lately Sayeed has been posting great photos of people that have grown heads of fire. I didn't see anything like that in Guaemala, but in the famous Chichicatenango (Chichi for short) market there were many "flowerheads". here's one of them.
Chichi's market could be the destilled essence of América Latina - sounds, colours, scents and smells, textiles, flowers, tortillas, chickens, medical plants, spices, and white church right in the middle of it.
about the photo: one of my first attempts to photograph people mostly with 10-20mm lens, which made it up close and very personal. and fun. I was smiled at, cursed at, asked money, asked to buy all kinds of things, starting with old coins (didn't see if they had "300 B.C." engraved on them), machetes, ending with fruits and scarves, thrown rocks at, and generally being noticed. the light was very harsh, on top of extremely strong contrasts between sunlight and pitch black shadows. at times I was excited, cautious, pis--d, happy, annoyed, and everything else in between. but I'd go back to the market any day.
RAW, ISO 400, 20mm focal length, spot meterig.
Critiques | Translate
Modeste (638) 2010-01-27 6:28
Interesting and original photo, thanks to the use of the wide angle. Being gone in Chichi last year, I know it's difficult to shoot, because the market is overcrowded.
If you want to see different photos of the same place, you can give a look on TE, or on my site here
Greg1949 (9011) 2010-01-27 6:58
Kristine, I'll weigh in on this one but I have to say that I don't love the tilt with people as much as with the graphic feel of other shots. Color and detail are awesome as always and the expression says part of what your note says about the various responses you got for being up close and personal. Nice work.
rlrad (1845) 2010-01-27 7:13
Looks like you had a great time - I love the markets, too! That 10-20mm is my lens of choice because of what you pointed out - you have to get up close and personal. It forces you to deal with your subject pretty much one on one. You might have to whip out some grammar school Spanish! That was tough for me, as widely as I have traveled in my life I never found time to learn another language so I am more embarrassed about that than anything else. Thank Al Gore for the Internet and the Babelfish Translator Plug-in!
Anyway, I usually just act like a bit of a clown, try to get folks to laugh at me and take A LOT of shots to get everyone used to me shooting at everything - equal opportunity - before long folks just go about their business and ignore me. Of course, that doesn't stop being asked for money and get the hard-sell on everything you take a picture of!
Wait, I'm here to critique your photograph...
I'm glad you said it was one of your first attempts with that lens. It shows, at least to me, that you are being a little cautious, and I think to your subject, as well. You retrieved that by your off-kilter, square presentation and somewhat self-deprecating note. The tilted pov adds interest, there is good color and light and the dof is great.
I know you had to get hundreds of great shots and I look forward to your travelogue.
I've been researching what sort of vacation we will take next - check out this link for a tour that has piqued my interest.
Have a great day!
sayeed_rahman (6455) 2010-01-27 7:27
LOL flowers growing out of the head ;) a singularity it seems..appreciate the allusion Krisitine !
So it begins, its a different ordeal should i say to use the camera to shoot the ones which breathe and bleed and sweat and salivate and smile and cry...the list goes..i call it life.
Come to think of it, it could be anyone of the million cells racing, swimming towards a single goal, to fuse with the one cell that will make me, make you, make the ones you shoot, like the one above; i mean it could very well be the cells around you which make it before 'yours' do and you and me would not have been around. I love people, cos they are the ones resurrected, brought to life, the chosen ones.
I am glad you prefer making it to the market, soon you develop a connection between the fleeting glances, random glares and convert it into full blooded interaction, chemistry between your subjects. Its a funny thing, i believe if one can connect with nature, being inanimate and produce a feeling and an emotion in the eye and the mind of the viewer then i wait all my life for that person to interact with the animate to produce something more surreal, decisive and meaningful. The feeling is relative, more personal but the end results have just one objective - to understand life better. There is a greater joy and truth in it.
I like how the woman's head and the bunch of flowers in the bottom right balances each other. That technically correct and the juxtaposition of the headless body against the bouquet is a n added element of interest.
Its going to be a great ride Krisitne, my gut feeling, you see and use the colors to express your individuality and persona, thats who you are as a person. I am quite sure there is something special in that memory card.
Share every feeling.
Jeppo (17645) 2010-01-27 8:17
a place you cannot miss when you go to guatemala....and photoshooting there is pretty difficult (in Morocco as well...I just come back from there...)
Except from Indian Kids who love being shot I normally catch my photo-preys with a zoom to have them "more natural"
Your choice to go with a 10-20 mm is on the contrary very personal and intimate...probably funnier than mine...for sure you experience different reactions....just like the disappointment that (I think) her face is showing...
baba_flies (8829) 2010-01-27 9:53
Hello Kristine! I LOVE markets no matter if it is in Zuerich before work or a night market in Bangkok. Yes you got very close and personal. Deep you went and up the lense, I can see you running around :))) Speaking for myself, I prefer the zoom to avoid to get too close but I know this is not very brave but somehow I can watch from a distance and I can go around discussions but on the other hand I see what adventures you had and I will never have it this way but also with the zoom, people realize and I had many nasty looks and friendly smiles, also this way. Cool idea to flip it to the side a little, I had to get used to it but it works. So many colors, okay in Zuerich, you would not see this but rather business men in their black suits buying flowers for their ... secretaries maybe :))) Have a great and happy day, Barbara.
delkoo (68) 2010-01-27 10:39
you were there at the right moment to get that surprising double portrait,tilt and colors gives a real dynamism to the photo.
brandstaetter (15915) 2010-01-27 11:39
so nice and vivid colours with a Nikon ?
I also like your diagonal approach to this nice theme.
Bartleby (13552) 2010-01-27 13:53
10-20 for portrait! Surprising but a great idea! I gotta try that soon. Anyway, I like the result here because you've manage to include a lot of elements but they're still nicely organized in the frame thanks to that square format and the tilt. Original and bold. Way to go!
EDIT: as an afterthouhgt, didn't you have troubles with this lens's distortions? Especially for portrait? I was thinkin' maybe a prime 24mm lens would avoir that downside...
wolf38 (31296) 2010-01-27 23:34
Hello Kristine. Really an interesting photo. First: the photo is composed absolutely perfect. Everything has its perfect place. Colors and lighting are beautiful. Content, the photo shows an interesting design. While a woman looks a little surprised at the camera, the other woman hidden behind a bouquet of flowers. That is what makes the photo worth seeing. My appreciation for this great and skillfully realized photo. Regards, Wolfgang.
emka (99999) 2010-01-27 23:44
Haha, flower head. beautiful scene from Chicji. Was it the market day? The market there was the most beautiful I have ever seen. Fantastic emboidered dresses items, wooden mascs, mayan vases, ... My backpack was very heavy after that... Nice composition. I think I can spot there a church in the bg.
jaywalker (16101) 2010-01-28 10:28
Hi Kristine, A wonderfully composed picture with the white flowers sat in the bottom corner, it's nicely timed with the lady looking right at the lens & there is very good light, a beautiful array of colours captured nicely in a photo offering super detail & sharp quality, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
Waylim (25502) 2010-01-29 10:08
Is that what happen when you eat too much flower seeds, they grow out of your head? When I was young, when I eat water melon and I sometimes swallow the seeds and my older friend would say that water melon will grow out of my head or ears. I was scared, I didn’t really want to have to carry that heavy water melon everywhere. But for consolation at least they didn’t tell me that it will grow out of my ass… Ahh nightmare!
Okay! Back to this photo. It is kind of a strange and funny moment, this could be your good mood photo of Guatemala. I like the cultural aspect of the photo, the local market activities, so lively with so much going on. It must be such experience to witness all that. Photographing can be fun and challenging, depending on the people, if they are friendly, you feel more comfortable and have fun, if they are mean and want moneys, it becomes a bit annoying and uncomfortable. And if you are shy, you won’t get the up close and personal shot. Anyway, it looks like so much fun.
plimrn (21344) 2010-02-03 9:51
You're a lot braver than I am, being stoned is WAY beyond my comfort level; I'd probably slink away with just a harsh look. Still I do think that markets and people tell a lot more about the world than landscapes. While these flowers could be photographed in the street market here in Ocean Beach, but the clothes tell another story. I like the angle you framed, it doesn't seem forced, it just fits.
Housegaijin (0) 2010-07-26 3:43
Hi Kristine, I like the square format, the dynamic tilt, and the touch of humour in this lively portrait. Well seen!
- Copyright: Kristine KL (avene) (12675)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-01-17
- Categories: Daily Life, Festivals
- Camera: Nikon D 200, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 DC EX HSM
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Marker Square [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2010-01-27 6:07