For the past month or so, I’ve been working normal-person hours on Thursdays and Fridays. And to make it feel more like an event when I get off, I work my shift from various coffeeshops around me so that when I walk in the door to my apartment I can drop my bag and officially feel done for the day.
People who telecommute or work from home know that separating between work and not-work are pretty difficult. Even with a dedicated office in my apartment, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still within the same four walls and not seeing other people. So I try to get out and about whenever possible.
My Monday through Wednesday shift goes from 4pm to 2am, so it’s practically impossible to not work from home at some point given the lack of quality 24-hour coffeeshops in my city. But Thursdays and Fridays? There’s zero point to working from home when I don’t have to.
This week, I set up shop from the Biggby Coffee (regional chain) near my apartment. Aside from the internet disconnecting every two hours and making you re-agree to terms of service for use it’s pretty solid. Lots of natural light, consistently decent WiFi and clean bathrooms. That’s really all I ask for in a workspot away from home, really. What I hate though is that two hours before closing time, the AC kicks on in a passive aggressive attempt to get people to clear out so the employees can start closing up shop.
At first, I thought it was just one location, but there are a number of franchises in Grand Rapids and all of them do it. Even in the winter. It’s kind of awful. But also pretty ingenious.
I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable taking pictures of people this past year. Even candid shots, like the one featured here. This gentleman looked to be in his early-to-mid-60s and just had this super cool air about him. He was rocking a brown velvet corduroy sportcoat, gray flannel slacks and a dope pair of bright orange Nikes. Honestly, add glasses and it’s how I hope to look when I hit his age.
Getting in any closer than this wasn’t an option. I only had my D5300 and 35mm prime lens today, so I needed to get a little creative with the composition here. I kneeled for this shot, using the short chair in the foreground to add some depth and set ISO to 100 and aperture at 1.8f with a 1/180 shutter speed. The trickiest part was capturing the light coming in from the windows without blowing out the highlights in the rest of the frame.
With a few adjustments in Lightroom (mainly a horizontal gradient and some local adjustments to kill highlights and add detail to the clouds without darkening his face), I think I captured him the way I hoped to, though. A bigger lens would’ve done a better job for candid portraiture, but I’m happy with how this turned out.