He sits not far from the Jaffa Gate in Israel each day, smoking his cigarettes and watching people walk past through eyes dimmed by time. It’s been seven years since I’ve seen him and though we never spoke a word to one another, his face is etched into my memory. His foldout stool, is covered in fabric I could imaged being Joseph’s coat of many colors. Behind him, on the edge of the wall, is his collection of cigarette butts for the day.


Story lines run down his face reminding me of land eroded by rain and time.  As best as I could tell, the stubble on his face seemed little more than a week old and by the odor coming from him, it was possibly the last time he bathed and shaved.  I wondered how difficult it might be to shave the small hairs from the deep crevices in his face.


The burning ember dangling from a calloused hand makes a rolling gesture, beginning at his forehead, then out toward our group. His yellowed mustache mumbles words I’ve never heard, “boker tov. A young man from our group replies, “boker or.”  Later I was told the exchange was, “Good morning,” and the reply, “morning full of light.”


Looking down at my shoes is the only way I’m able to turn my stare away from him.  He fascinates me, and I want to ask him about his life.  I want to hear his stories that are traveling down his cheeks and into his turtleneck sweater. We walk a few yards down the sidewalk from him and I glance back, only to see the back of his gray and white cap walking into a door.

cigarette man (1 of 3)

I loved this shot as soon as I took it. In the view window I could feel his character coming through the lense. Later that night, as I scrolled through my pictures on my computer, I realized it was not a clean shot. It had blurred it.


Since then, I have learned to always take many shots of the same scene. It’s a digital camera and not film. So take as many pictures as you can! Someone might blink, or move, or you might move, blurring the picture. Always try to double check as you are shooting and then shoot some more!


I did, however,  find a way to redeem the picture. I changed it to a B & W (Black and White.)


When you change a blurred picture to a B & W there are a few tricks you can use to try to even out the blur.

cigarette man (3 of 3)

One tricks is to bump up the contrast. Play with the contrast slider back and forth to see what you get.  Take it too far left, and too far right, then, find your sweet spot.

Another trick is to add a filter. Here I have added a sepia tone filter.  Which one do you like better; B & W or Sepia?

cigarette man (2 of 3)


Okay, Let’s have some fun!  Show me what you’ve got!




This is the way it works.


  1. Link up and invite others to link up with you.
  2. Select the permalink to your post (not to your blog link, but the one to the post you would like to share).
  3. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of the Photo Friday post enter your link.
  4. It will walk you through selecting your photo.
  5. Be sure you encourage who linked up before you.


If you are linking up with Photo Friday, there is no exception to rule number 5. You must visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments. This is fun and how we build community!







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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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