September 26, 2010

Close to the action

It is my preference, and something I highly suggest, to get as close as possible to your subjects, in their actions, to bring to viewer into more reality. A stranger is a stranger, you can't change that fact in an instant.  But a stranger with a camera on hand is a lot friendlier than he has nothing on hand, this is the advantage of photographer with his tools on hand.  OK, except you are in a conflict zone than perhaps it is a different story. Here in Nepal, my theory usually works, and it works quite well.
This image, taken with a Canon 5DII and EF 24-105/4L IS, on a woman working on her weaving, is a good example.  Of course there are many ways to take image of her working, but taking a picture simply as a distant observer or getting an angle such as this so you feel her work, gave the picture totally different dynamic. It was a dark room but even with the 5DII's fantastic poor light performance, I still set my camera at a slower shutter speed to allow some motion blur, to achieve stronger sense of action.  Video here also taken with Canon 5DII with EF 24-105/4L. 
And this one, the son of the weaver, was blowing a balloon, I quickly snap the image also with my 5DII, not only to portrait her adorbale son, but also give the environment a faithful record, dark, tiny, common of hard working people in less developed countries.  Here the careful reader will find out that with this image, I did not have the focus perfectly set to the kid, in stead, it is somehow in the background.  But it does not bother me!  The shot was made with the lens set to 24mm, so the reasonable wide angle lens at least provides all the elements in this image acceptable sharpness.  The focus, although important, it is not the most critical matter in this image, to me.  What mattered was the this image is require to show the realirt of the working enviroment of her mom, and the kid's ability to find himself a playground given the condition, and happy with it.
And this one, a butcher at work. Also shot with a Canon 5DII, here I lowered to camera to the level of the meat (almost), so to record the action, the atmosphere of the morning market of this little village with more honesty.  Short video clip here captured with Panasonic GF-1 with 20/1.7.

And this one the cotton trader who is book keeping the weight and cost of the cotton. Also shot with Canon 5DII + EF 24-105/4L IS, the high resolution of modern digital camera and decent optic even reocreded the cost of trades of the day, giving the image a little extra historical value.
Short video clip captured with Panasonic GF-1 + 20/1.7.

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