Feature Photograph

 Nurturing Mother

This week's feature photograph was captured in Ang Thong.  This image is significant for several reasons, reasons that all work together to lend impact to the final result.  First, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect color in the background.  The pastel blue/green is about as attractive a color for a portrait background as you’re likely to find on the side of a house.  The two tall plants in the background perfectly frame the secondary subject (lady laying down) and the primary subject is practically centered between the both of them.  This plants being in almost any other arrangement would have zapped the synergy at work in the background.

The main subject (the child) has such cute expression of curiosity and wonder and the secondary subject (mother laying down) looks on with pride.  It’s a portrait taken in a natural attractive setting, the subjects are totally relaxed and natural in appearance, and to top it all off the afternoon light came in over my shoulder making their skin glow, their eyes light up, and even their teeth whiter. 

Perhaps the most significant is how I “saw” this image.  I had been driving around in rice fields and agricultural environments all day and we were hot and covered in dust and the car which is normally black was covered in several layers of mud.  We’d been shooting all day and getting little back in the way of quality images.  One of the very last  learned innate abilities of a photographer is the ability to see light, and subsequently to see an image the light is creating.  Looking for a quality image becomes a natural part of your “seeing” process and you start doing it without thinking.  You’ll know you’ve reached this stage when all of a sudden you’ll stop thinking about whatever you’re doing and say to yourself “that would make a great image!”  You weren’t looking for it, but you saw it anyway.  Out of the millions of images going through your mind that day, this one stood out and screamed at you to pick up the camera.  When this one screamed at me I stopped the car, backed up a few meters, reached for the camera with the attached 70-200/2.8 IS lens, leaned way out of the car window, and yelled “yim” at the mother/daughter as they laughed at the dirty tired farang with the big camera.