Photographer's Note

Talking faces…

Can you read them ?
Can you read the faces ?
How to photograph the people, so somebody else can read them…?
What are the rules of the photo engagement?
No, not just to show the people… To show them so they can be read… To 'know' the people.
Tour de La Paix 19798.
The biggest Eastern European cycling race - in sheer size comparable to Tour de France, yet without its super-hyper international fame… For us, for the tribes behind the Iron Curtain - it was an incredible event, and the winners were our gods.

On the starting line...
These last moments before that ear piercing shot from the starting gun will unleash the fury of 200-300 km. murderous race. Rain or shine. They will fight for glory.
Watch their faces… What do they think…?
Observing each other? Hating each other ? Planning how to outsmart the rival?
Did the raiders of chariots in Circus Massimus have the same thoughts, some 2000 years ago ?
Left: Ireneusz Walczak (PL)…
Right: Actual eader - Alexander Averin (Soviet Union)

Copyright: George Grabarczyk (Polonaise) (16710)
Date Taken: 1978-05
Theme(s): Pre-digital II, Talking faces, Faces, Cycling... [view contributor(s)]
Original date submitted: 2007-06-26 9:09
Viewed: 944
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 60


faubry, marknunnerley, ninaL, andante, Magritte, KevRyan, teutza, coco, Clairedelune, prezntime, luisafonso, Henryk_Bilor, elmec, pgorod, Francisco_Brito, Floydian - has marked this note useful

You may find it useful to find your very own critque back in the daylight - again.
Just copy and paste it under the photo.

And, have a good one, eh...


faubry (28047)
[2007-06-26 9:14]

bonjour George, again a amazing portrait, i like different expressions faces,here we can see a lot afraid about their course,may be, a lot concentration, good choice BW, soon, francine

mikolaj_kawa (14627)
[2007-06-26 9:16]

Grzegorz! Dla mnie super. Dawnych wspomnien czar. Gajnan Sajdhuzin, Klaus Ampler, Vladimir Moravec, Antonin Bartonicek, Jean-Pierre Daunguilaume, Szurkowski, Szozda, Hanusik...

savask (1629)
[2007-06-26 9:17]

very good shots demonstrating a lot of emotios: agony, anxiety, courage

jirivrobel (490)
[2007-06-26 9:22]

Hello, brilliant portraits. It reminded me great time of Szurkowski or Szozda... :-)

andante (6620)
[2007-06-26 11:39]

Intensity is what I read on their faces... thanks for the valuable tip on how to approach portraits... it is so simle, yet so hard to master.


Magritte (418)
[2007-06-26 12:06]

Bonjour George,
Superbes portraits à dimension presque dramatique...le noir et blanc est un plus et le résultat vraiment réussi. Sur ce Tour de la Paix 1979, ils semblent que tous n'étaient pas très sereins!
Merci pour le partage

wolf38 (7364)
[2007-06-26 13:34]

Hello George. With your expressionful photo with the strained faces of two bicycle sportsmen you opened an interesting topic. Can one read in these faces, about what they think? With this question one must consider to interpret not own experiences into the sportsmen inside. I think, the sportsmen stand under stress, her have fear to fail. Now they adjust mental to the route and prepare mentally for the challenge. I believe, her am busy in this instant only with itself. I will afterwards again regard myself the two faces. Perhaps occurs to me still much more in addition. Best regards, Wolfgang.

lucski (3498)
[2007-06-26 15:27]

stalem wtedy w pierwszym rzedzie... z mojej budy byl to raptem rzut beretem, pamietam jak zaiwaniali po ulicy co to sie ku sloncu zowie, przejzyj archiwa moze jakis dzieciak z choragiewka wydac Ci sie naprzyklad znajomy... buzka jureczku milo jest Cie odwiedzac...

KevRyan (20391)
[2007-06-26 16:00]

Such strong concentration and focus - have you been a sportsman George do you know - really know that feeling? Feel it from inside to out - know the mind and muscle and breath and emotion - because if you don't you have certainly done even better to portray these things than I could imagine - a better tonal range than the last two although Alexander is looking a bit like a horror star from the early films with those deep dark eyes!

1978 was a good year for you!

best wishes KEv

teutza (9903)
[2007-06-26 17:41]

the second one ..exactly strong as the frist one....natural expresions are unique..and u cought them so well..and the image is older than i am..that gives me an amasing feeling that..somehow i can be there and here in the same time..with your help..thank you...that's why i like old photos..

coco (23440)
[2007-06-26 17:58]

Hi George.

Superb this composition with these two portrait. The black and white and these expressions are great.
I love the expression of Averin. It is great and the shadows in his eyes looks superb.

Well done.

broglia (2723)
[2007-06-26 19:08]

Fabulous portraits George. Such grim determination on the face of Alexander. And a real sense of apprehension from the other. The old fashioned head gear really anchors the shot so well. From the days when cyclists relied only on their own strength to see them to victory. The B&W is superb. Best regards, Roberto

Clairedelune (4736)
[2007-06-26 20:46]

Oh there would be so much I would like to say about these photos… I'll try to give you the abridged version... :)))
Can I read them? Well... the words that come are: tension, combativeness, willpower, determination, resolve, and maybe a pinch of doubt? I have a guilty pleasure... Though I am not a big television watcher, I do follow a lot the Olympic Games. I love to watch the athletes. Especially when we can see close-ups of their face. I'm always impressed. Incredible!
Now, I think I am as much impressed by your photos. :))) Are you some kind of pit bull photographer? Joking, but of course! But, in a way, I am not. It is almost coincidental that you publish these photos with this question in your note: How to photograph the people, so somebody else can read them...? because it is the question that keeps in nagging me lately. And seeing your portraits (yes, I dare use this word), I have just one urge: press the "delete" button on most of my files in my "images" folder...
You have done it. These photos speak about Messrs. Walczak and Averin. In fact, they shout, if I may say.
I don’t know if I will be able one day to do such a portrait. I have some doubts. As a really good friend had told me, maybe that part is missing in my psyche... I might not be enough pit bull. That is maybe why I am deeply impressed by people able to do it well. Like you.
(That was the abridged version, I swear!)

prezntime (3937)
[2007-06-26 22:35]

You know...I wrote some great longwinded, bullshit comment and I got thrown off the internet...without being able to add the I'm bitter.

What I said, in short, was...I don't believe that the chariot racers had the stamina that bikers do. It is incredible what strength it takes to complete one of these monsterous races. Bike racing is underappreciated in the states, even given you-know-who. Those faces, they're like chiseled stone layered by shadows of strategy. Pain, concentration, determination, conviction...friend, so different from all the other GOD DAMN guy-riding-bike shots that we've shown us the heart. Again, with a javelin you've hit your mark.

A slight bow friend and I'm off,

sabyasachi1212 (19389)
[2007-06-27 0:50]

Hi George,
Its almost unbelievable that these pictures are that old. In the tropics, it is almost impossible to preserve pictures for that long without humidity eating onto them. Nice double portrait, with contrasting facial expressions. But they both seem to concentrate, probably intent on winning the race. I wonder where they stand now and how they would react looking at these pictures:)
With Greetings from India

marknunnerley (2760)
[2007-06-27 4:13]

These are excellent George, fantastic and strong portraits. I know nothing about cycling but in the BJP magazine a couple of weeks ago it showed the work of a photographer calledStephan Vanfleteran and these of yours just reminded me of them. Really superb.
Be back, no g's

luisafonso (13261)
[2007-06-27 5:35]

One thing is for sure: they still are competing for the gold medal. Presenting them here like this, side by side, is like precipitating their race into eternity... Even though you like to have the ear piercing shot gun in your hand, I would like to see the right photo as a full main post. Why? Because he is the real winner here. I know he is the USSR unmustached contender and not the local hero, but those dark thorned eyes really casted some spell over me. "Clockwork Orange" really comes to my mind looking at this amazing character... He knows that, in the end, no one here will win and the gold from the medals will be lost in the socialist pile of tin. Great portrait!

Furachan (0)
[2007-06-27 7:26]

I think George, rather than us reading them THEY can read US here ;o) Very strong portraits that seemed to have been taken yesterday. I love your note about the "iron curtain tribes" with their own Iron Tour with great cyclists no one else will have heard of... another world, long gone now, full of wry humor and irony, eh?
A rich upload indeed...

polter (4263)
[2007-06-27 8:17]

Diabolicznooki Awierin z ustami gotowymi do "strzału" i Walczak chytrze kombinujący, jak by mu dać radę ;))). Obaj napięci jak cięciwa - to "widać i czuć". Dalej pozostaje tylko Ci kadzić na temat realizacji :))... No co ja Ci mogę powiedzieć - patrzę i się uczę ;)). I pozdrawiam czule T.

Henryk_Bilor (19174)
[2007-06-27 9:11]

Hello George
Nono, myslalem, ze cos w trakcie jazdy pokazesz, a tu walka umyslow... Swietnie widac emocje. Wspaniale zblizenia pierwszej klasy.

P.S. No i stalo sie, spojrzalem na to wczoraj przed snem i nie moglem spac...;)

battousai (780)
[2007-06-28 4:30]

Tak wlasnie siedze i patrze sobie na te dwa portrety... i uswiadamiam sobie, jak cholernie duzo mi jeszcze brakuje.



elmec (12184)
[2007-06-28 5:31]

Witaj Grzegorz!
Swietne oryginalne podejcie do tematu, zmusza do niestandardowego odbioru tej pracy!
Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

pgorod (1118)
[2007-06-29 7:57]

Hi George,

my reading of those two faces:

FEAR, mysteriously combined with DETERMINATION.
Readiness for battle.
A Hungry Predator thing...

Francisco_Brito (219)
[2007-07-02 7:01]

Great expressions! looks like two chess players preparing the next move!
Seems like they are facing their greatest opponent.
Great shots!

bantonbuju (43743)
[2007-07-02 7:23]

jurcio drogi, popatrz no pan jakie to czasy byly...goscie w jednym bloku przyjazni niby brat z bratem, niby zdrowa partnerska rywalizacja, ale jakos tak milo jak sie ruskim dowalilo (w 1976 w hokeju w katowickim spodku to bylo najpiekniejsze widowisko, w jakim w zyciu uczestniczylem...wygralismy 6:3 wtedy...
interesujace, ze na zdjeciu sa dwaj rozni goscie a jakos tak podobni do siebie jak dwie krople wody, gdyby nie ten was...
pozdr. j.

kensimage (7590)
[2007-07-04 10:04]

A great pairing, George, because they both show the same intensity of true competitors. To them it is more than just a game. (Maybe because of the politics of Poland/Russia?) Great B/W tones to keep strong dark shadows around the eyes, from which the man on the right peers out like a raccoon. This is a much more intriguing sports photo than the average action shot of a goal being scored--the focus is truly on the human element. But what else could we expect from you, George? We rely on you to bring us that, and you've succeeded again! Regards, Ken.

pauloog (84)
[2008-10-06 7:22]

Hello George,
Very good contrasts and grainy look make this outstanding portraits.

Clairedelune, Floydian, BennyV, kdialyna trouve(nt) cette note utile

Photo Information
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Additional Photos by George Grabarczyk (Polonaise) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1785 W: 111 N: 868] (5802)
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