June 5, 2010

Picture! Before Picture

No, this is not a grammatic mistake.  Phototography, in general, is not machine gun shooting, especially street or portrait photography.  Typically, there are few elements will be in a picture;  the background, the subject, the proportion between the subject and background, the color...... Certainly, not luck; OK, sometimes you may but don't count on it.
For example, this is an image of pilgrim turning the prayer wheels.  I shot the image using a Canon 5D II with 24-105/4L IS, it was a bright afternoon so to achieve the picture I want, I have to switch to ISO 50,  f/13, so I can get the shutter speed at 1/10s to show the motion. And you need to wait!  Wait for at least one of the wheel is not turning so it shows the contrast between still and motion, then you have to wait for a pilgrim in the color that is helping the picutre, here it is red, the picture will look less appeal if it is blue or pink.  To shoot the pilgrim on his back, and place him at the far left side also allows more story telling.
This is another image, still a Canon 5D II with 24-105/4L IS, this time I do not need the lower speed so I adjust the ISO 100 which is its base setting and of the lowest possible noise.  This time I did not wait for a pilgrim in strong to stop in fornt of the shrine, in stead, I picked an elderly with simple, earth tone dress to display a simple message that common people in Nepal, their sincerity in their religion, also, to avoid a bright and strong color not to overtake the color of the gold and the proportionally small buddha statue.  Both shots made inside the Swayambhunath Stupa.
So this is the beautiful process of picture before picture.  You need to know what you want, and to get what you want.

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