While spending some time in Luang Prabang in northern Laos in January 1973, one day I went for a long walk in the countryside. The country was at war, but I had been assured that in this area there was no guerilla.
Walking through a small village, very quiet and peaceful and almost hidden behind a screen of trees, I still felt very strongly the vulnerability of the civilians in a war, the total defenselessness against troops suddenly bursting into their village. That made me feel like an intruder myself, and I almost imagined this old lady protecting her grandchildren against me. A strange feeling.
This was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.
Critiques | Translate
saxo042 (37032) 2008-08-03 1:22
An excellent family portrait with interesting contrasts of light and shadows. A good scan and certainly an attractive picture.
fanni (14377) 2008-08-03 1:31
a VERY impressive photo and a note!! Few photos have impressed me so much as this one.
The colours and the combination of light and shadows are wonderful. Every detail is clearly visible...
and of course, food for thought when we look at the faces of the child and the grandma.
Jeppo (17639) 2008-08-03 1:45
this is a very sweet - but reflective - picture!
they really look so vulnerabile....although grandma is there and seems like protecting them
mafegan (8624) 2008-08-03 2:10
Another excellent scan. A daily life scene showing so much emotion. You have done well, Marlene
kurtul (0) 2008-08-03 2:24
I wonder if the kids can find the same level of safety today as they did in their grandma's arms?
tomescuc (3291) 2008-08-03 7:21
Indeed an image with an emotional impact, given both the historical circumstances as well as the position and expressions of the characters. An additional detail for me that re-inforces the mood is the overexposed grass/hay on top left, that almost looks like it is burning.
smarcell (19963) 2008-08-03 11:42
A very descriptive picture, of a place so different from ours.
jasmis (57824) 2008-08-03 12:32
Interesting high POV. Fine exotic scenery.
hispic (9619) 2008-08-03 20:08
The expression of grandma, the sleeping face of grandson relieved on her knee, you have captured wonderfully the good moment indeed.
I like also the tonality that reduced saturation like a monochrome.
Have a nice summertime, Hisashi
skippy007 (12510) 2008-08-03 20:47
Hi Gert, This lovely looking old lady does not look like she is strong enough to defend herself let alone the children but usually where there is a will there is a way, she is definitely giving the necessary comfort to these children, one only needs to look at their faces. A very beautiful scene, very well captured.
kschanna (6) 2008-08-05 5:59
Another timeless shot from you. It almost takes one back to 1973. The scene is so casual and calm.
Thanks for sharing
ben4321 (9875) 2008-08-05 9:30
This is really something Gert - I like the calmness of the grandma, with the baby sleeping in her lap. It's the little girl who makes the shot though - you caught a great expression and pose there.
I think it might have been even better if you'd taken it from lower down, more from their level, but I suppose shooting from above does emphasise their vulnerability. Anyway, it's 35 years too late to worry about such framing issues...
Good work, all the interesting because of the story behind it.
adores (34740) 2008-08-11 15:37
I really apprecciate your old photos, some of them are really unique and not even possible to get anymore.What a period to visit Laos! I like this pov and especially their expressions.Very good shot!
gokanlam (6605) 2008-08-12 1:28
Hi Gert, nice family scene.. their expressions are so natural that makes your note clear.. i like the colors and the daylight on the ground.. nice detail of daily life..
serp2000 (38475) 2012-04-17 10:04
Impressive street scene... Once again I wonder by a quality of the old scanned slides. Great heritage of so dangerous missions, Gert.
It were very hard times for Laos. They lived on The Ho Chi Minh trail. So they lived under crossfire.
KristinsCamera (2373) 2013-07-09 11:35
what a moment in time, it represents so much in a single frame...
the colors and hues are all beautiful, and the burnt out sunlit areas around this family trio are appealingly abstract.
a haunting capture, gert ~ well captured.