In-Context Picture, why it works so well?

Getting somebody in your Landscape Photography Pictures is a great way to increase the “love” factor about a picture.  Although Gilles was a perfect stranger to me when I met him on that beach, today, I feel good looking back at this picture.  It reminds me of my grandfather.

I met Gilles while in Nicaragua.  I went to talk to him because I thought this could make a cool picture.  An old man sits on the beach and is looking at the setting sun.

Gilles spend all his winter in Nicaragua. Most of the summer too he is telling me.  Every night, he is coming here to look at the sunset.  Today he had the book Mafia Inc. with him. This book was written by Andre Cedilot and Andre Noel.  When asked if I could take pictures of him looking at the sunset he immediately responds positively.  He was happy to be the potential subject of my pictures and this, even if we would not recognized him.

I did explain to him that my intention was to show the man looking at the sunset and in order to do so we would see him from behind.

I remember clearly talking to him, his facial expression and his kindness toward me, a perfect stranger.  I felt some sadness in him, like if somebody important was part of his life before and now gone forever.   We did not talk about that.

I have agreed however to send him a copy of the picture by email which I did.  I did not receive an answer following my email with this picture.

I am so happy that I took the time to talk to Gilles.  Looking at this picture today is yet more valuable to me because of it.

Technical Details:

Canon 5D2 with Lensbaby

I used the Lensbaby on purpose.  I wanted the focus to be on Gilles sitting on his chair and the sunset be like a dream.  Since he is there every night, does he really look at the sunset or does he just experience it?  No one knows…
1/50 second ISO 125

Did you ever meet Gilles?  Please tell me about your Gilles and how you met them.

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Tell me a story about your last In-Context Picture.

Why did it work so well?