Buddhist monks

Tonight I am flying back to Myanmar, for what has now become a frequent destination. During this 2 week stay, I will get a chance to spend 5-days in Ngapali – a beach resort close to the town of Thandwe on the west coast of Myanmar. Pretty excited to be honest, because even though this will be a quite long and tiring trip, at least I will get the chance to unwind by the beach over the weekend.

With new destinations come new photo opportunities! From what I’ve read, the beaches there are really beautiful, and even though they are considered to be the best in the country, the political climate of the country has downplayed their popularity in the South East Asia region. My aim therefore this time around is to get some decent seascape pictures particularly during sunset and also portraits of the locals from the nearby fishing villages.

Below is a picture I took just over a year ago during my visit to a Buddhist monastery in the ancient city of Bagan. The young monks here wearing the traditional Buddhist red gowns are bringing food for their elders just in time for lunch.

Bagan priests - 1920c

Shot with my Canon 60D and Sigma 18-200 F3.5-6.3 OS lens, at ISO 200, F.5.0 @ 1/800 sec.


Outdoor Portrait Photography

Of all the different types of photography I’ve tried, the one I find very challenging is portrait photography – especially when working outdoors where the elements of nature are always unpredictable. As they say however, practice makes perfect, so yesterday I went out for another round.

Admittedly though, this was not solely my idea.To my pleasant surprise it was Daria who came up with the initiative, at the same time volunteering herself as my model. Definitely an interesting turn of events, as she is usually simply an observer, occasionally nagging me about how long it takes me to take a single shot! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate a second, so just before sunset we left the house on a quest to find a decent photo location. Our short drive brought us to an abandoned hotel in the middle of Nicosia, which after closing due to financial problems a good decade ago, it has been left in a state of decomposition – a perfect location for a photo shoot!

I’ve been recently reading  about single light portraits and the dramatic effect they can produce. Since I only own a single speedlight, one can understand my interest in this technique! The picture below is one of the 2-3 decent pictures I managed to take during our 30-minute on-location shoot. For this shot, the flash gun was mounted off-camera on a tripod, elevated high up and aimed downwards towards Daria. Through the magic settings of camera and flash exposure, I managed to fully control both the ambient light and the light output of the flash gun. The resulting picture was then converted into B&W in Adobe Lightroom 4, with a few adjustments made to contrast and clarity.

Daria Outdoor Portrait - 1920cTaken with my Canon 60D, Canon 24-70mm F2.8L lens, at ISO 160, F8.0, 1/200 sec. Flash output was set to 1/2.