portrait format

 BySina Korean

Camera: Canon EOS 450D Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens Exposure: l/100sec at f/5.6 (ISO 400) CHRIS SAYS: took this H colourful shot whilst living in the suburban area of Mumbai. This  particular lady came to my house every morning with her wicker basket and tried to sell fresh eggs and occasionally fruit.’’

LEE FROST: I m a big fan of travel portraiture, so I fully understand why other photographers are drawn to it. Local people seem far more exotic and interesting when you re in another country, yet I would never dream of asking a stranger in the UK if he or she minded having their photograph taken! Sina s portrait says  India  through and through to me. It s colourful, the woman s face is full of character and she s clearly relaxed in front of the camera, which always makes a difference to the final image.

What perplexes me is how Sina achieved that punchy look It could be pseudo-HDR, from a single Raw file, the work of a software plug-in or simply a product of Sina s post-processing. However it was achieved, I feel it s on the verge of being too much, especially where colour is concerned. Maybe winding down the saturation a little would solve that problem.

My next criticism is that the background competes for attention with the woman. Sina used an aperture of f/5.6 when, ideally, with a 50mm lens, he needed to open it up further, if possible, to blur the background. Maybe the door could be opened so the woman was captured against the dark interior as an alternative? The backdrop would be less distracting, even at f/5.6. Failing that, cropping the shot to portrait format would get rid of the distractions. Verdict: A great travel portrait, but a bit too punchy and the backdrop distracts.

DANIEL LEZANO: It wouldn t surprise me if Chris has studied some of Lee Frost s travel portraits before heading to Mumbai, as his shot shares many characteristics with Lee s techniques. The use of a relatively short focal length to get in close, a subject that has a relaxed and candid expression, and strong, bold colours that add rather than distract all work together to give an excellent travel portrait. That said, there are a few things that may have improved the image further. The first is the aperture setting, which at f/5.6 results in too much depth-of-field - shooting wide open at f/1.8 would have thrown the background out of focus and emphasised the subject s face even further. The other change concerns the crop; I d have tried going slightly closer still and shooting in portrait format, or moving further back to include more of the clothing and basket.

Verdict: A strong travel image that just needs a little refining.

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