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The Age of Wisdom - Portrait of a friend by Neil Ross

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The Age of Wisdom - Portrait of a friend by 

The Age of Wisdom – Portrait of a friend
Image captured June 2011 – Brisbane QLD Australia
1228 viewings – 34 favourites – 20 features – 04 Top Ten challenge placements
01 recognition award – 01 pic of the week – 05JUN 2012
Thanks everyone. Shirl will be chuffed! :D

This portrait is of my dear friend and neighbour, Shirley. She’s seen it all, been there and done that, and is blessed with all the experience and wisdom that only life can provide. Very active and agile, she’s doing well for someone who’s 89 years young, and she can even touch her toes. That’s more than I can do.

This photo was taken in Shirley’s music library. She’s a very accomplished woman and music is one of her great loves… along with her love of cats. In fact, the print on the shirt she is wearing says ‘Cats in Art History.’ Need I say more?

Well yes, I do. During the recent Brisbane floods my home was inundated, and Shirley was kind enough to shelter my pets and I. She has shown tremendous compassion and understanding during my time of greatest need. She has done this selflessly and epitomizes humanity at its very best. God bless you always, Shirl. You’re an awesome mate :D

At the time the original photo was taken, my aim was to create a portrait of Shirley in ‘her’ element, the place where she’s happiest (original image shown below). Colour failed to capture the mood I was after but at least the basic elements were there. The first edited version was originally done in B&W but it was lacking somehow, so I added the soft sepia tones. I think it gives the photo much greater warmth, and the crop brings focus back to the subject. I also wanted it to have depth, to have a ‘matured’ quality that speaks to the viewer words of wisdom. I wanted it to look old, to look as if it was taken decades ago rather than days ago. I also love that Shirley’s hand is slightly blurred, animating the image with a hint of movement. To me that speaks of life, and knowing Shirley so well, she speaks with her hands.

Photo taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!

Original Image:

Quiet contemplation.

I love anything that is unusual, unique, or just plain odd, and that’s the sort of image I try to capture. I’m so far from being the world’s best photographer it’s not funny, but I do have the photographer’s ‘eye’ and am more than proficient at capturing the images I see in my world. Thanks for taking the time to view my portfolio. Feel free to leave a message and say G’day.

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  • Jacek Nazim
    Jacek Nazimover 3 years ago

    fantastic portrait… very strong

  • Thanks very much, Jacek. She’s a strong woman. I’m glad you like her portrait.

    – Neil Ross

  • shanghaiwu
    shanghaiwuover 3 years ago
  • Many thanks for the feature. Greatly appreciated :D

    – Neil Ross

  • John Morton
    John Mortonover 3 years ago

    Beautiful wok Neil. Long live this nations treasures. A great portrait.

  • Cheers John. Older folks are national treasures but unfortunately most people take that for granted. I’m glad you like Shirl’s portrait :D

    – Neil Ross

  • HeklaHekla
    HeklaHeklaover 3 years ago

    love it

  • Thank you so much for your comment. Glad you like it :D

    – Neil Ross

  • mareakingurl
    mareakingurlover 3 years ago
    What an interesting portrait of this older woman! Love it!!
  • From someone who has mastered portraiture, that’s high praise. It’s my first ever portrait (apart from a self portrait) and truth be known, people frighten me. I guess we all have to start somewhere. Thanks for your comment :D

    – Neil Ross

  • DravenStudios
    DravenStudiosover 3 years ago

    Beautiful image and words Neil. What an amazing friend & neighbor you have!

  • I count my blessings. Thanks for your comment :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Dean Messenger
    Dean Messengerover 3 years ago


  • Cheers Dean. I worked on this one a while so the feature is greatly appreciated. Thanks :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 3 years ago

    Wonderful portrait, Neil

  • Hey Shulie. Hope you’re well. I’m so glad you like Shirl’s portrait. She hasn’t seen it yet so I feel a bit anxious. I don’t even think she knew I took the photo so it’s going to be a surprise, one way or the other.

    – Neil Ross

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignover 3 years ago

    Thank you for adding your work to The Best of RedBubble!

  • MaryinMaine
    MaryinMaineover 3 years ago

  • Thank you so much, Mary. The feature is greatly appreciated :D

    – Neil Ross

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