I photographed this monk in Laos, in the small world heritage listed town of Luang Prabang. From memory there are around 33 temples in and around the town. I think I managed to visit around 30 of them.
I positioned the monk in front of a Buddha statue and utilized window light as my main (primary) light source. Light hitting the subject from one side is wonderful for emphasizing shape and texture. In the above image the shape of the monk’s head and the structure of his face have been clearly defined by the side lighting.
In addition the fact that the light is relatively bright results in all shaded areas photographing much darker than they would have appeared (to the eye) at the time of making the image. A good way to remember this is via one of my photographic mantras. It reads as follows:
The brighter the light, (therefore), the darker the shadows.
I originally made this image on 35mm color transparency film. After scanning I employed Adobe Photoshop CS4 to process the digital color file and render it into black-and-white. I love the dual sense of serenity and strength within the subject. The window light has produced luminous skin tones, while the dense shadows have added a somewhat somber, mysterious quality to the image.
I hope you enjoy the final result as much as I do.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography