Family Tie

When Nathan Crowder shows his work at the Tennessee Art League’s monthly gallery show in downtown Nashville, he favors the maximum effect of displaying a few large images rather than, say, ten 8x10s. Not too long ago, this photo got an especially strong, emotional, and gratifying reaction.

Tech Talk. Nathan used a Canon EOS Rebel XS and an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens to make the photo. Settings were 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 100, manual exposure, and pattern metering.
© Nathan Crowder

“These are my grandfather’s hands,” Nathan says. “He’d worked all his life as a farmer and a mechanic, and I like the idea of an image that represents a person rather than a traditional portrait of the person.”

At the gallery one evening this past January, Nathan noticed a couple standing in front of the photo. “I usually stand at a distance to my photographs so I can see what people react to, and often I’ll come up to them and talk with them. When I came up to this couple, the wife told me that the photograph brought back a lot of good memories of her father, who, like my grandfather, was a hard worker. She said that the photo represented a person’s lifetime. She gave me such a beautiful smile as she told me how much my photograph affected her. A reaction like that is priceless, and it really made me feel like I’m doing something right, because I believe art has a higher call than just something to make money on.”

You can view a variety of Nathan Crowder’s images at his website,