As those of you that follow me on Twitter will know, for the last three days I have been in Oman taking part in the Faces and Places workshop by Bobbi Lane and David Nightingale. I was really looking forward to this workshop as it’s the type of photography that I really enjoy – travel photography. I had a few personal goals for these three days and while I managed to achieve some, others I still have to work on. I hope you’ll bare with me as I ramble on about some of these goals hoping that they might help some of you that try to become better photographers.
The most important thing I wanted to do was to slow down. To try not to rush to a place trying to get every single shot that I can. To sit down next to the people that I’m photographing, trying to learn a bit about them before I ask them to take their photograph. In these terms I think I really succeeded as I had some nice conversations with people in the Mutrah Souq in Muscat or with kids that were playing football on a beach in the small town of Sur. That resulted in some interesting photographs.
The second objective was to take less bracketed shots and try to use exposure compensation more. For those of you not so familiar with these technical terms, I basically tried to get a great shot from one exposure, rather than saying “Well this scene is really contrasty so I’ll just take a series of different exposures and put them all together in Photoshop or Photomatix”. As a result, for the duration of the whole workshop I only took 3 bracketed exposures out of about 1500 total shots!
Finally, the last thing I tried to do was to understand a bit more about how light falls on different faces and to try and capture that in the best way possible. I did manage to do this with a few shots, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Over the next weeks I will share with you some of these images and hopefully I will get some constructive feedback.
The shot below is probably one of my favourites. I noticed this guy diving off some cliffs in Wadi Shab in the second day of the workshop. I went to him to talk for a while and to see if I could get a couple of shots of him. He didn’t have any issue with me photographing him, but the light was terrible – midday, harsh light. As I was just about to leave him alone I noticed the colour of his dress and I immediately remembered a bench we just passed by that had almost the same colour and it was in the shade. I figured it would make for a good location so I asked him to come with me and captured this shot. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out and I would be happy to hear your thoughts on it.