Don't Pick A Big Monk

August 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photographed from the courtyard balcony in the Paro Dzong, Paro, Bhutan. 
Make sure the monk you photograph isn't too big or, if he is,that you can run fast!
I'm just kidding of course - everyone over there is so friendly, especially at festival time.

Last weekend, Kathie and I met up with Robyn, Greg, Diedre, Robert, Kay, Libby and Geoff, a partial re-union of travellers from our Bhutan trip last year. And I have to say I was a little embarrassed. Before dinner, we all sat down for drinks in Robyn and Greg's home and looked at half a dozen amazing Momento photo books. (Yes, the Libby and Geoff are the same Libby and Geoff who own Momento - but even they were surprised how many Momento photo books were on display!)

The subject matter of the books was Bhutan and the books were amazing! My guilt came from only having processed a dozen or so shots from what was an amazing trip. As I flipped through their books, I saw shots of Robert's that I hope I have, some great portraits by Kay (and I know I didn't get them), and there were some exceptional compositions from Greg with some really great post-production as well. Robyn did a great little video which brought back some wonderful memories, even if it was Greg who was starring.

I'd like to compliment Libby and Geoff, but their photos have yet to make it into a Momento book (Geoff said something about Libby worrying how much time he was spending on personal projects already), and they all politely said they'd like to compliment me on my photos, BUT WHERE WERE THEY?

So, in an effort to make some small amends, I'm starting off. After all, I will be returning to Bhutan with David Oliver in November 2016, so I better process a few so I can show David what to do!

This photograph was taken quickly. He is a young monk and if he knew I was there, he didn't let on. Festivals in Bhutan are great because the insides of the dzongs become more accessible and you get to wander around these majestic old buildings and wonder at how they are put together. Huge wooden beams and the floor boards are often a half a metre wide, but of course, it's the colour of the costumes and the clothing that create the pageantry.

My idea was to convey the texture of the clothing by getting in close to my subject, but to include his surroundings. The unusual angle looking down hopefully creates a little extra interest and the only thing I might do differently next time is to wait until there are a few more dancers in the quadrangle. The photograph was taken with a 24mm wide-angle and I was careful to focus on the head, not the background. Although wide-angle lenses have quite a lot of depth-of-field, by getting the camera quite close to my main subject and using the maximum aperture of f2.8, I was able to throw the background out-of-focus. I like this 'differential focus' effect because it concentrates our attention on the subject, but the background is recognisable enough. Well, it is for me!

If you're interested in visiting Bhutan in November next year, email me and I will send you back the little brochure David and I have prepared - eastway@betterphotography.com. Put Bhutan in the header please!

#invisiblephotoshop #bhutan #Illuminatingtoursbhutan


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...