Martin Newland  

Campbell, the swaggie by Martin Newland

September 2020 - Campbell, the swaggie

September 2020 - Martin Newland


About the Image(s)

(A swag is a bedroll that is/was carried around by the old itinerants in Australia, hence a person who carried one was referred to as a "swaggie." A hobo is probably the closest US equivalent)

Campbell is a Maori who ventured across "the ditch" to Australia in 1975 and stayed here. He followed a local folk band, The Bushwackers, from music festival to festival as an itinerant bush poet and story teller.
I took this photo of him reciting his poetry at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 2016.
He would not look at me, although I was the only one in the audience, and so in post processing I have slightly moved the iris and the pupil of his one visible eye to make it appear that he is looking at the camera. I have also cloned out his green hat band and de-saturated his face. Sharpened the image with Topaz AI etc
I have chosen this cropping as I saw a very similar image of Campbell do very well in a recent Australian National Exhibition.
This RAW image was taken outside in natural light.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100
Lens: Canon EF 70 - 300, f/4.5 - 5.6, DO IS USM at 80mm

12 comments posted

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
What an interesting looking swaggie. I like your processing bringing out the details of his face and in my opinion a perfect adjustment of his iris. Good cosmetic surgery! Your cropping, I feel, made the image! A real grabber.   Posted: 09/03/2020 15:45:21
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Shirley. I might become a digital ophthalmologist after the success of that experiment.   Posted: 09/09/2020 21:25:52

Harry M. Stuart   Harry M. Stuart
A perfect crop to the well-captured image. Looks like the swagman I have always imagined. I cannot recognize any Maori features and the beard probably covers some of that up. But the hardness of his life certainly comes through. Well done, Martin.   Posted: 09/03/2020 16:29:39
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I agree with you Harry. He doesn't look like your typical Maori (whatever that might be ... I guess facial tattoos etc.) and I was a little surprised to discover his heritage when I "googled" him. ... thanks for your kind comments.   Posted: 09/09/2020 21:29:08

Brenda Monahan   Brenda Monahan
He definitely looks like he has stories to tell. I like all the edits you made and like how the crop focuses on his face. Nicely done.   Posted: 09/08/2020 11:04:46
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Brenda. This is the first time I have done such a tight crop and I was pleasantly surprised at the result.   Posted: 09/09/2020 21:31:23

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Outstanding portrait! I like the way you have brought out the character by attending to the eye and use of subtle desaturation. The lower lip and and hair also seem to contribute to bring out character.   Posted: 09/09/2020 20:07:07

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Piers. I think the de-saturation works in this case and I am really happy with the result.   Posted: 09/09/2020 21:35:14

Ian Chantler   Ian Chantler
(Groups 4 & 31)
Hi Martin
For me the crop is spot on you have captured so much character and detail in his face brilliant portrait.   Posted: 09/10/2020 14:08:26
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thank you, Ian. I wish more of my portraits turned out as well as this one did.   Posted: 09/11/2020 08:38:16

Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
Visiting from 48 & 80
This image is so "right on" he becomes almost intimidating. Well done!   Posted: 09/13/2020 13:14:26
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thanks Beverly. He has an interesting face!   Posted: 09/14/2020 19:32:24


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