I caught this old woman napping as I wandered around the morning market in Thimphu. She didn't open her eyes for quite a while, so I had plenty of time to get the focus and depth of field just right. There was a reasonable amount of light, and it was even across the front of the face, so I didn't need to use a fill-in flash which may have alerted her to my presence.
Focal length was 120 mm so I was shooting from a fair distance away, so nobody took much notice of me framing the shot. They probably thought I was taking a wide shot of the market.
The old lady looked like she was at peace with the world, and that was what I was trying to capture in this photograph. I guess she is of quite advanced age given the wrinkles on her face.
REPOST: I have reposted this, prompted by Prema's suggestion that it would have been nice to see a close-up of the face.
For this closer crop I've done a little PP (curves, contrast and sharpening mainly) but couldn't get the wrinkles on the face as sharp as I would have liked. That's probably because at the distance from which I was shooting, there was a tiny bit of camera movement. This was an occasion when a monopod would have come in useful (or maybe I should have gone for a higher ISO and 1/250).
Critiques | Translate
maki (0) 2006-10-18 8:12
Impressive face with all those wrinkles. i like how You choose perspective angle. Maybe it is a little bit oversharpened or there were some problems with a changing size... But still I think that this is a good portrait of this woman,
vincz (19113) 2006-10-18 8:25
It is true that she looks so much at peace with eveything. A very good prtrait of this womand with her wrinkled face. Congratulations.
Serendipity (1045) 2006-10-18 8:35
Ce cadrage très serré est excellent pour ce genre de portrait. Il permet de bien mettre l'accent sur les rides et l'expression du visage de cette femme. On imagine très bien que sa vie n'a pas été facile.
parbo (11092) 2006-10-18 8:44
Deepest wrinkles tell us what a difficult life is with her. Its good idea to re-post again because your this frame is better detailed and illuminated. Ever pixel square of her face is full with life. Congratulations.
bieszczad (141) 2006-10-18 8:46
I like the face of that old women. Good portrait picture, maybe lacking a bit of sharpness, but still very good picture.
zips (1958) 2006-10-18 9:50
I like the composition of the original photograph better for a book or magazine, but this might be a better "wall hangable" shot.
I think is is a toss up.
John_F_Kennedy (43163) 2006-10-18 11:35
A very impressive pic. Wonderful macro.
cunejo200 (7281) 2006-10-18 15:21
Impressive capture of this woman. Reminds me of MAnny's Rosalinda series. I wonder how this would look in b&w? Best wishes. Danilo
delkoo (68) 2006-10-18 15:24
impressive face with deep wrinkles, it show us that life did not have to be easy for this old and cute woman.
bleung (180) 2006-10-18 22:30
This is an extraordinary picture. You were able to capture this old lady's sense of calm and peace. I like the wrinkles which were so deep and clear etching on her face. Those reflected her life experience and history.
AiresSantos (56155) 2006-10-19 3:35
Magnificent portrait, my friend !
Very nice expression in the face of this old woman. Excellent perspective and colours.
TFS and greetings,
PixelTerror (0) 2006-10-19 4:28
Oh you visited Bhutan, it's one of the countries I have not visited that fascinates me most ! Your PP work on that repost actually did improve it but as far as framing is concerned the wide angle lover in me prefers the first version, optimal combination for my taste would be original angle with RP PP.
Have a nice day,
tonyking (1612) 2006-10-19 6:28
Without uttering a word, this weathered, characterful face says so much. You've captured this image so well. Besides being good technically, you've also done a good job of creating a nice feeling of calm with your composition and the depth of focus.
Excellent work, my friend.
andreng (265) 2006-10-19 10:38
The lines on her face facinates me much. A good job done from the original. At first I thought how you could get such a good DOF from a aperture setting of F5.6. After reading more and looking at the original I understood. She definitely has had a hard life and has weathered the elements greatly. Those were clearly apparent from this shot.
vagabondtravels (6507) 2006-10-19 21:11
Good portrait. You have really capture an interesting character here with a long history.
wolf38 (31282) 2006-10-20 11:35
Hello David. A particularly impressive photo and a good text in addition. The face of the old woman is like a landscape of the life. It works clarified, in addition, tiredly. The picture is really worth seeing and very good. Many greetings, Wolfgang.
fireflyz (2097) 2006-10-20 13:01
It's amazing what time can do to a pretty face! I like the cropping. TFS..
isabib (1953) 2006-10-20 17:10
Great portrait shot. I saw the original version and you cropped just right to remove the other distractions. TFS!
devimeuxbe (58557) 2006-10-21 2:59
Beautifull portrait. Excellent sharpness. I like how you get the light on this old skin. The glance of this woman is also interesting.
Clairedelune (4923) 2006-10-22 13:58
I can't deny that I find her very beautiful. It is such a sad thing that we, in western society, have so much difficulty with old age. Sometimes, seeing my old mother and the women in her building (never saw a man there!), I am always surprised by what they are and how they look. I may be totally wrong, but I find that their face show more what they truly are than an unlined face. It's easier to find real kindness or the real grump!
I think this is an improved version of the original. I have to say though, that I like close portrait! And here is my question with this photo. You were kind of far from her and she was sleeping. I always feel ill at ease to take that kind of photos. A few days ago, I read that opinion of Jerzy Bucki. I'm not saying that I agree, it just that I am more confused than anything. I was just curious to have your opinion on that. I'm attracted by photographing people, but that brings me tons of questions! Maybe I should go back to photography landscapes or do macro! Flowers and bees never bother you with ethical questions. Though some can bite!
By the way, I think I have a slight preference for your B&W version. The grain? I like it! As long as it is not the color noise, I'm fine!
oochappan (16688) 2006-10-23 11:22
Very nice tight shot of the lifelines so much to tell of this old lady David. I compared with the original and there you got more quality and good including of the background in OOF, I did a WS to see if that one could stand next to this crop where you loose a bit a of the quality.
Burberry1 (6041) 2006-10-24 9:09
Perfect light and details!!!
Greetings from Poland, Agnieszka
elmec (12210) 2006-10-25 16:16
It's very hard for me!
kensimage (8561) 2006-10-25 20:36
A very nice image of serenity, David. The framing is good with just a bit of background to suggest that context does exist, she's not entirely in her own world. That earring is a nice accent. I'm not sure if it's the NearImage or what, but the shot does have a slightly overprocessed look, most noticeable in the blurred background. But it's an effective shot. Regards, Ken.
jafadabret (56501) 2006-10-27 15:19
Un visage comme celui-ci, David, en dit long sur la vie sûrement pénible de cette femme. L'éclairage naturel rend toutes les rides évidentes. Un très beau portrait !
ben4321 (9875) 2006-10-28 5:37
A good tight crop, and the side lighting has brought out the detail and texture in her face beautifully.
A face full of character that shows the traces of a hard but dignified existence.
everlasting (14694) 2006-10-30 3:48
While I like tight portraits as here, I think I would have liked to see a little more of her her, but saying that the colours and the skin tones are very well done, the light washing her sleeping face is terrific.
prumod (8300) 2006-11-03 4:34
you could captured her thoughts perfectly... the wringles due to the loads of memories are wonderful...
as a photo its ingradients are wonderful...
riclopes (35577) 2006-11-09 3:12
Olá David, this old beautiful face immediately attracted my eyes. Her wrinkles make it so expressive. I like your crop and the pp that you made is excellent. I love it.
AnaFrantz (636) 2006-11-10 13:44
BEUTIFULL PORTRAIT...the marks of life in her face could tell many histories, fairy tales, lessons...
Very beutifull and sensitive work!
mdetay (4865) 2006-11-19 2:06
Nice picture of this old woman.
Cheers from Cairns.
brevbrev14 (140) 2006-12-04 3:49
Hi David, what a great work here!!
i love to see the sign of the life in this woman...
And you made a great work with your composition!!!
ABSOLUTELY GREAT WORK!
and thenks a lot for your kindly words on my photo...I appreciate a lot.. :)
Silvio1953 (125395) 2006-12-04 17:12
Hi David, great portrait, in the face of this woman is written a history of a life, very well done, ciao Silvio
scalerman (26900) 2006-12-05 12:00
David: I find this fine portrait a bit noisy. I guess you ran NeatImage on it, but I would have thought it would have done a better job. I, like so many on TE, have been spoiled by Luko's sharpening script. Give it a test next time:
- USM : effect 18, radius 40, threshold 0
- USM : effect 150 radius 0.3, threshold 0
- edit/fade USM, 100%, darken blend mode,
- USM : effect 150 radius 0.3, threshold 0
- edit/fade USM, 50%, brighten blend mode.
all the best, c
sebcz (2345) 2006-12-10 3:42
What a face. Many years have shaped it. Good work!
bantonbuju (51781) 2006-12-20 2:38
oh, man, this is GOOD!
love this closeup, unbelievable details range, if an earth could be reflected in man's face - this is it! years, generations could be seen here, i can imagine that every single detail means a different bit of history...
a REAL portrait,
sergio1 (12152) 2006-12-27 6:31
I love this portrait, very nice expression and face to old woman. Magnific focus and sharpness.
Merry Xmas and Happy new year.
hoorge (1434) 2007-01-03 11:58
Excellent portrait of a life. Good note as well. Good close-up shot depicting emotion, facial expression, and details. Good composition.
NicoleP (520) 2007-07-15 1:29
un visage sculpture ! Magnifique
marietom (34609) 2007-12-09 2:36
magnifique portrait, avec toutes ces rides !
Belle lumière, aussi.
indraajeet (1910) 2007-12-22 3:59
what a great shot. full of colours and details. and full of story.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-03-10
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
- Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Blogger slideshow [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-10-18 7:57
- Favorites: 1 [view]