In 2005, I made a trip to Peru to walk through the country. I brought my first digital SLR camera, the Nikon D70. I hauled it around in a backpack laden also with two Nalgene bottles of water and snacks. We got a ride into the mountains where we could visit a remote school. We had donations of supplies (also in our backpacks) to give to the schoolchildren.
When we arrived, nobody was in the school yard. And then someone pointed to the mountain looming in front of us. We saw criss-crossing trails in the distance and could just make out the families coming down to greet us. Also on the mountain were long vertical concrete troughs that captured snow melt and rain from the mountains to provide drinking water.
This photo was one of a handful I took that day of the children. In retrospect, I realize that this was my first portrait. The boy looked at me and I focused. I have spent years looking at this child's eyes. I've wondered what he saw in the lens. I've wondered what he saw behind the lens where I stood in quick dry pants from a local outfitting store, a stinky shirt from too many days of wear, and an equally wide brimmed hat. I showed him the photo afterwards and he nodded.
Before posting the photo here, I was tempted to re-edit it, bring his face out of the shadows, put more light in his eyes....but decided to use it just as I took it in 2005.
Peru 2005, Nikon D70, ISO 400 F8, shutter 1/250, 28-300 lens at 65 mm