nikon d300

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #26

Nick walked up to the corner where I was waiting to cross the street. On their way to the lakefront, he and his infant son, Hayes, were out to enjoy the beautiful afternoon. There was a nice breeze helping minimize the high levels of humidity we typically swim in as we move about here in Florida, so it was a nice day to be outside. Striking up a conversation, I learned that Nick had relocated from New Orleans to Kissimmee after the devastation of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. He met his wife here, and he works hard doing restaurant remodeling jobs. Nick is another person I found it both easy and a pleasure to meet and speak with. I hope he likes his street portrait as much as I enjoyed taking it.

“Nick” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #23

If I’m being completely honest, I must admit there was a bit of stalking involved in getting Rick’s picture. You see, I approached just as he was getting off his UPS truck with an armload of packages. I thought it doubtful he would pause long enough for a photo, unless he was empty-handed. So, I decided to just stand where I was and observe, looking for other possible opportunities to grab a shot until he returned to his truck. I didn’t have to wait but a minute or two.

True to UPS protocol, Rick was in a hurry, and told me so. But, he cooly took a 10-second pause in the shadows of his truck, allowing me to capture this photo. Thanks, Rick!

“Rick” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.0 at 1/2000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #17

At 319 Broadway in downtown Kissimmee, Florida, is Sittin Pretty Professional Dog Grooming. They have been at this location for 13 years. Brenda and Bradley were each busy grooming dogs when I walked in the door and introduced myself. I went into my now-routine spiel about the “Faces of Kissimmee” project and my hope to capture a photo. Or two.

The morning had gotten off to a slow start, so I was quite pleased when they both agreed to be photographed. Some days, I find the hard part of this project is often getting the first photo. Once the first shot is on the card, though, subsequent opportunities seem to fall into place much more naturally.

Being an animal lover, I was impressed that the dogs Brenda and Bradley were grooming seemed quite content with the treatment they were getting. I wondered how the calm atmosphere of the place might be altered if I brought in my long-hair princess of a cat, Layla, for a grooming session and some bows. Yeah, I was kidding myself; Layla would never let that happen.

"Brenda" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

“Brenda” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

"Bradley" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

“Bradley” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #16

I watched Paul for about 5 minutes before I caught up with him and asked if I could take a photo. Employed by the City of Kissimmee, he was making his way down the center median on Broadway, gathering the trash others had carelessly left behind. I knew Bette Sprinkle would have been pleased by his efforts.

I approached him and quickly introduced myself and my project. He gave me permission to take his photo, so I hurried to meter the shot and release the shutter. In those few seconds, I captured what is one of my favorite photos in this series so far. 

"Paul" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

“Paul” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #15

Until her death from a stroke in 2004 at the age of 83, Kissimmee and Osceola County had a first lady. Her name was Bette Sprinkle, and she had a special kind of love for downtown Kissimmee.

Bette was often seen watering the plants on Main Street with buckets of water from her station wagon. She and her daughter owned a downtown design business, and Bette considered Main Street her front yard. She wanted it to be beautiful and took pride in helping to care for it. A tireless community activist, Bette organized the downtown farmers market and served as president of the Downtown Business Association for 25 years. Toho Square – a downtown park – has been dedicated to her memory. There is a full-size statue of her likeness seated on one of the park benches there.

I am told that Bette’s husband, Boyd, often described her as “one in a million”. I think it fitting that Bette be uniquely represented among the “faces of Kissimmee”.

"Bette Sprinkle" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

“Bette Sprinkle” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #8

On Tuesday evenings from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, the Kissimmee Valley Farmers Market takes place downtown in front of the Civic Center. In addition to fresh grown and handmade goods, one can also get fresh information on other happenings in the area.

Kayla is a purveyor of local information. She is just the kind of person you want to encounter if you’re an out-of-towner looking for things to do that are more real and less derived than the area theme parks. She listened with interest as I explained my “Faces of Kissimmee” project. To my excitement, she said she’d seen some of the photos from the series I’ve already posted. And she liked them, too! I knew then she couldn’t say “no”, so I popped the question and clicked the shutter.

"Kayla" [Click image to enlarge/shrink size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f.1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

“Kayla” [Click image to enlarge/shrink size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f.1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #7 (Squeek! Squeek!)

As I sat at Mrs. Mac’s restaurant on Wednesday, enjoying a magnificent piece of lemon meringue pie (seriously delicious!), I suddenly became aware of a squeeking sound. So absorbed had I been in overexciting my taste buds, I hadn’t noticed someone had come in and started cleaning the windows. As my back was to one of these, it wasn’t long before we courteously greeted each other; he with a “hello”, and me with a “[unintelligible sound] this pie!”. He smiled and nodded in agreement and left me to my preoccupation.

I left the restaurant a short time later, lamenting that I hadn’t indulged in a second piece of pie but intent on capturing a few photographs for this series. It wasn’t long before I noticed the window washer doing his thing at another downtown storefront. I had still found no victims, save a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket. Though I had asked, he didn’t think it a good idea to be photographed while performing the task he had at hand. (Huh. Imagine that.)

Thinking of so many other things I needed to be doing at home as I took in the view of the empty 3 PM sidewalks ahead, I decided to pack it in. I would turn east and then turn again, heading back toward my car a block off Broadway. It was when I turned east that things changed, for there he was again: the window washer. I realized it was just meant to be.

I introduced myself and as Lee introduced himself in return, he jokingly asked if I was following him. I replied that it was unintentional, but yeah, I was. He told me how he had made his living washing windows in downtown Kissimmee for over 40 years. We spoke of the changes that had transformed the area in the passing of those years. He said I wasn’t the first over those years that wanted to take his photograph, either. I thanked him for letting me be the next one.

"Lee" [Click to enlarge or shrink image.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/125 sec., 85mm

“Lee” [Click to enlarge or shrink image.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/125 sec., 85mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #6

I was just about to walk away from the train station while I was out on my photo-walk the other day, when I turned my head and saw her. She was sitting on some steps, concentrating on typing a text message at a speed I found intimidating even from a distance. The lighting was great, especially the way it bounced up off the pavement and illuminated her face under the brim of her cap. I was hesitant to interrupt her, but couldn’t help myself; I wanted the shot if she’d let me take it.

She took my card, and then came the usual delay that comes as people consider my out-of-the-blue photo request. She said yes – hooray! No sooner had I snapped the shot then she put her head down and went back to her text message. Regrettably, I didn’t interrupt again to ask her name. I hope she sees this and contacts me, as I am rather pleased with her photo and would like her to have a copy.

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.8 at 1/1500 sec, 85 mm

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.8 at 1/1500 sec, 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #4

“To make the world a friendly place, one must show it a friendly face.”
– James Whitcomb Riley

NY Fan [Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0, 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

NY Fan [Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0, 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #3

The Kissimmee train station is a fairly active place. The trains come and go with scheduled regularity. I like that I can clearly hear the whistles and rumbles that announce them from our home a few miles from downtown. Norris was waiting on a bench near the station. Her small suitcase told me she was a traveler; I wondered if she was coming or going. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and so many other tourist destinations nearby, one can look at anyone in Kissimmee and wonder pretty much the same thing.

Good journey, Norris. Or perhaps it should be, “Welcome home”.

Norris [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

 “Norris” [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

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