Off to Burma next week, for a full week’s worth of work. In anticipation of my upcoming trip, I decided to quickly scan through my photo archive from my last visit. As I was going through the archive, this picture jumped out at me. I wish I could say that this was taken by a war time photographer some 70 odd years ago. This unfortunately was taken last September during my day tour in the old capital city of Yangon (Rangoon). Hard to imagine that this was 2012 and that children still live in these conditions.
Taken with my Canon 60D and Canon 24-70 F2.8L lens, at ISO 200, F2.8, 1/500 sec. B&W conversion done in Lightroom 5 using Silver Efex Pro 2.
They say that there is an emotional element to photography, and that photographs can sometimes instill deep emotions to both photographer and viewers alike. The picture in my post today definitely falls into that category – at least for the way I felt while capturing this scene on the ferry across the Yangon river.
For someone looking at this photograph, the first feelings would be those of sadness, hopelessness and desperation for both mother and child. For me as the photographer however, there was also another feeling – that of guilt. On the back of my mind I felt that I was taking advantage of the situation for my own selfish benefit of taking a “good” picture. Then again hundreds of pictures are posted each day of children starving in Africa, war amputees, survivors of natural disasters. It was definitely the first time I have ever felt that way taking a picture, but looking back, my feelings of guilt are somewhat relieved by the fact that I can share this picture with the few readers of my blog and help raise awareness of the poverty and misfortune that people in less developed countries have to endure. Pictures like these should make us all appreciate being who we are and being content for what we have.
Shot with my Canon 60D and Canon 24-70 F2.8L at ISO 100, F2.8, 1/60 sec.