J. Lanning Smith  


Life by J. Lanning Smith

February 2021 - Life

About the Image(s)

I took this shot last year in Costa Rica, and I've always liked the juxtaposition of youthful exuberance against the backdrop of a jaded older man. I think there is a sense of mystery at what the young boy is looking up at, but I think we can tell that there is a sense of wonderment at what he is seeing. The man on the other hand is seated at an open bar front with a beer on the table looking back possibly on regrets but definitely not wonderment. At least that's what I see in the image and it's what continues to attract me to the image.

I took this with a Fujifilm XT-3 camera at 1/2000 of a second and an f stop of 5.0 at ISO 12800. I was actually across the street from the scene when I took it.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
4 comments posted




Victor Dallons   Victor Dallons
I find this a strong observation of the human condition, the contrast of youthful wonderment and aged torpor. The image creates a tension between melancholy and yearning moods.

I think that the composition works, my eye follows bright areas, man forehead, arm, leg, boy, boys upward gaze. The boy's upward gaze into the dark may symbolize bleak future. I like the tonality in the image. Is this tonality a setting in the fujifilm camera or did you achieve it in post processing. I have seen similar tonality from fujifilm cameras..

For me, the image has an odd mix of smooth and grainy textures along with what looks like compression artifacts. I would look to trying to fix that. I also noticed a few bright pixels that I would remove, especially that one the boy is looking at. I would also remove the the thin bright areas along the left edge of the frame.   Posted: 02/11/2021 13:18:51
J. Lanning Smith   J. Lanning Smith
Thank you Victor. I took this image over a year ago while in Costa Rica. I believe a lot of the tonality was achieved in-camera, but I don't recall exactly how I had that set. I did do a fair amount of processing on it too, however. Thank you for your comments, which I always find worthwhile.   Posted: 02/11/2021 13:36:46



Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk   Karen Johnson-Nieuwendijk
I love the story in this image, with the boy looking up and the older man looking down. I do agree with Victor tho about the artifacts. The white lines around the man's back and the shoulders of the boy bother me, but the graininess doesn't as to me it represents part of the story.   Posted: 02/12/2021 09:31:38



Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
The image for me is all about the boy. You've captured a beautiful expression on his face. Personally, I do not see the story you are describing. The man behind doesn't look jaded to my eyes; he looks like a man waiting to be served. He has no connection to the boy. The boy appears to be sitting by a window of a restaurant, with no connection to the patron of the restaurant. Perhaps if the patron was looking down at the boy? Or if the boy was looking into the restaurant, so that you felt the boy might be hungry? Also, the boy's shirt is quite nice. And he doesn't look particularly emotional; he looks more puzzled than anything?   Posted: 02/15/2021 18:50:40