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tough guys don’t dance

tough guys don’t dance
Photo Information
Copyright: Jose m brito e silva (mbrito) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1929 W: 117 N: 3017] (13240)
Genre: People
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2008-08
Categories: Daily Life, Mood
Camera: Sony DSLR Alpha-100, Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-03-26 17:06
Viewed: 2324
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 126
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Last summer I had the privilege to see (and photograph, but this is another story) a sculpture symposium, and to watch all the work that was necessary to raise a big statue.

Watching that hard and qualified work and those truly «tough guys» trying to solve problems that the sculptors didn’t anticipate, came to my mind a story that I read once in a Norman Mailer’s book. Norman Mailer is one of my favourite writers, and who I intent to homage here.

The story, by memory and in insufficient English, is approximately thus:

«One night I was seated in a night club with nothing less than Frank Costello and his girl, Gloria, a very attractive blond, Rocky Marciano, Tony Canzoneri, and Willy Pep. As you can see, a first-class group. The orchestra was playing and Frank said to Willy Pep.
— «Go to dance with Gloria!».

Willy was nervous because he didn’t like to dance with the girl of the big man. Therefore he talked back — «As Mister Costello knows I am not a great dancer!».
And Frank replied — «What's that all about? You dance very well! Go to dance with Gloria!».
Desolated Pep raised himself of his place and danced a pair of songs with an enormous care in not arriving him very close to the attractive blonde.

When Pep and the girl had returned to the table, Costello gave identical order the Canzoneri that went to dance with the blonde without a word.

Finally was the turn of Rocky Marciano (the only one of the presents that, for his own right, could to address himself to Frank for his baptism name) and he said:
— «Frank, I’m a “heavyweight”, and as you know, an heavyweight never shine in dance floor.»
After few seconds of silence Frank insisted:
— «Go to dance with Gloria!»
Marciano went to dance with Gloria after all. While they were dancing the girl whispered to Marciano: — «Please try that Uncle Frank dance one time with me!».

Again in the table, felling himself more relaxed Marciano said to Frank in a joke tone:
— «Be happy Mister Frank, now is your turn to dance!» — What the friends have seconded.

Frank Costello shacked lightly his head and said:
— «Tough guys don’t dance…!» (*)

With this portrait I begin a triptych with the intent to share with my TL friends a little part of the universe behind my photos.


(*) Norman Mailer in «Tough guys don’t dance»

Urfaust, shelbeesmom, mariajosecon, Reflex, piccolina, Teresat, chrisJ, kanton, burak28, fazendeiro, brunorsantana, gnada, Silvio2006, harpya, mvdisco, jan515, boreocypriensis, Dot, joopschotsman, machinelove, lilimih33, mi_per, andrzej, tatara, yopiefranz, dunav1, glint, Fortuna, cinca, SergionrSilva, Emma, Natasa-David, Beger, papera, azaf1, boomcat, korbee, ed_galagan, jjanczyk has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Janone: tough guys don’t dancembrito 1 03-28 08:15
To salomaoquaresma: tough guys don’t dancembrito 1 03-27 10:48
To Urfaust: Ciao Marcombrito 1 03-26 17:27
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Critiques [Translate]

ciao Jose..
thanks for the precious council..
this story makes me immediately think.. to "pulp fiction".. to john travolta and uma thurman.. i dont know if you remember that dance "section" of this movie.. even if with a different final! ;))
here a truly.. moodly man.. details are perfect to confer to him.. the right charisma.. of a "tough guy"..
perfect pose and expression captured!! excellent..
ciao Marco

Hi Jose, it sounds like an interesting book!
He is a very swarthy, handsome man. Love the color tones, and the way the sun catches his hair and his unshaven face:)
Great shot.

I like this Jose! Very nice portrait! This is one tough guy! I can see it in his whiskers! Good job, the color is interesting. Very nice shot!

A magnificent portarit of a very interesting character.The light is stupendous and also the sharpness of the image, but above all I like the concentration he is in.
María José

Nice mood in this portrait where the B/W works good ! Good light and composition.
Best regards

Bom dia Jose,

lindísisma a imagem, cheia de personalidade e com a sua assinatura. Muito boa composição, com ótimo enquadramento. Gostei da opção pelo P/B.

Beijos e abraços,


ciao Jose
a wonderful portrait in black and white
super note and grea Jose mood here
what more?
All the best for you and T

  • Great 
  • AndroK Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2110 W: 41 N: 0] (15189)
  • [2009-03-27 1:29]

Hi Jose...
Beautiful [email protected] portrait...
Nice tones...
Have a nice weekend...

Olá José

Excelente retrato,excelente preto e branco,excelente nota.

Grande abraço e bom fim de semana.

José Diogo

Bom dia Jose

"tough guys don´t dance"...I have a big smile...I understand your choice...and I feel very funny your hidden spirit...
so I like very much the conection.
You catch this working man very well. Like the light, the close-up.
The sculture is still there...as always.
This is a great post...and Norman Mailer told great stories.
Thanks to present him to me manny years ago...
You are something!!!!
My regards

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4430 W: 637 N: 9632] (55124)
  • [2009-03-27 5:08]

Ola jose

A good profiled portrait of the man with the stubble on his chin. A good green tinted sepia tone. Excellent dof & sharpness, with good tonal range & contrast. Tfs!

Hi Jose,
Well thought and well executed portrait.
Fine use of light and BW
Selahattin E

Hi Jose!
wonderful portrait in B&W-sepia,
very interesting character,
Nice mood ,and super note,
well presented!
Compliments and TFS

Hi Master
Wonderful capture and story
Have a nice weekend

Ola Jose:
P/B muito bom.
bela foto .
o jorge esta fantastico

Bravo, mb! Ótimo crop, foco muito bom e
detalhes impressiontes. Belo DOF e tons
maravilhosos. Realmente, dos seus, amigo.
Meus parabéns e grande abraço pra você.


  • Great 
  • gnada Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2538 W: 70 N: 4788] (22221)
  • [2009-03-27 16:37]

Hi Jose...

Very creative and very interesting shot/portrait...
Excellently done - fantastic details and B&W colors.
With my compliment,

HI Jose...nice portrait..well composed..nice details..great light.


Ciao Jose, beautiful B&W portrait, splendid focus, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2777 W: 0 N: 5194] (50772)
  • [2009-03-28 2:11]


quel portrait, fantastique, la ecpatage, la position du visage, le petit bout de bois dans la bouche, le rendu, une merveille.

Bravo et amitié


Ciao Jose

Belíssimo portrait
ele tem sentimentos e tem um belo close!
Sem duvida ele é um bonito modelo, e o teu
trabalho aqui é fantástico, eu gosto dos tons
de ouro que se acentua no cabelo dele e por todo
a fotografia, um bom trabalho my friend..
capturados com bonitos detalhes e dado a uma apresentação artística ...



Hi Jose,
Nice profile portrait with a great contrast and light, Excellent portrait and well presented and composed, a great caught.
All my compliments

Superb. ! Jose. Excellent and a big funny story.!
Readed it with pleasure and Laugh.
Small story from me:
My older brother Rob, very good looking in that time, girls liked him a lot. We where in a dance club, no alcohol allowed, so we dronk it before, somewhere else.!
Rob had a bit too much, sitting and smoking sigarettes.
A lovely girl came to him, asking for a dance.
Rob told her, "cant you see I'm smoking", and refused to dance.
The girl went off with a red head. ! sniff.
Tough Guy he was, right ? haha
btw: Excellent face portrait, which suits the story very well.
Cheers dear friend.
ciao ciao from Jan

Great portrait and title, maestro! Regards!

  • Great 
  • jan515 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2792 W: 58 N: 4702] (20934)
  • [2009-03-28 9:07]

Olá José,
Very good sharp portrait.
Good play with light and very good creation and tone. Clear photo with very good detail.Beauty cannot take photos one bild.
Have a good weekend.

Bonsoir José
Great portrait, his character arises from your taking of the picture.This man makes me think to Marcello Mastroiani;
beatiful moody shot.

Perfect portrait,perfect story in this picture..and wonderful note...thank you my friend:))

Warm regards

Hi mi friend. Excellent light and virage for this impressive portrait. Another great work.


Ola Jose!
Great portrait! I'm really impressed with light on this. B&W tones and tight crop work very well here. I like it so much!
Regards, Ewa

Ciao amico Jose MB, an excellent portraitcapture from nice POV with excellent lighting.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • moli Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1349 W: 256 N: 2110] (13344)
  • [2009-03-28 17:16]

Hello Jose.
Good portrait and well presented.
Looks like realy tough man.
Good point of view.
Shows it all.
Janek Kloss

  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2009-03-30 3:36]

Great piece of work !

congrats and thanks,

  • Great 
  • trekks Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1995 W: 141 N: 3390] (13665)
  • [2009-03-30 6:21]

hi Jose

Wow! A very strong character and a great portrait shot! Nicely captured sharpness, B&W tone and really good resolution.

Great work.

tfs, bill

  • Great 
  • Dot Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1583 W: 40 N: 3488] (13942)
  • [2009-03-30 6:32]

HI Jose
Your note makes it interesting enough that I will get the book as I like stories from that era.
Your rendition of the tough guy with tooth pick in mouth, skin glistening is perfect.

Hi Jose,
Super note !
This man looks like a though one, so he surely doesn't dance. ;-)
Very good portrait capture. Good exposure, except for the gliming 'thing' to the right, which dis-attracts.
Very good dof and crop.

Beautiful and intense portrait work José.
Love the trademark sepia toning and tight full frame.
Excellent light and detail and of course your signature mood.
Well done.
- Vincent

Hello Jose!
Good detail in this picture! I like the tone!
Nice ligth, perfect focus!
Well done!
Best regards!

Hello Jose
Nice portrait,
I like the color tones and light here,you have done so well.
interesting note...
Best regards

Hi jose
Whot a wonderful portrait,excellent sharpnes,details and lighting.Great story.

Olá Jose

Um retrato nota 10.
Cores e detalhes muito interessantes.
Um excelente trabalho.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 624 W: 0 N: 993] (4864)
  • [2009-03-31 22:48]

Hi Jose,
I like your story very much. well connected and excellent description. but i like the shot of this tough guy. Very macho with rugged face and mostly with the toothpick maybe still intact.
It gives a very strong feeling of being a tough guy.


Hi Jose,
Very beautiful portrait vith good focus and crop.TFS.


Excellent B&W portrait Jose
Fantastic contrast and light.
Thanks for sharing ,and of course ...fantastic note...
Best Wishes.

Olá Jose,
excellent combination of a great BW portrait of a tough guy and an interesting note.
really love the light hits his face.
it's a stunning BW presentation.


Hi jose,
Wonderful portrait with excelent light and a superb b/w work.
Best regards!

full of character. excellent pp treatment jose.


i a n

  • Great 
  • glint Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 593 W: 3 N: 545] (3785)
  • [2009-04-01 11:58]

hello Jose,
your magnificent portrait and story are a perfect match. And I confess I would like to dance with this guy!I see that you ised a telephoto lens for this shot. What i would give for a telephoto lens. It must be great fun having such equipment.

Amigo José,

Um toque de mestre e uma belíssima apresentação, com certo ar de nostalgia.
Não sei explicar o motivo, mas ao olhar seu trabalho aqui, lembrei-me do Alain Delon.
Parabéns por mais esta belíssima obra e OPC.
Grande abraço,

  • Great 
  • cinca Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 323 W: 2 N: 143] (4456)
  • [2009-04-01 14:46]

Hi Jose, superb portrait! Light and sharpness are excellent and the expression you have caught is great! bravo!
ciao, cinzia

Ola Jose
Optima fotografia do "George-Tought guy"
Esta nota veste a personagem da foto como um alfaiate deslumbra os seus clientes pelas medidas " à la.. olho" :)
Optima foto.
Grande nota
Aquele abraço

  • Great 
  • Emma Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1397 W: 6 N: 1920] (10153)
  • [2009-04-02 11:29]

Hi Jose,
Which a good observation and conception. Owing to for this so good photographic work.
Best regards.

Dear Jose,

except perfect portrait shot, with special atmosphere you are giving us in all of your works, and except so interesting title (which true meaning I realised later) I enjoyed reading your note and I must be honest that you made me explore more about Norman Mailer. :-) And today I will try to find some of his novels and movies.

Great work in every aspect, like you always do!

Have a great weekend!

Hi Jose
Nice portrait in B/W mode
Good mood and totally match with its title
May needs better level adjustment
Regards, Alireza

  • Great 
  • Beger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3311 W: 1066 N: 5188] (23042)
  • [2009-04-04 17:41]

Hi Jose,
Sorry, I am late for this one! I was so busy the last week!
What a good story teller you are! When the narrative is enhanced by an image like this one, this makes photography still more interesting. I like the close-up on this man and the sepia treatment you did. A simple detail like the tooth pick reveals more of the personality of this "tough guys". Very beautifully done! Annie

PS/ I married a man liking dance! Often, he isn't shaven and, sometimes he likes keeping a took pick between his teeth! :)

this is excellent, Jose'! I was attracted by the image first (yes, countless memories of the macho men in my youth, including my father, with matchsticks and toothpicks hanging from their lips...), but the story makes it even more powerful.
for all of us coming from a Mediterranean, where the sun shines creating these incredible contrasts and no one is free from embarassing sweat patches under the armpits, an image like yours would be reminiscent of so many similar situations...
great detail and perfect choice for the depth of field =)
have a nice Sunday!

Dear Jose what a fantastic intense image and wonderful note.

Hello Jose,

I've been so busy in recent months that I generally only have time to indulge in some selfish gallery gazing. I enjoyed your "Italy series" very, very much.

This is a terrific shot. Great composition and the intense look that says "He's doing it all wrong. Now I gotta go fix that." (or whatever it is you say in Portuguese).

Black and white really works well here and I like the way the background blurs (he's almost nose-to-nose with something), which is a bit of the theme of the shot.

I haven't read everything that's been written, so I apologize if I'm repeating, but I just wanted to stop by and drop a line...


  • Great 
  • subs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 0 N: 296] (2670)
  • [2009-04-07 7:45]

Hi Jose,
This portrait is full of lie and character, with a refreshing POV. The /w works so well with it and the title. Sounds like an interesting book.

  • Great 
  • k-2 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 605 W: 26 N: 503] (3638)
  • [2009-04-12 13:14]

Nice portrait. Good mood. Good note. Nice detail on the beard. Good DoF. TFS. Karin

  • Great 
  • azaf1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 733 W: 61 N: 1257] (7137)
  • [2009-04-13 13:18]

Good evening Jose

This is really transcultural. Here, too, apart from specific solo dance, "tough guys don't dance" for sure. Great capture, too


excellent shot in black and white this sculptor artist concentrating at his work, Jose.. stunning potrait.. really sharp and beautiful.. good one..

regards, terry

  • Great 
  • korbee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1483 W: 0 N: 1852] (14495)
  • [2009-04-20 12:57]

Unfortunately not allowed any more,but this could be the good Cigarette ad.Jose!

jan(non smoker since 20 years;]]

  • Great 
  • S-moon Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 382 W: 97 N: 457] (2844)
  • [2009-04-22 10:46]

Hi Jose,

Beautiful portret! Perfect sharpness, nice POV and lighting. The crop and composition are very good! Good choise for B&W, it gives a peaceful mood.
Well done.

TFS greetings Simone

Hi Jose!

Very good work! Classical portrait!


classical portrait image. Good light and depth.

  • jjanczyk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 0 N: 781] (4082)
  • [2009-06-01 10:19]

Outstanding portrait!
This man looks like a though one :)
Great note.

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