Bulldog spirit


Modesty knows her place at The Society Club in Soho – she’s in charge.

During the day the Club opens as a bookshop, cafe and exhibition space. Then at night it becomes a Members’ Club. When I worked in central London I would often drop in. And on this occasion I found Modesty greeting visitors from her armchair just inside the doorway. She let me take her portrait.

With available light from the window behind me, the light meter showed a reading of 1/30th of a second at an aperture of f/2 – the widest setting on my 50mm lens. Having sorted out camera settings, I was then free to concentrate on the essentials of taking a portrait – composition and expression.

I shoot with film, so I use a printed contact sheet for editing. As I reviewed the miniature pictures of Modesty, she seemed almost human, sitting in her armchair. Only later did I realize who she reminded me of : the politician and wartime leader Winston Churchill. Famous for his bulldog spirit, he had a body to match. Look online for the 1941 portrait by Yousuf Karsh – and let me know if I’m being unfair on Modesty.

To view more pictures from the Town Dogs series, visit the gallery at my website.

6 Responses to “Bulldog spirit”
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