Today (3 May) is World Press Freedom Day and this year the main celebrations for the event are being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in recognition of the progress the country has made in the past couple of years in lifting its rating in the Global Press Freedom Awards (see www.freedomhouse.org) from ‘not free’ to ‘partly free’.
This week I am working in Colombo, but it is going to be as frustrating as last week in the Maldives, i.e. being in a place where there are so many photo opportunities but no time to get out and about with my camera. What makes it even more a pity is that there are so few tourists about in Colombo at the moment after the suicide bombing last week. There are soldiers with machine guns at every major intersection and embedded behind sandbags outside every Government building. Not that that is unusual for Colombo, but there seems to be more checkpoints than usual and a heightened state of alert.
Anyhow, what has this photograph to do with World Press Freedom Day? Well, preceding the 3 May celebrations, UNESCO held a conference on ‘Media, Development and Poverty’, and I took my camera along on the drive from my hotel to the conference venue hoping I might be able to grab a lucky shot along the way. No such luck, but in the morning coffee break there was a group of girls and boys in traditional dress performing village dances for the delegates. I snapped a few shots and this is the one I liked the best.
Sometimes you can find good photo opportunities in the most unlikely places! This was not an easy shot as the kids were crowded together (see workshop) and I was dancing around too (metaphorically speaking) trying to find a POV that gave me an uncluttered background.
And in case you are asking what press freedom has to do with poverty, Daniel Kaufmann of the World Bank Institute, explained it thus: “There is considerable evidence to show that increasing press freedom lowers corruption, and then in turn, lowering corruption increases per capita income three-fold.”
He described corruption as a one trillion US dollar a year industry which resulted in 11 per cent of the world’s population having to live on less than a dollar a day.
This girl does not look poor, but her gorgeous eyes could well be reflecting hope for those who are.
PP: Removed 50% of noise with NeatImage, cropped, adjusted levels and USM at 350% (0.4). Some may not like the small amount of noise I have left in this image, but when I tried to remove all of the noise, it created an unnaturally smooth skin texture. (In the workshop photo I removed all of the noise, and you can see the difference). I have also deliberately not over-sharpened this as I like a little softness in my portrait shots, so please don’t berate me for not sharpening enough!
Critiques | Translate
phi75 (0) 2006-05-02 14:40
beautiful eyes! and splendid shot by the way.the tight framing suits very well the face of this young "princess",
congrats "monsieur l'artiste"
andrewgg (0) 2006-05-03 6:40
Your're right about finding images in the most unlikely places. That's why I take my camera to work every day. a result of doing that is this, by the way.
This is a beautiful portrait, and you obviously did the right thing in not overusing NeatImage, as can be seen from the workshop. The soft look in this present portrait is very pleasing, although I would like to just see the eyes a bit sharper, myself.
The background colour contrasts well with the subject's skin, giving the image a lift.
I like the crop, too. It's good to see something different for a change.
kensimage (8561) 2006-05-03 11:48
Beautiful eyes indeed, David. She looks just shy enough to reflect innocence, but not enough to suggest timidness. Nice portrait! Regards, Ken.
cyrrhus (2878) 2006-05-03 22:02
I am not used to comment on portraits.
But here, I would like to thank you for both the quality of your picture and the quality of your comments.
I ma happy to see that this could contribute to a better world and a better understanding between us all. You are right, there is a lot of hope in these eyes.
entrelec (8328) 2006-05-04 8:29
My title would have been:eyes, teeth and pearls,because it was I see in this shot, allthree work together.
About sharpness,it's not a problem, I find many pictures over sharpened now.
chanjits (4454) 2006-05-04 10:12
nice work dear what a stunning eyes you have captured thanks for sharing.
izmirli (3987) 2006-05-07 17:50
merhaba dear david
wonderful portrait picture.wonderful eyes.
well done.best regards my friend.
alainh (35583) 2006-05-09 12:55
fantastic quality. the sharpen is optimal and the focus perfect !
and what beatiful eyes, i agree with you !
vey well framed to give the importance for the eyes.
plimrn (21344) 2006-05-10 2:37
I am awed at the portrait you have captured in the midst of chaos. Well done, the endreslty has beautiful detail, exactly the right amount of sharpness for good detail, he skin looks as soft as a baby's cheek, the excellent framing empasiizes her wonderful eyes. It is a new favorite for me. Your note is outstanding. It explains well why the income is deceasing is the US and corruption goes.
Regards, Pat unchecked.
Kenny10pin (19301) 2006-05-11 21:11
really nice one here, I think if it was a little sharper, it would be an amazing shot
yigalco (372) 2006-05-21 16:32
Beautiful, beautiful portrait,
Great colors and expression, the framing emphasis here big eyes
Good note too
Thanks for sharing,
s10001in (0) 2006-06-18 7:22
Great eyes saying many things.
Sharp image with natural colors.
Impressive work davaid.
delkoo (68) 2006-06-18 10:07
what smart portrait, it's so beautiful i like the way that you don't sharpen it too much, it gives some softness on the skin.
devimeuxbe (58557) 2006-06-19 0:45
I like this Sri lanka portrait and this beautifull glance. I was in Sri Lanka these last 10 days, in Cambodia now. I will post later pictures because i don't have computer with me now.
It was an interesting journey and usfull work also.
But the country seems to enter in war again every day little bit more.
Have a nice day
elmec (12210) 2006-07-04 13:06
Great is this portrait!
I like the blush on her face!
And very good frame You used!
jone (3231) 2006-07-24 5:05
beautiful, beautiful eyes... very well done, thanks...
batalay (35791) 2006-10-17 16:35
I love the image of the "Sri Lankan Eyes." Little can be done in improving it, but let me suggest one possibility to at least experiment.
I am a scientist and artist, and in a book I wrote about Leonardo entitled, "Math and the Mona Lisa." (http://www.bulentatalay.com), I explained a newly discovered principle. Christopher Tyler, a British psychologist/art-lover living in San Francisco discovered in 1998 that a vertically drawn, bisecting line passes through one eye, not the nose in portraits by the greatest masters -- So it is in the Mona Lisa. This principle is never taught in art schools; the talented artist discovers it independently! So if you were to go back to your original image, recrop it to put her right eye down the middle, I wonder how the image would look.
Your gallery is wonderful, and I am placing it among my "favorites."
Best wishes from Virginia.
kri54 (1515) 2007-03-18 12:18
portait splendide, le modèle est superbe, la prise de vue également 100% parfait
Rodifo (0) 2009-05-28 16:49
Beautiful eyes, you have managed to take a very good portrait here.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-05-01
- Categories: Event
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
- Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): les gens, Blogger slideshow [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-05-02 14:22
- Favorites: 1 [view]