Maori Chieftan. Lumix GH5 Launch, Queenstown, NZ.
Lumix GH5, 18mm (37mm equivalent) lens, 1/1250 second @ f4, ISO 100
Life as a photography magazine editor is pretty good when companies like Panasonic invite you to test their new Lumix GH5 camera for a few days in Queenstown. And they looked after us very well with a series of photo opportunities designed to show off the camera's many features. We were off the plane for no more than 10 minutes before we were onto a jet boat, screaming across the river shallows at a rapid rate of knots before being dropped off to the Hilton where we were staying.
When we arrived at the Hilton wharf, we received a traditional Maori welcome. While entertaining, the background was pretty ordinary and not really conducive to a good photograph. However, to Panasonic's credit they had further plans for the chieftan and his wife the following day. After arriving atop a wind-blown mountain ridge by helicopter and being treated to a packed lunch and champagne (I told you life was pretty good), we had another opportunity to make some portraits of the maori chief with a far more interesting background.
More about the Lumix GH5 later in the week. In the meantime, check out the four frames I quickly grabbed (along with the other 20 or so journalists standing next to me).
Four photos - which would you use?
Now, I know you can work out which of the three frames was used in the hero photo up above, but the question is why?
The reasons for choosing Frame 3.
This isn't the only angle I shot from, but these are the four frames I squeezed out of this particular pose. In the first frame, the chieftan's eyes are closed so, while pretty good down small, if ever I were to make a larger image, it wouldn't be satisfactory. Expression is everything - and to be honest, I probably haven't got the best expression in the other three either, but they are all pretty similar.
However, the key to this particular pose for me was the hand-woven feathered cape he was wearing. I wanted this to be the feature of the photograph and, having decided that, picking the cape that doesn't have the deep shadows in the middle becomes the obvious choice. The third frame has more even illumination over the garment, which in turn lets me highlight the textures and colours in post-production.
And if you're interested in a photography workshop in the next 12 months, I have places left on trips going to Arnhemland, Iran, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Full details on the Better Photography website!