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Maasai Portrait and Story
Posted By: alamo5000, 03-28-2016, 02:08 PM

Today my friend and I went on a back country cruise in a 4 wheel drive in one of the back corners of Kenya down near the Tanzania border. All sum total the trip was just over 10 hours to and from Nairobi across some pretty rough terrain. Along one of the "roads" we were driving we picked up a hitch hiker

An elderly Maasai woman was struggling in the heat so we saw her, picked her up, and gave her a ride to her location. She was so grateful that she was hugging us and kissing our hands and was saying 'thank you' in her language.



In return she agreed to pose for a photo for me

Please click the link below to see. It is meant to be viewed full size so hopefully the link goes straight there.


Please take a look and tell me what you think of the shot. (I put it as a link so that it would go straight to the right size... the forum will resize the image if I do it the other way....plus I want it to be a surprise )

https://www.flickr.com/photos/80479720@N06/26074164366/sizes/k/

Last edited by alamo5000; 03-28-2016 at 02:21 PM.
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03-28-2016, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #2
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the link photo are really good x) really sharp Good shoot
03-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by vihuk Quote
the link photo are really good x) really sharp Good shoot
Thank you!

I wish there was a way to show it here bigger but the forum has default settings on how big the picture can be.

I think that size is the best size to view that shot.

This was a very nice moment as part of my travels.

For sure.

(BTW The photo was taken with a K3 and a 16-85mm zoom)
03-28-2016, 04:44 PM - 1 Like   #4
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It's a truly beautiful shot. Well captured. For me, based on my calibrated-today monitor, it could do with the exposure bumping up just a little, but that's my personal preference - others may disagree. Regardless of that, excellent!

03-28-2016, 04:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
It's a truly beautiful shot. Well captured. For me, based on my calibrated-today monitor, it could do with the exposure bumping up just a little, but that's my personal preference - others may disagree. Regardless of that, excellent!
Thank you!

Any and all opinions welcomed!

The post processing on this took me about 10 minutes (maybe) tops.... in other words very very minimal processing. No cropping. Nothing. There is no doubt the post could be improved... but the story makes this shot special to me
03-28-2016, 04:53 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Thank you!

Any and all opinions welcomed!

The post processing on this took me about 10 minutes (maybe) tops.... in other words very very minimal processing. No cropping. Nothing. There is no doubt the post could be improved... but the story makes this shot special to me
And it is special - please know that I don't think it would be improved by further editing; just on my monitor I'd say exposure could be up just a tad. You're absolutely right, it's a special shot and story!
03-28-2016, 05:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
And it is special - please know that I don't think it would be improved by further editing; just on my monitor I'd say exposure could be up just a tad. You're absolutely right, it's a special shot and story!
Oh don't worry. I am not taking it as any kind of negative at all. I am very pleased with my shot. And with a zoom lens none the less!
03-28-2016, 05:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
... And with a zoom lens none the less!
I'm as bad as the next guy for saying how good primes are versus zooms, but some of my best shots have been taken with what are, technically, my worst lenses, including consumer super-zooms and "plastic fantastics". We can debate the pros and cons of lenses all day, and it can be fun, but all that matters is, does the shot work?

03-28-2016, 05:09 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'm as bad as the next guy for saying how good primes are versus zooms, but some of my best shots have been taken with what are, technically, my worst lenses, including consumer super-zooms. We can debate the pros and cons of lenses all day, and it can be fun, but all that matters is, does the shot work?
Yep.

And more than anything it boils down to content, execution, and lighting.

You can have a million dollar lens and without those three, your shot will suck.

But with those three it won't really matter which lens you use. You could get by with almost anything that is remotely 'acceptably' sharp.
03-28-2016, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I am very pleased with my shot.
...and so you should.

For me ? I would have liked colour, simply because these people have a very intense liking and flair for colour which is reflected in all the things they wear and the many embellishments they adorn themselves with. B&W waists this excitement in my opinion. But as they say in the classics, there are many ways to skin a cat.

Cheers
03-28-2016, 05:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
...and so you should.

For me ? I would have liked colour, simply because these people have a very intense liking and flair for colour which is reflected in all the things they wear and the many embellishments they adorn themselves with. B&W waists this excitement in my opinion. But as they say in the classics, there are many ways to skin a cat.

Cheers
I do have it in color as well. Absolutely.

I had to try and think about how to present this shot.... so I thought a B&W version would have worked so I tried that first.

The Maasai definitely wear a lot of very bright and brilliant colors and in this case it's no exception. I still might put up a color version later to see which one everyone likes better...

For my initial reaction to it though black and white draws more attention to her face and all of the nuances that go with that. In other words it takes you past the clothes and to the person. That said I might be able to accomplish a lot with a color version as well.

For a first go at it I chose to do it in B&W for specific reasons. I will have to put some thought and time into processing it in color to a level that satisfies me.
03-28-2016, 05:30 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
... it boils down to content, execution, and lighting.

You can have a million dollar lens and without those three, your shot will suck.

But with those three it won't really matter which lens you use. You could get by with almost anything that is remotely 'acceptably' sharp.
This should be a boiler-plate statement for everyone, from outright beginner to seasoned expert... We can get so obsessed with the minutiae of lens IQ that we forget the far more important aspects.

Again, well done on a lovely image - the lens was the furthest thing from my mind
03-28-2016, 05:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
This should be a boiler-plate statement for everyone, from outright beginner to seasoned expert... We can get so obsessed with the minutiae of lens IQ that we forget the far more important aspects.

Again, well done on a lovely image - the lens was the furthest thing from my mind
Thank you

I was half jokingly saying that about the zoom lenses because I am a prime lover! LOL

But in this case I think the overall look has me dancing still

It's not always about the minute sharpness... it's about the effect and effectiveness of the image... and I think I finally caught one with this shot.

Eventually I will get the hang of this whole photography thing if it kills me!
03-28-2016, 08:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
black and white draws more attention to her face and all of the nuances
Hi
Please do not consider this, my reply, as a "put down", rather as an observation born out of years in photography.

I don't think you will successfully achieve this with a full size body image, either in B&W or colour. To draw attention to the face with all its whether beaten character you must (must is perhaps too strong a word) or rather ought to single out the face a bit more, namely in the truest sense of the word aim your attention to it.

Of course under the circumstances in which this photo was taken it is not possible, but if you take any picture with "face" in mind you would arrange controlled creative lighting to achieve this. However the light here appears to be good enough to get a pleasing result. (And you did)

If you still like to make the face the main attraction try cropping the picture to near portrait dimensions and make sure to retain enough of the chest to give the face some connectivity to the person which, in this case, is important.

Personally, I would not go out of my way making the face the main attraction, the image is nice the way it is. Don't forget it will always mean more to you than to anyone else no matter how well or badly it is taken. (And it is well taken)

Cheers

P.S. Am looking forward to see the colour version.

Last edited by Schraubstock; 03-28-2016 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Additional
03-29-2016, 03:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
Hi
Please do not consider this, my reply, as a "put down", rather as an observation born out of years in photography.

I don't think you will successfully achieve this with a full size body image, either in B&W or colour. To draw attention to the face with all its whether beaten character you must (must is perhaps too strong a word) or rather ought to single out the face a bit more, namely in the truest sense of the word aim your attention to it.

Of course under the circumstances in which this photo was taken it is not possible, but if you take any picture with "face" in mind you would arrange controlled creative lighting to achieve this. However the light here appears to be good enough to get a pleasing result. (And you did)

If you still like to make the face the main attraction try cropping the picture to near portrait dimensions and make sure to retain enough of the chest to give the face some connectivity to the person which, in this case, is important.

Personally, I would not go out of my way making the face the main attraction, the image is nice the way it is. Don't forget it will always mean more to you than to anyone else no matter how well or badly it is taken. (And it is well taken)

Cheers

P.S. Am looking forward to see the colour version.

Naaaah man, don't worry. I don't take offense to opinions so long as they are done tastefully and respectfully. Don't even worry about it.

When I have a bit of down time I will try to take some time and work up a color version. Color would easily and definitely work. For sure.

I was down and out and really sick for a week so I am finally feeling better (I had food poisoning from KFC of all places) so I am finally getting up and around more. Hopefully I can have a whole stack of worthy images before long. I just cherry picked this one to be honest.

I will go out and about more and see what I can round up. I will be going to other parts of Kenya and other parts of Africa as well. At least I hope so. That's the plan at least.

I had a serious bout of food poisoning which turned into a serious bout of cabin fever so I want to go outside a lot more. I haven't even processed 5% of most of my shots yet so when I get a chance I will give color a go on this one
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