Photographer's Note

The child with the extraordinarily warm eyes is a member of the Kanak Tribe, the indigenous Melanesian people of New Caledonia. As we tendered from the cruise ship to the dock in Maré, we were greeted by a group of youngsters dancing and singing traditional South Sea music. In my previous post, I had submitted a photo of a young boy, "Dancing with the Reeds," who seemed non-too-happy to be entertaining the visitors.

In creating the portrait, I was mindful of "the center-line principle" discovered by the English-born psychologist, Christopher Tyler working in California. Dr. Tyler discovered that in almost all great portraits by the Masters, one eye of the subject is located on the vertical line passing through the center of the canvas, i.e. the bisector. This is true of Leonardo's portrait of the Mona Lisa, of portraits by Rembrandt, and even many portraits by Picasso. What holds for the Great Masters certainly holds for photographers.

As I wrote in an accompanying note to the last photo I posted earlier, the archipelago known as New Caledonia was discovered by Captain Cook. The British explorer had been commissioned by the British Government to circumnavigate the world and to determine whether New Zealand was connected to a great southern landmass, or "Terra Australis." During the years 1772-1775, he was on his second voyage on the H.M.S. Resolution to the South Pacific. On that voyage, he charted the eastern coast of Australia, and in 1773 discovered a set of islands, he named "New Scotland" (renamed "New Caledonia" by French settlers). Six years after he discovered the islands, on his third visit to the Hawaiian Islands, Cook became embroiled with the natives, and, in defeat, was boiled in a cauldron.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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