etc), Jimmy always timed his arrival for just after midnight ... and he was always a most welcome and honoured house guest. He had himself been a piper in the Black Watch regiment. Why he took to the road no-one knows.
    Thank you Donald, it was great to see this gent and remind me of my years of traveling our big country. I always had a vehicle but roamed free for about 5 years working in any job. Now I have a mortgage, rates and all of that, plus of course wife and kids, but some fond memories.

  6. #6
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    You bring out his character very nicely. I look forward to seeing more of him. For those like me who need to be informed of the definition and lifestyle of a swagman, it's especially helpful that you included his swag in the photo.

    Notice the wide halo of light around the left side of his hat and also to a lesser extent around the right side. Even if that's not introduced by your post-processing, which is very nice, you might want to consider getting rid of it, as it pulls me away from concentrating on the subject.

    By the way, not that it matters, but I wouldn't consider this a monochrome. Your post-processing seems to have two major tones (pink and gold-brown, for lack of better terms) that go very well together.
    Thanks Mike, its actually edited in antique which is a bit like sepia but seems to work well me some shots. The halo was my bad attempt to get rid of a long float that went through his head. I didnt have chance to look for a better back ground so had to make do. I will have another crack at it.

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    So many of your photographs of people draw me in and make me want to know more about them. That's saying something because most "people" photography really doesn't interest me. I like this shot a lot and enjoyed reading about him and also Donald's response about Jimmy. Thanks for posting!

  8. #8
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    So many of your photographs of people draw me in and make me want to know more about them. That's saying something because most "people" photography really doesn't interest me. I like this shot a lot and enjoyed reading about him and also Donald's response about Jimmy. Thanks for posting!
    thank you Terri, thats a nice compliment. I am lucky to meet so many characters which helps. I also enjoyed Donald's description of the old days.

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Try darkening the highlighted sky patches running along the top edge. I think they are detracting from a great image of one of my Trans-Tasman neighbours.

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Wayne, compelling photo. It really makes me want to know more about this fellow. My dad was a hobo for a couple of years and he loved every moment of it.

    Karm

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    I agree with all the above, great image, story and feel. I also liked Donalds story and thank him for sharing. The US once had many Hobo/tramps {they were called both. They rode the rail lines from place to place and worked as they went. The lifestyle has become to dangerous and there are very few left.

  12. #12
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Thanks all, it isnt too hard to get good shots with faces like this.

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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    a competition winner !! You should enter it into some Photo Exhibitions !

  14. #14
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Once a Jolly Swagman

    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxpete View Post
    a competition winner !! You should enter it into some Photo Exhibitions !
    Thank you Peter.

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