I photographed this lovely woman in a small village on the way to the Plain of Jars near Phonsavan in Laos. I was compelled to make the photograph for design reasons. I was fascinated by the similarities between her face and the texture of the background wall. However, I later discovered that the similarities between the two provided too much information and made the image overly complex. I solved the problem by employing Adobe Photoshop CS3 to selectively blur the background to achieve a similar effect to that which would have resulted from a shallow Depth of Field (DOF).
The photography itself was very straightforward. As she seemed a little shy I made sure the entire process of asking permission, making the image, thanking the subject and moving on was completed in less than a minute.
The image was made on a Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film. I love the way the mild wild-angle associated with the 35mm lens focal length adds emphasis to foreground elements with film and full-frame digital cameras. In the case of an environmental portrait moving in that step or two closer really brings the subject forward in the composition, adding a sense of presence to the image. To achieve the same affect with the majority of digital cameras currently on the market (those with sensors smaller than a 35mm negative) you'd need to shoot at a wider focal length. That would be around 24mm on a Nikon and 22mm for most Canon cameras. Please let me know if you'd like more information of this topic. I'd be happy to post an article. Processing was completed in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS3.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography