The stories behind the images

The stories behind the images
chairs, rome

Friday, March 26, 2010

montepertuso, amalfi coast

The story behind the image:

It was late-afternoon in Montepertuso, a small village up in the mountains behind Positano. The tiny piazza where the bus had dropped us was busy, as many of the locals were arriving back from working in the terraced fields. We went off to explore - I made my way to the church up the hill and Dianne walked along the streets leading off the piazza.

Dianne passed one of the old women of the village and knowing her delightful face would make a wonderful shot, Dianne gestured to her camera. The woman nodded and happily posed for some shots.

Dianne's first and second shots:

The strong textured background is competing with our main subject - we want the focus to be the woman.

Dianne's third shot:

This works. The background is blurred and non-intrusive, and Dianne's captured a fantastic moment - the smile, the cheeky eyes, the wave goodbye. It was then cropped to fill the frame, although I think the original un-cropped version (which gives us more of the lady) also works.

Heading away from the piazza I also met some wonderful local women who were on their way to church. They stopped and we chatted, and then I captured this image. It's one of my personal favourites of last year's tour.

There are two approaches to shooting images of people. You can shoot discretely and not make any direct contact, or you can engage with your subjects. I often find that my approach depends on my mood and the particular circumstances, but mostly my experience has been that by directly engaging with people you not only get compelling emotive images but you also get wonderful memories.

Photoshop post-production:
Dianne used a levels layer (to increase contrast) and a filter from Alien Skin Exposure 2 filter software to warm up skin tone.

Equipment and settings used:
Camera - Canon EOS 400D
Settings - f6.3, 1/160s, ISO 200, auto white balance, landscape picture style (for rich colours), shot in JPEG
Lens - Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) LENS
Focal length: 250mm

Happy shooting, from Lisa and Dianne at Capture Italy.