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Great dmarizz 2010-08-11 2:08

Hello Biswaroop,
very interesting subject/note. I've never been in India, but I would be in an embarassing situation regarding beaggar portraits. I find this subjects interesting and worth being captured according to TE spirit, but on the other side I do not know if a beggar can appreciate to be "on the stage". Often I don't make portraits being afraid to hurt the person (anyway I wouldn'pay him/her for the photo itself).
From a pure technical point of view, portraits among a crowd is attractive but complicated. The expression on the faces are important but should not distract excessively from the main subject. According to me the only way to get properly both is an extremely shallow DOF. I've done a fast workshop to show my idea: I hope you will not dislike it.
Have a nice week,
Dario

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Old 08-11-2010, 04:07 PM
bmukherjee bmukherjee is offline
TE Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 244
Default To dmarizz: Thanks

Hi Dario,

Wow - thanks for a very thoughtful critique and workshop. About the critique - it's true that beggars often offer an awkward moment in street photography. But then, almost every scene with a photographer taking candid portraits is awkward. I still believe that candid portraits where the beggar is unaware that he/she is being photographed is best - atleast that prevents them from feeling singled out. Of course such photos are trickier than others.

Perhaps India is different in this sense - it's easier to take a candid, simply because of the immense crowd. Moreover, Nainital is a tourist hub - almost every person is taking a photo of something. A lanky photographer with an oversized camera is hard to notice in the sea of families taking portraits of each other.

This is a candid photo - she had no idea I took a photo of her, and I didn't pay her for the photo. I paid her because I thought she was in need, and my photography just enabled me to notice that. It was a moment of sympathy, not reimbursing.

Although I was photographing the expressions of the audience (and the light wasn't in my favor), I like your workshop very much. The blurring of the background definitely highlights the subject, while the slightly lower saturation brings the focus from the brightly colored dresses behind to the dusty rags of the beggar. A very unique look on the photo!

Overall, I think you should visit India - it's easy to become overwhelmed in the tumult, but your phrase "attractive but complicated" describes every scene you will encounter. So much happens, in such vividly detailed chaos, that it's almost impossible to find meaning or direction - just go with the flow of the river of life (as Kipling implied in Kim).

Cheers,
biswaroop
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