From my photo diary almost seven years ago:
Meet the humble Burmese water mellon vendor of the township. Spotted him along a narrow alley among the wooden houses, I think this would make a good subject for a photograph. Question strikes my mind always is whether I am going to approach and ask to photograph him or try to shoot perhaps furtively without engaging in any way, or let the opportunity go. Some people are naturally engaging when approached and have the kind of personalities that draw people to them. They have a charisma or warm disposition that instantly makes people feel comfortable in their presence.
Different cultures and people have different ideas about being photographed and be sensitive to these differences is vital in foreign land. I take some time patiently trying to communicate with him using universal gestures like pointing at my camera, smiling and gently pointing at him as if asking permission knowing well that if he refuses then I just walk away. He is after all, doing me a favour and not the other way round.
I do also believe strongly that the best emotions and reactions come from getting some kind of consent from my subject and the big difference between a good and bad photography with people for that matter, is often how we interact with our models and get their muse to feel at ease in what could potentially be an uncomfortable situation sometime. Thus building the rapport with him is the key and at the same time I have got some kind of control and owership over the shots.
So this is the shot I have got after releasing the shutter while talking. Showing him the image on the digital display goes a long way to show gratitude for his enthusiasm. The result of a moment of collaboration between the two of us in which we both contributed to its making. I am indeed very surprised at the end of the session, not only because I have got a very favourable response from the humble man but with more than satisfying results, savouring the slices of fresh juicy mellons on which he refuses to accept my kyats..
This still remains one of my personal favourites.
Thanks for reading this long-winded old man's story...
Critiques | Translate
dkmurphys (36709) 2013-01-27 8:44
Again I like your simple genuine scenes from any parts of the world. Spectacular colors, well taken.
Enjoy a good week.
mirosu (5507) 2013-01-27 17:41
A beautiful photo. Smart choice of horizontal frame to accentuate the young young with splendid sharpness. Very nice photo with great color contrast, excellent light and very good POV choice. Very good deep depth of field allowing to see the water mellons behind him. Excellent result.
P.s. Mant thanks for your excellent comments. I appreciate it very much. Have a great week.
pajaran (36119) 2013-01-27 22:11
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst sa datim podacima ...
Lep pogled na prodavca i lubenice ...
Dobra ostrina snimka, kontrast, lepe boje.
Nadam se da su lubenice ukusne i slatke.
Imajte lep i uspesan dan, sve najbolje u novoj nedelji koja je pocela.
Very interesting and good text with a given data ...
Nice view of the seller and watermelon ...
Good image sharpness, contrast, beautiful color.
I hope they are tasty and sweet watermelon.
Have a nice and successful day, all the best in the new week that started.
siolaw (37568) 2013-01-27 22:22
The fruit stall provides a fine background to the portrait of this gentleman! The off centred composition works fine and your subject is well placed in the frame.
JFS (32027) 2013-01-27 23:37
aNOTHER IMPECABLE SHOT, SO GOOD, SO SHARP, SO COLORFUL.THANKS!
sevy (13265) 2013-01-28 0:49
Nice this portrait inside the environment and how the vivid colors are giving something inside the frame.
I especially like the cutted fruit in background giving a strong red spot, making in evidence the watercolor green of others.
Fis2 (73010) 2013-01-28 2:15
Next intetresting reportorial shot.
Good frame and colors.
I like this daily life shot.
Robert1969 (6152) 2013-01-28 2:18
A picture that is timeless and it tells directly
what it is. Quality is as always excellent.
yquem46 (32227) 2013-01-28 2:24
Mysteries of TE are such that this one has been relatively disregarded, for some unknown reasons. Maybe people dont like watermelons, I had one from Kyrgyzstan rather poorly rated too !!
However it is a good one, showing street daily life in Myanmar
The green watermelons colorful BG is an attraction by itself and the portrait shot shot from a high POV, with this guy kindly looking straight in your lens, his long knife and his head leaning, really has a nice visual impact
Have a nice day, best regards
Graal (88784) 2013-01-28 5:00
nice portrait of seller. Good composition. I like the colours. Curious glance of young man. Fine comment in note.
Have a nice day.
mesutilgim (67856) 2013-01-28 6:02
Very nice capture of this watermelon stand and the melon vendor. I ask myself if the compo would be that much impressive as it is now, without the sliced watermelon at the center ?
TFS and best regards
fabianoleite (9014) 2013-01-28 6:46
I like htis everyday kind of picturee with local people, who usually have a lot to say about the place. Nice depiction, well done.
claudeD (24147) 2013-01-28 7:44
wonderful portrait shot of this masn selling his water mellons. I like the perfect sharpness and the stunning colors of the picture very much. Very good contribution to TE.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
dip (21873) 2013-01-28 8:57
an "old" photo in high quality,thanks to the good D70s (and you of course) :)
I like the colors and the way you captured and composed it,
adramad (27544) 2013-01-28 10:37
Sensational this composition of watermelon seller, the kid has a special charisma with that half smile and that intense gaze to camera.
Great red color of the fruit, they sure are sweet and delicious to make cold on a hot day and saturated with moisture, as is usual in the area.
Magnificent both sharpness, as lighting is a great job that attracts attention.
Very well done.
Have a nice day.
All the best.
Noel_Byrne (7209) 2013-01-28 10:47
I really like how he is leaning into the shot, giving great depth to a shot that could have turned out quite flat. Your composition is as always spot on. What an excellent background too, the cut melon makes a nice touch of colour, as does the mans clothes.
I enjoyed reading your note too, I have yet to really garner the courage to take shots like and to approach people. I hope some day to take images like this.
All the best
thebest (3370) 2013-01-28 20:17
Wonderful portrait of this happy young man selling the delicious ripe melons.
The colours are striking - excellent POV & wonderful sharpness.
SnapRJW (18642) 2013-01-29 1:24
Hello dear Abmdsudi - Wise words indeed and I think your portraits are a testament to your methods! Market shots are always popular subjects but here your rapport with the 'watermelon man' lifts the shot from a snapshot into a portrait and relationship. Eye contact draws us into the man's world and your communication with him. The stacked melons make a super contrasting and contextual backdrop. Warm regards Rosemary
saxo042 (31790) 2013-01-29 2:52
A very good portrait os this watermelon man. The green background with the accents of opened melons is just perfect. The vendor himself also provide very good colours.
Bartleby (12741) 2013-01-29 5:18
super portrait with attractive complementary colors. The attitude and expression are very natural...excellent work!
everlasting (13803) 2013-01-29 6:01
I love the story as much as the image! The open melon brings as touch of colour back to the background and of course very well composed.
Cricri (86295) 2013-01-29 10:13
Un joli fond que font les melons, la personne décentrée, le regard aimable vers vous, netteté et lumière parfaite, belle réalisation
ACL1978 (5689) 2013-01-29 14:39
A proud and colorful portrait here, Abmdsudi, and one with an interesting rumination on portrait photography. In travel it can be quite tough to decide when it is okay or not to take someone's picture, and you've described the thought process well here. I've actually found it more difficult in my own home country and city.
As for the shot itself, I can see why this is among your favorites. He clearly has that air about him that you described, a very warm and approachable look, despite holding a gleaming knife! His bright clothing and the green and red of the melons make this shot a rainbow of color, arranged around the self-assured look on his face - not a smile, but it feels like one. Thanks!
krzychu30 (8775) 2013-01-29 22:35
sorry for my late reply for your stunning photos,but I just get back from my trip to Hong Kong.
I was trying also to take some portraits there,but I have to say the result of my work are not as good as yours.This portrait is the best proof of that and how excellent sense for this kind of photography you have.The scene is perfectly timed and framed.I enjoy superb clarity of it and so beautiful,vivid colors.Magnificent capture.
Have a nice day
shevchenko (18243) 2013-01-30 23:27
Although he is smiling in front of the camera, but I feel he is still look like very tired. Lively shot to show the daily life of a fruits seller at his stall, nice green and fresh watermelons as background, interesting composition, distinct photo, good shoot.
delpeoples (44888) 2013-01-31 0:04
Hi dear Abmdsudi
I can see why this would be among your favourite shots. The colours are simply marvellous, so fresh and crisp. I love the story behind this photo, and think the man looks very sweet and kind. Part of the fun is meeting these people and hearing their interesting life stories. A wonderful shot with your trademark magical light.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day
macjake (39207) 2013-02-03 4:13
great note! I enjoyed reading it very much.
I see that in the end you had a watermelon, but he did not accept payment!
you did very well to respect this man and his privacy, by asking to be photographed. it looks like you're standing much taller than he is? yes? no?
and having the red color splash in the bg helps too.
excellent work, I can see why you enjoy this photo on a personal level!
mkamionka (24455) 2013-02-03 12:21
fantastic portrait of the man at work.
I like very much this colorful background here. Green water melons are a nice repeated element and few cut exposing the red inside make a nice contrast. The man himself has a nice pose and you have well positioned him asymmetrically in the frame.
Very interesting story in the note as usually.
adores (28178) 2013-02-04 17:42
Sometimes we keep wonderful souvenirs from our visits to other countries, and sometimes they have nothing to do with tourist attractions. Meeting the people can surely be an unforgettable experience! It's a good quality shot and I really like this portrait - his pose is perfect, proudly holding the knife with all those watermelons in background.
A great shot and a great note also:)!
Waylim (22349) 2013-02-06 18:10
Excellent shot of the humble people of Burma. that is how I remember them. Very gentle and shy people but very generous with their smile and welcoming gesture. I hope it stay that way as more tourists flock into their homeland and perhaps not as polite as you are. It can be annoying tourists snap picture of you without asking.
I find myself stuck in between, I like to take photos of them as they do their thing. But if I ask they may pose for me which is great but I like the spontaneous type photos. Anyway. I end up with not many people photos lately, but more landscape.
This is a good quality shot as always and I love the geniun but shy smile of the vendor.
siudzi (23831) 2013-02-08 10:53
What a fantastic picture of this wonderful scene! Really like the way you composed it and perfectly executed. Amazing tones! Thanks for sharing!
ourania (12249) 2013-02-28 12:01
both the portrait of this charming watermelon vendor and your notes are captivating and lovely. Excellent depth, sharpness, lighting and natural colours give to the picture outstanding quality. There's a magnificent interaction between soft and deep tones. The most attractive and vivid element of the picture is the gentleman's look and expression towards you, a mixture of confidence, friendliness and curiosity. The result of your meeting and collaboration is superb. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
COSTANTINO (42744) 2013-05-13 8:41
fresh and nice photo
I can touch them indeed,interesting
scenery from daily life,very good pov
life,I love this portrait which
creates a lot of different feelings
have a nice evening
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (26199)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-04-08
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D70s, 18-70mm AF-S DX 3.5 - 4.5 Nikkor, ISO 200 RAW
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-01-27 8:26