here's the first attempt at portraits in my conscious life as an amateur* (see footnote). the kids were standing few steps higher than me on a mountain road, and I was sitting on the ground, therefore they appear looking down on me. but that's how I felt at that moment - zmey had asked them if we could take some photos (as far as Spanish goes, I'm like those smart German shepherd dogs - I understand everything you say and will do everything you ask me to, provided it makes sense to me, but I cannot respond), and even though the kids were quite ready to pose for us, their expressions made clear that they've seen it all before, that this is an unpleasant chore they endure for the benefit of humankind and that the silly tourists are keeping them from much more important things. I felt out of place, in rush to let the kids return to tending to sheep, a bit ashamed, and brain-dead as far as controlling my camera goes. but I still like this photo, probably exactly because it lets me laugh about myself.
some FAQs about this shot:
Q.1 - why the background is white?
A. - that's a cloudy sky. this shot was the overexposed "slot" in the bracketing, but I liked it best.
Q.2 - why the older girl is not in focus?
A. - very interesting question, thank you for asking. (meaning - I panicked, ok? so don't go there and don't start about longer focal length and setting focus for a bit furthern that one meter. I KNOW, but as I said, I panicked).
Q.3 - why don't they have those little lights in their eyes that make portraits alive?
A. you gotta be kidding. don't you see them?! the lights are there!! ok, I admit, small ones, but they're there. you still don't see? do you have glasses? oh, you do... we-ell... next time.
* I've been snapping photos for three years know, but only about year and a half ago something happened and I started trying to think BEFORE pressing shutter button. the shock is probably similar to being born - you're suddenly aware of this huge alien world around you and realise how scary and complicated everything is and how impossibly little you know about it. so you scream.
Critiques | Translate
faubry (35447) 2008-01-16 5:03
bonjour Kristine, a beautiful portrait...superb expressions, may be too posed, but i like a lot, whit background is superb.
dlevy23 (2018) 2008-01-16 6:31
Hi Kristine, love this portrait. I have to say that the note is amazing, thank you for taking the time to write it. I think you did a great job. The little light in their eyes I'm sure is there, is just that they probably have the darkest eyes ever. Their colors are amazing and it worked out pretty good to have that over exposed background.
Good job and no need for panicking!!!!
zmey (7335) 2008-01-16 8:08
hey, i like it!
3 musketeers... and the posture of the foreground girl is priceless. the white background + that makes it look almost like a glamour fashion shot. just the expressions tell a story slightly different. don't know, my take is a bit different. it's not an expression of "we've seen it all", but rather wariness and being ready for anything - in my observation, the "everyday default" look on these kid's eyes. eyes that have seen things; as atested by the scarred cheek of the little girl and the soil on boy's shirt. soil, which in the case of a similar photo from western europe/usa would most likely have ended up on his shirt as a result of playing, but in this case - it was work. interesting cultural contrast of hats: the traditional headgear on the girls, while we see another blow of the "wind from the north" on the boy's head (that and the coin in his hand). a great shot.
thanks for sharing.
BennyV (15907) 2008-01-16 9:25
This is a wonderful shot and I love your note. The background "sky" couldn't be any whiter and makes a great contrast with the details of this colourful triple portrait. The three are posing, but there is a story to tell. Which one it is, that depends very much on your own background. Great work.
limule (4176) 2008-01-16 13:04
How hard you are with yourself... It is very natural to feel a kind of discomfort when shooting people (unless you are a robot). It has something to do a bit with shyness, but very often with sensitivity. Myself, I am unable to perform any portrait in a conscious way (meaning thinking about aperture, speed and so on) if I do not have at least a bit of interaction with the person, or if I am far, a time for observing. Then, obeserving and/or sharing something with somebody else, it helps me to find more details, more beauty and softness. Also, my opinion is that portrait is a more engaged way of shooting than landscapes. Geraldine
Floydian (30970) 2008-01-17 3:02
The longer you think about photography the more difficult it will be ;-)
First i didn't like that white background, thought i was fake, looked like a studio exposure. But the longer i looked at it, the more i started to like it. It brings out the deep colours of the clothings, but what's more important, all detail and eye on their faces, that's the strongest point here. And although they are posing, all three have a different pose and a kind of natural pose which i like a lot. Your low pov worked very good here, like it always does with kids...very clever.
danos (94360) 2008-01-17 3:56
i like this experimental portrait of these tree fellows.I think is something different from the standard ones.If the colours were more light then this white background would be an inapposite shot.But here we have strong and saturated colours and thus the result is perfect.
After tree years with your camera,i think that you must not think about the moment to push the button down.The decisive moments keeps on only some seconds.
trekks (14348) 2008-01-17 5:15
Firstly, I find it nice to know that you and zmey went on a buddy trip and share the hobby. Nice informative Note.
The portrait shot of 3 people is not an easy thing, but in this one, it is easy because all expressions are tense and staring.
That makes it very interesting from the normal 'say cheese' smiles. Obviously they are nervous.
Very colorful and good pov from low angle, the white BG does not OE and gives a good backdrop.
Nice shot. TFS
fulvio52 (8314) 2008-01-17 7:54
Henk (Floydian) is right : the more you think about photography the more difficult it becomes.
I can only speak for myself, but every single time I become too aware of the fact I'm taking a shot and start (over)bothering with technicals... I SCREW UP.
This is an excellent one, the white background works perfectly well for me. It really enhances those colors and the expression of those kid's faces. The latter speaks volumes...
I like it, good job.
Polonaise (5802) 2008-01-17 8:25
Scanning my memory…
Fast forward and rewind…
No… There is (almost) no pictures of ‘that’ style with the white sky, shamelessly and visibly burning our eyes????
You have all the reasons in the world to show the middle finger to all of the highly accomplished photography experts on the site…
Against the rules…
Against the traditions…
Against the idiocy of the common beliefs and pseudo-knowledge…
“My kids are posing in front of my camera and I love it !!!!”
What about the blue skies ???
“I love it even more !!!”
Classic in its own class…
JorgeCK (2620) 2008-01-22 11:16
This is one of the best notes that I have read in a long time. Funny and informative.
As far as the picture is concerned, I like the kids expressions and the clothing colors.
Excellent job as always!!
molla (7129) 2008-01-23 2:42
A superb portrait of those Indians, the overexposed sky give more room for the group and the there expressions are extraordinary.
Real Good again
smarcell (19963) 2008-01-24 5:16
this is a great protrait. The white background is perfect, in this case. It gives the picture a special touch, like a sort of artificial environment, together with the "too posed" people.
I love it
ninaL (21348) 2008-01-24 14:08
You panicked ?
But white backround is not a problem.
It is beautiful backround for this portrait.
No any problem for me.
But there is just something of disturbing : the glance of the girl on the right...and maybe also the glance of the boy...They are not happy enought to be photographed...You were not close enough ? A little girl in the middle is more cool...She is posing with some grace.
Best regards. Grazyna.
daddo (26490) 2008-02-02 19:14
Hi Kristine. I skipped from the portrait of the little one to this one. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your note. That panic happens to me when i try to shoot wildlife that I know is here one sec, gone the next. I like you cheeky self assessment. Nothing like a cheerful soul to brighten one's day. Mind you, the colourful clothes in this shot can do that too. The little one under that big hat is a sweetie.great trio in terms of detail, stance and even their humourless expressions. your analysis of why the absence of a smile had me smiling. I enjoyed this visit. Regards. Klaudio.
Merline (0) 2008-02-03 8:59
how did I miss this one ?
First I want to thank you so much for expressing your thoughts and experience here. It is so interesting and also touching. I feel the passion in you...and the joy and the questions. Portraits are such a powerful subject...oh, I am just no good with words. Let's leave it, I get the feeling...
Your photograph is very beautiful to me. Truly. Yes, they have seen many tourists before, etc etc. Still, the composition is brilliant with that little girl in the fg, the colors superb, I like the white b/g very much. I can see that the older ones are not so happy; that they pose in a obvious way. Still you went for it despite panicking...and you will do so more and more and I am looking forward to it.
Sorry for the chaotic writing.:-)
baba_flies (8829) 2008-03-13 9:43
Hello Kristine! I need a yoga lesson ... now ... where are you? What a cute little group here, shy but nevertheless ready to stand still for a moment and to help you make this wonderful photo. For me, the white back works very well, it makes the colors come out in a different way, it almost stings a little but I really like that. I know what you mean with panicking. We have a farmer where we have the cottage and he has an old Honda motorbike and he sits on his bike in a really cool way, John Player style, and sometimes he moves some hay up to another place and I tell everyone that I want his photo just like this. Last summer this was the case, he moved by my house, but I lost control over my camera ... unsharp :) Very nice work, maybe it is the panic mood that works so well with this one ... Barbara.
Xen (572) 2008-04-08 12:30
This photo is AMAZiNG!!! The colours are just beautiful as are there expression. I also love how grubby they are.
Waylim (25490) 2008-06-09 9:17
I'm the very much the same way, I click before I think. I find that most of the times it worked out best for me, especially when it come to a decisive moment. When someone is doing something and you just pick up you camera and snap it. Than when I have time I look at the setting and do it again, too many times my subject is already gone, if I spent too much time setting up my camera. At least this way I got that shot even if it’s not as perfect as I like it to be. You did great here for the portrait of these three local children, even if the background is overexpose but all details are still very much visible, and color are well maintained. Excellent job for the circumstance. Thanks
gunbud (34066) 2008-12-15 17:09
Wonderful shot of these 6 expressive eyes full of patience for the burgoing photographer.
The colors here are vibrant to go along with excellent sharpness and details.
- Copyright: Kristine KL (avene) (12675)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-12-29
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D 200, Nikkor 18-200 3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR
- Exposure: f/6.7, 1/180 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Ecuador People, Quilotoa Loop [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-01-16 4:46
- Favorites: 1 [view]