Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 51: FACES OF MYANMAR

If asked what I liked the most during my recent 12 day photo-adventure around Myanmar (Burma), it isn't the amazing sunrises over Bagan or photographing the Inle lake fishermen at sunset; it is the overall experience of photographing a few hundred people during my travels.

Now that the largest part of the image editing is completed, I can now formally launch a new "personal project" called: The Faces of Myanmar". The gallery which contains over 100 different faces, is a tribute to the people of Burma, which after have been suppressed for all these years, seem never to loose hope! 

I'm presently working on a slideshow with the 30 or so strongest images of the collection. Once done, I'll post a link here. I'm not sure which direction this project will further go to, but I've been playing with the idea of a self-published book. Time will tell!

Even though, some of the ladies can initially be somewhat shy, the large majority of the Burmese people just love to be photographed. Something I've rarely seen anywhere else...

To represent the whole collection, I elected to make a diptych of two images that best represent the personal project and that work well together...

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The first one of the little girl, was shot on a farmers field between the villages of Aungpan and Pindaya in the Shan state. I will never forget the experience; the child which was patiently sitting against the wheel of an ox-cart while its parents were harvesting wheat. She looked up to me and immediately give me this natural pose. Being in a remote part of Burma, I'm pretty sure that this was not something trained by tourists! It looked like her mum was as surprised as I was about the pose!

The second one which I titled "Non for life", was shot at the Pho Wing Taung cave pagodas near Monywa. 

Given the two extremes in age, I find that the two images are complimentary to each other.

Image 1 details (girl on farm field):
Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon XF50-140 f2.8
ISO 500, 110mm (166mm full frame equivalent), f5.6, 1/250s
RAW development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex pro for contrast enhancement

Image 2 details (non for life):
Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon XF50-140 f2.8
ISO 320, 140mm (210mm full frame equivalent), f3.6, 1/250s
RAW development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex pro for contrast and detail enhancement

For the ones that missed it, make sure you check out the three part series I blogged about the trip: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

It is no secret that part of the high quality of most of the Faces of Myanmar images comes, from the amazing new XF 50-140 f2.8 lens. To check out my "in the field review" on the lens, click here.

I would like to finish with a quote of the most famous lady in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, "You should never let your fears prevent you from you think is right".

Happy shooting,
BJORN









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