Muang Sing is an amazing little place in northern Laos. It is close to the Chinese border. This border crossing is not open to tourist traffic, but only for transporting of goods etc. But the market at Muang Sing is amazing for one reason, it is a melting pot of ethnic groups. So if you are there in the morning, your eyes will be treated to a real show of color, and of course culture. Like all of us crazed photographers know, taking pictures of people in a semi-candid way, is not necessarily an easy task, and a delicate one at best. I tried to be invisible in the crowd.....dream on. But at least I tried to be sensitive, and not too intrusive, but I am sure my snapping away, and pointing was, well......noticeable. This particular lady, had a bit of an attitude, and I am the first to admit, it is her right. In the end I recollect that I paid her, as rightfully I should have. Still it made for some interesting politics for a short time, and I respect her for standing up for herself, as surely she has had to do on numerous occasions before, just to get by in this life. It also made for I hope an interesting picture, because I feel the fire kind of shines through.
If I was more of an expert in Minority groups, I could tell you from which one she came from and list all the others that were there, but I am not and expert. Still, it is my uneducated guess that there were at least a dozen different groups represented.
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DarkoG (8) 2006-11-22 3:55
fine colorfull human study. Interesting expression surrounded with colourfull clothes add strength to this photo.
zips (1958) 2006-11-22 9:57
I don't think that you needed to pay her for a "photograph" Steve. You just need to dress like more of a bum as I do... haha.
Some of these groups have been kicked around so much that it is about time some of them put this look on display. I'm glad you caught it.
This could be sharper but I'm sure it would make a sharp 8 x 10 so no worries.
thaprem (2554) 2006-11-23 4:12
A nice portrait with arresting eyes.
A bit shallow DOF would have made the looks much centred & the focus a bit sharper would have been a added grace.
Still a nice one.
kees6 (103) 2007-09-15 20:26
> If I was more of an expert in Minority groups, I could tell you from which one she came from and list all the others that were there, but I am not and expert. Still, it is my uneducated guess that there were at least a dozen different groups represented.<
She's Akha, as shown by the small piece that is visible from her traditional headdress, hiding under the pink checkered cloth.
Not sure if you could have gotten less DOF as suggested by thaprem, I suspect your lens was close to full open already.
You may have isolated it more in post processing, I suspect you already darkened the right hand side of her background a bit. If you'd lasso her face and body, feather a bit, reverse selection,and work on the background with blur, lower saturation and darkening it, it would put the attention more on her face, and less on the bright orange shirt on the right, or on the big bum showing below that. And even her face and headdress could do with some lower saturation. Most digicams provide oversaturated coulours, jsut like kodachrome used to do.
Have a look at http://kees.zenfolio.com for more Akha pictures.