It has been quite some time since I posted something on my learning blog. Not because I have not been working and photographing though! I have been involved with an educational and health care program at a local school in a village in the north of India, Belsar. I was asked to photograph the school and the children while they were visited by a number of doctors to check their general health. I had a lovely time and was really fortunate to have beautiful light the entire time! Here’s a compilation of the work I did.
I feel at my best photographing events and things in which I don’t have to direct too much. I find that I have a good eye for finding light and composition instead of creating it. I need to work on that, but it is nice to realize that I have strengths in catching the right moment and connecting with my subjects.
I am not sure Merrick really felt like being photographed and interviewed that, but once we were talking and outside he eased up a bit. Merrick is from The United States, but moved to New Delhi a year ago. I feel like he still misses his friends quite a bit. There’s a serious about him that I have tried to portray. Here’s a selection of my favorite photos. It’s quite interesting to see the difference in expression between his own photos and the one with his brother.
I have worked a bit with the blocked shadows to create a gloomy effect. Here are my favorite ones:
I photographed Shiv in his home. Shiv comes from a well known, influential family in Delhi and lives together with his parents, brother and grandmother. Shiv is a well rounded kid, involved in many activities and really knows which direction he is heading. His confidence and insight impressed me and I was touched by all the art and pictures on the walls of their house. Each piece tells a story and are a reflection of Shiv and the environment he is growing up in.
My preference goes to the two images below. I like the composition of Shiv and the icons on the wall, they seem to be interacting with each other. The portrait of Shiv reading shows the friendly, kind heartedness that I experienced when I interviewed him.
I have been experimenting a bit with making a collage, but am not very happy with the results.I really struggle with finding the right balance, Photoshop incompetencies and lack of ideas. Should work on that!
Here is a first selection of my session with Anna. I photographed her at her home in Kortrijk, Belgium.
I like the interaction between Anna and her dog, and the laid backness and messiness of the garden. Anna’s mother is a good friend of mine and just looking at the teapot makes me happy. Below are my favorite photos; I like the way the colours of the details come together, the teapot, toys, chair and umbrella add to a nice, happy balance. The lower one is my first choice, mainly because Anna’s expression is stronger and more visible.
I met Somya in Belsar, Utter Pradesh, when I was staying in her home to take photographs of the school her uncle runs. I was happy to be able to interview, she comes from such a completely different background than all the other children I had interviewed and I was curious to learn about her ideas about her childhood and future.
I will talk about it more when I write about her interview, for now what struck me most is that she doesn’t want to grow up because it means that she will be restricted. And it’s true. As soon as girls get married (and a lot get married while they are under 18) they move in with their husband’s family and don’t come out of the house anymore. You hardly see women in the street, it’s pretty shocking.
Somya is aware of it, her translator said that it is tradition and the women don’t mind it, but I could feel the pain of this vibrant young girl, who loves Bollywood dancing and wants to be a police officer when she grows up.
At night we walked through the village she lives in and I decided to use some of the images for a collage, which you will see in my next post.
In his report my tutor suggested to make a few changes in the selection of photographs, in this post I’ll focus on the suggestions in the tutor report and show the changes I have made:
Your series of black and white images have been received well; they exhibit a strong compositional approach and a visual awareness, which coupled with your detailed commentary on composition and framing supports your applied technical knowledge. Out of your final selection there are a couple that may benefit from replacing with other images from your edit. Compositionally, the image titled ‘Followers’ is unbalanced and is perhaps a little too constructed when compared to your other, more sporadic looking images. However, it is still a good portrait with some funny little quirks contained; for example, the gentlemen with the body-warmer on the right side of the frame, I love that his mug is chipped and he appears to be holding it with a little pride. In terms of its compositional standing and its strength in being a single narrative, it may be better if it were replaced with the image titled ‘followers-15’. As you pointed out this image does have the strongest narrative; the command that the Imam has with his words and hand gesture is very strong.
Compositionally, the image titled ‘Followers’ is unbalanced and is perhaps a little too constructed when compared to your other, more sporadic looking images. However, it is still a good portrait with some funny little quirks contained; for example, the gentlemen with the body-warmer on the right side of the frame, I love that his mug is chipped and he appears to be holding it with a little pride. In terms of its compositional standing and its strength in being a single narrative, it may be better if it were replaced with the image titled ‘followers-15’. As you pointed out this image does have the strongest narrative; the command that the Imam has with his words and hand gesture is very strong.
So I have changed the Followers – 15 for this image, which does have very strong facial expressions and body language:
My tutor suggested to lighten the shadows in the ‘Consecration’ image, this is what it looks like now. The details of the frames in the back are clearer, and also the face of the reflection of the man is lighter.
There was another change Russell suggested:
Your initial shoot for the image titled ‘Artefacts’ has yielded some good results; which through your assessment and decision to reshoot has evidenced an informed judgement. So, following on from my previous comment about replacing a few images; another one, which I’ll admit I am torn in suggesting, is your submitted one for this heading. You have communicated your reasoning for choosing the submitted image very well, but looking at your edits I find image ‘#3’ to be far more powerful. I like the visual connection it has with some Japanese Shinto Torii’s that can be found in water; I can imagine a spiritual conduit forming that bridges the religions.