In 2014, I traveled to El Palmar, Panama, to take some surfing lessons. While eating at a restaurant, I saw a man calmly sitting on a plastic chair, taking in the breeze, and watching the waves of the Pacific Ocean. I thought to myself, “what was he thinking?”
He must have been in his 70’s. What a cool moustache and hat he was sporting. His wrinkles added to his style. But while I ate and drank my beer, he was thinking something. I don’t know why it appealed to me but I had to photograph him.
You can see the photo of him above. So what do you think? What was he thinking? There are endless possibilities. Was he sad? Was he happy? Was he reflecting on the decisions he made in life? Does he only have a few more years to live? Did he break someone’s heart?
I love photography for these types of moments. It gets you thinking.
The beauty of this photo is its spontaneity. I didn’t ask him to pose, so it’s natural. Maybe I should have asked for his permission, but that would have made this photo and article boring.
What I really wished I did was to speak to him after taking the photo. To ask him “what he was thinking?” That part I regret.