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Nikon D2X

Capture Date/Time:December 10, 2007; 16:20
Aperture/Shutter Speed: f/1.8 | 1/125 sec
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO: 200
Flash: Remote Strobes

I have been meaning to post this and a series of portraits for a while, and to be honest I just forgot!

This is a portrait I took of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals in December of 2007. After submitting my portfolio to a review committee, I was honored to be commissioned, along with several pretty well-known photographers, to take portraits for a traveling exhibit honoring the anniversary of the House of Ruth Maryland. In case you haven't heard of it, the House of Ruth leads the battle against domestic violence against women, and the organization operates a major battered women's shelter in Baltimore. The exhibit features portraits of persons who have been crusaders against domestic violence, including some who have been victims.

I was commissioned to take this portrait of Chief Judge Bell in mid-2007, and I traveled to Baltimore to take it. Judge Bell was one of the early advocates for the House of Ruth years ago. It was a wonderful experience for me as a photographer and professionally. I was only given a few minutes to take this, because the judge was very busy. I arrived at his chambers in the early afternoon, and he was in court on the bench at the time. His wonderful assistants said that I could go into his office and set up wherever I liked. I had to move some furniture, awards, books and papers to make room on his conference table. I also set up lights and flags to get the lighting right. I wasn't sure what I was after, and the confines of the crowded office (and sun coming through the window) made it very challenging. I also had not met the judge before, and I was a bit nervous as to how he would feel about having his picture taken.

It turns out that he is a photography fan, and we had a great time discussing cameras and lenses and apertures. He was curious as to what I was doing and how I was setting up. Plus, he was intrigued by the fact that I was a patent lawyer, and our conversation turned to that during our time together. I ended up closing some of the curtains at the head of the room and setting up a couple of strobes at the head end of the conference table. He was always smiling and very nattily dressed, and I wanted to capture that. I particularly liked his cuffs and sharp suit, and I wanted to somehow get that in here.

The exhibit has been touring around Maryland and the D.C. area, and closes in Summer 2009. I have made it to one of the opening receptions, and it was fascinating to meet and talk with some of the other photographers. I felt so out of my league!!! Anyway, at each opening, they have shot a spot with a local news crew. If you want to see it, here's a clip from a Baltimore news program introducing the latest stop on the exhibit. This portrait and several other portraits I took for the exhibit appear in the story.

I'll post some of the other portraits I took for the exhibit next week.


02.06.09, 09:54 AM, pieter:

WoW.... what a story.. congrats.
A great image . seems you caught the essence of this individual

02.06.09, 10:36 AM, Terry:

a great portrait! i like that you can see the backround just a bit...

02.08.09, 07:13 PM, 613photo:

Awesome work. I'm new to your site as today is my first visit, but from what I've seen you can shoot with the best of them. This portrait is extremely powerful.

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