Portraits of Strangers

Photo of a fisherman from Andaman island

The above portrait of a fisherman from Andaman islands was shot near a place called Chidiyatapu. Whats so different or special about the image is that I didnt ask the guy to pose for me nor did i take a candid image of his. The technique what i used here ( which obviously is not so great or new ) is the one which my buddy Ashwin thought me during a shoot sometime last year. Basically when we are out shooting travel stuff in villages or architectural areas etc we often try to go for the candid or staged approach. But very often we have few people who keep stalking the photographers and when the photographer is busy chimping the images then they come forward to ask “sir – take my photo also”. Unlike the staged photos the photos what you get from such characters are what will make the subject look very natural and relaxed. The person doesnt show any sort of consciousness and shyness or anything in front of the camera – and these are the type of people who make you get some keeper casual images from the shoot. All that i asked him to do in this situation was to ask him to stand in a shade of the tea stall and make the bright afternoon light hitting on the rocks outside get reflected on his face for that slight glow. For the processing bit of the image i tried to experiment on the high-pass-filter sharpening technique instead of the smart sharpening which i generally use on top of the image which i had converted to B&W using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Hope you liked the image, and next time you are around in a place shooting something and a localite comes and asks you to take their photo go ahead and capitalize on the opportunity. But be warned that at some places people intentionally come and ask you to take their photos so that they can earn a penny or two from you for allowing you to take their photos – i have seen such things in religious places – so be wary of them.

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