The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2022 Video (Podcast 786)

The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2022 Video (Podcast 786)


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Following on from the previous post about creating a slideshow using Boinx Software’s FotoMagico, although I was taken out of action for two days following my fourth COVID vaccination, I spent several additional days creating the background music for my slideshow, as I mentioned in that previous post. Slideshow music can be difficult because you don’t want it to be too prominent, but at the same time, it needs to compliment the images and content, so it takes more thought than simply sitting down to make a track just for the sake of it.

I’m not going to go into much detail, as this post is really at this point to point you to the video. Still, as the video starts, you’ll notice some simple Kalimba music, which is an African instrument that I have in one of my many plugins. I then spent some time finding chords that matched the subject matter, slightly sad sounding in places, mainly because of the feeling from the deserted diamond mines, and then I make it a little lighter with some flurries when necessary. We drop back to the Kalimba several times to break up the piano. After the initial Kolmanskop piano accompaniment, I switched to a hybrid traditional piano and electric piano played together. My wife thinks the flurries with the hybrid piano sound a little 70s or 80s, and she’s probably right because I was thinking Blade Runner as some of the notes and feeling of the music started to form.

Here is a screenshot of the final score in Ableton Live before I exported the music to embed into FotoMagico. If you click on the image, you’ll be able to see more detail if you are interested. Note that I designed the dark-teal theme for Ableton, as I don’t like the look of any of the actual themes provided with the software. The only additional thing to mention is that I also added some orchestral strings with brass and horns at various places, again, to add a little variation while changing the way I played some of the chords, hopefully making it a little less monotonous without having to compose and play each bar individually. This is to both save time and because too much variation can also get in the way of the slideshow if it starts to take the viewer’s attention.

Namibia 2022 Slideshow Score
Namibia 2022 Slideshow Score

I changed the timing a little, so although I’d say this would be around 18 minutes, the final video is 16 minutes and 30 seconds, which is still very long for a slideshow. This essentially represents most of my “keepers” from the trip, as the slideshow is designed to show you how much can be achieved during my 17-day Complete Namibia Tours. If you have time, do try to watch to the end, but I doubt with the number of images, it will be a video you’ll rewatch many times. Either way, though, if I can get my message across, that’s great. I hope you enjoy this. You can see this and over 100 other videos on my Vimeo Channel.


Show Notes

See the video on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/737475715

Check out my Vimeo Channel here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Morocco Tour 2018 Travelogue 4 (Podcast 644)

Morocco Tour 2018 Travelogue 4 (Podcast 644)

This week we conclude our travelogue series to walk you through my 2018 Morocco Tour & Workshop, as we finish up our shoot of the camels in the Sahara, then photograph some wonderful characters before ending our trip with the Portuguese Cistern at El Jadida.

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In the previous episode we looked at a number of photos of the camel handlers with their turbans blowing in the wind as well as leading their camels through the dunes in the Sahara Desert. To stick to our ten images per post though, we left the last couple of images from this shoot until this week, so let’s jump right in and look at these now.

Camels at Sunset

We’d waited until the sun was on the horizon for our last few shots, of which this is one of my favorites. You can see now why it wasn’t such a bit deal that three tourists had ridden their own camels across the brow of this sand dune, as it was pretty much going to be a silhouette by the time we shot it anyway.

Camel Sunset
Camel Sunset

Although I’m not very good in automated shooting modes, because we were sometimes shooting into the sun like this, and other times shooting away from it, I do work hard to get used to using Aperture Priority with Auto-ISO in situations like this, and it leads to some nice silhouettes as the camera darkens down the exposure to avoid blowing out the sunset.

I also set the camera to keep my shutter speed relatively high to avoid camera shake, and to capture the walking camels, so it all came together with a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second at f/13, with the ISO at 200 and a focal length of 97mm.

Rock the Kasbah

As the sun went down, we had the camel handlers walk across this dune a few times, and moved around a little for a slightly different perspective. For this last shot of the camels I went a little higher to include the top of what looks like a Kasbah, although in reality I think it is the lodge that we’d stayed in on the previous night before moving to our luxury tents a few hours before this shoot.

Camel Sunset with Kasbah
Camel Sunset with Kasbah

As there was a lot of clear sky above the line of camels in this photograph, I decided to crop it down to a more cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, which I quite like. The settings for this were a 1/250 of a second at f/13, with an ISO of 640 and a focal length of 97mm. For both of these images I was using my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 Mark II lens.

After spending the night in the Sahara, the following day we drove back through the dunes in our four-wheel drive vehicles, and switched back to our bus to continue our journey.

Man in the Well

Shortly after starting our drive, we stopped for a shoot that I’d been looking forward to since last year. We visited Karim again, the man who poses for us down an irrigation channel with a well hole, through which beautiful light pours for what I think are incredible photographs.

Man in Well
Man in Well

I actually shot most of my images down here in portrait orientation, including this one, but with this I’ve taken it into Photoshop and extended the canvas so that it is a 3:2 aspect ratio in landscape orientation, and then selected the two areas to either side of the original photograph, hit the delete key, and then had Photoshop fill in the sides with Content-Aware Fill. With it being so dark I just had to clean up a few artifacts to get a landscape orientation version, which I really like.

Because it’s so dark down this well I was also looking forward to using my 85mm f/1.4 L lens down here, which I opened up to f/2, so it was letting in two stops more light than my f/4 lens does wide open. This enabled me to capture a brighter image than last year, although my ISO was still at 6400, at 1/20 of a second.

Aït Benhaddou

We ended the day at Ouarzazate, where we had a quick shoot of the beautiful fortified town of Aït Benhaddou before heading to our hotel for the night. We went back the following morning, when I shot this image with the warm morning sun bathing the town.

Aït Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou

I used a 6 stop neutral density filter for a 2.5 second exposure to make the water in the river smooth over a little, although we hardly notice that in the photograph with the fortified town being so vibrant. I’d set my aperture to f/14 and ISO to 100 with a focal length of 56mm.

Moroccan Man in Window

When we got into the town itself, our guide arranged a few shoots with the local people, starting with this man who we’d photographed with his donkey outside, before going into his house to photograph him in a window like this. It was funny, because the house was mostly very traditional, with the Berber mark above him on the wall and similar authentic artifact, but just above to the right of the frame here, was a huge Gladiator poster in a frame, which had been given to this man as he was an extra in the movie.

Moroccan Man in Window Light
Moroccan Man in Window Light

Running with my semi-automated shooting modes, the shutter speed was a little higher than necessary here at 1/320 of a second, but I’d opened up the aperture to f/2.2, and these settings gave me an ISO of 2000 at a focal length of 85mm. With all the rustic red shades in this image, one of my favorite parts is the man’s blue turban, which is a nice color contrast against the reds.

Mr. Mohammed

Moroccan Man in Cape and Yellow Turban
Moroccan Man in Cape and Yellow Turban

I had also been really looking forward to revisiting the gentleman in the next few photographs, as his images were some of my favorites from last year’s trip as well. This is Mr. Jamal Eddine Mohammed who lives in this ancient town and has appeared as an extra in many movies shot here too.

He’s a wonderful character and great looking gentleman to photograph. When I told him that I thought he looked like Sir. Alec Guinness, he smiled and then reeled off a string of other actors names who he’s been told he looks like, and they were pretty much all in there in his rugged good looks.

I framed this up with him directly in front of the dark area of a gateway at the foot of his house, but I used my 85 mm lens opened up to f/2.5 to give me a nice shallow depth of field and some separation between him and the background. This also resulted in a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second and my ISO was at 125.

Inside an Adobe Building

We also went back into the adobe building that we’d photographed Mr. Mohammed in last year as well, and although I have another great shot of him close up, looking up into the light again, here is a wider framed image showing him in his environment, with the dusty Tajine pots lined up along a ledge.

Moroccan Man in Adobe Building
Moroccan Man in Adobe Building

Once again the dark conditions resulted in my ISO going up to 6400, the maximum that I set for my Auto-ISO range, and my shutter speed was then forced down to a 1/20 of a second exposure at f/4, and my focal length was at 35mm.

As I’ve mentioned many times though, it’s better to let your ISO go higher and record a brighter image than to resist the higher ISO resulting in a darker image, because brightening up a dark image introduces more grain than the higher ISO does.

Marrakesh Waterman

Marrakesh Waterman
Marrakesh Waterman

After our shoots at Aït Benhaddou, we continued our journey to Marrakesh, the last place that we’d spend two nights at before heading back to Casablanca via El Jadida.

To be completely honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of Marrakesh. I find the people to be more aggressive than the rest of Morocco, and even just getting out an audio recorder to record the ambient sounds of the market square there instantly resulted in two young men rushing over to hold out their hats for tips.

On the other hand, if you prearrange a shoot with people, as our guide did the morning after we arrived, with a number of the watermen, you can still get some nice shots. For me this year, this image of an aged waterman with a great toothy smile is about the only shot from Marrakesh that has made it to my final selection.

These watermen are fun to shoot, as they are colorful and have a certain showmanship element, although I do wonder if people actually ever drink their water these days, with it being so much more available than it would have been when this quant tradition originally formed.

My settings for this shot were a 1/200 of a second exposure at f/4, and my ISO was at 100 with a focal length of 105mm.

Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida

The following day, we drove over to the coast to a town called El Jadida, for the final real highlight of the tour, which is a visit to the old Portuguese Cistern there, as we can see in the final few images for this series.

Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida
Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida

I’d negotiated to allow us to take and use one tripod inside the cistern, so with my Arca Swiss standard Really Right Stuff quick release clamp on my tripod, and the fact that many guests had compatible plates and brackets on their cameras, we took my tripod in.

I of course let all the guests that wanted to use it do so for as long as they wanted, so the above image was shot at ISO 5000, as I continued to do most of my shooting handheld. It works fine though, and unless you zoom in to 100% and inspect the shadows you can’t really see any grain. Even printed this would look fine as grain shows up even less in prints.

This is a wonderful rugged environment that I really enjoy photographing. I generally just expose to the point that the highlights in the hole in the roof and the brightly lit area below it are just starting to blow out, and then bring out the shadow detail in post using the Highlights and Shadows sliders in Capture One Pro. My other settings were a 1/40 of a second shutter speed at f/5.6 and a focal length of 45mm.

I made a few more exposures after getting my tripod back to use before we left, and this is one of the resulting images, so at ISO 100, for a ten-second exposure at f/14. It’s hard to tell the difference without really jumping in and inspecting the shadows, but it is a slightly cleaner image.

Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida
Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida

My focal length was 35mm for this final photo of this travelogue series. After this, we drove for a few more hours up the coast back to Casablanca where we’d started our trip almost two weeks earlier.

By the time we got to our hotel and recorded a comment from each member of the group as you’ll hear in the recording I’d almost completely lost my voice from the cold that I’d caught. It turns out that we’d find from blood tests after I got back to Japan that I had also been infected with some sort of virus and some of the values in the test results later showed one of the doctors that I talked to a week or so ago that I probably should have been hospitalized.

Luckily I made it back to Japan OK, although a little worse for wear, and it took me another ten days and a seven-day course of antibiotics to fully recover, but I did really enjoy this year’s Morocco tour, once I got in after my fiasco with the customs officials on arrival.

Anyway, here is the recording from each of the guests. (Use the player above to listen to the audio.)

To follow up on the comment made by Ken at the start of these comments, it turns out that the Japanese Rugby Team have the nickname The Cherry Blossoms, which Ken had pointed out early in the tour and reminded me of a number of times, often accompanied by copious amounts of laughter from the group. I’m never going to live that down!

A Happy New Year for 2019!

Before we finish I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year as 2018 draws to an end, and we start 2019 with hope for a peaceful, safe and fruitful year ahead.


Show Notes

If you buy using the gear links in this post you help to support the podcast at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you!

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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Morocco Slideshow Video (Podcast 628)

Morocco Slideshow Video (Podcast 628)

For this week’s post, I’ve produced a video to showcase Morocco, containing fifty-something images from last year’s Tour & Workshop that I ran. As I’m running over time-wise, as is often the case when I create the music too, I’ve put a small version of the video in the Podcast feed, but the full-sized 4K version is below for you to check out.

As usual, the music is a bit rushed, but it should complement the video, so grab a cuppa, turn up your speakers, and sit back for a four-minute tour of Morocco!

Morocco Portfolio

You can also view most of these photos at your own pace in my Morocco Portfolio if you are interested. 

2018 Morocco Tour

We have actually had a few cancellations for this year’s Morocco Tour & Workshop, so if you might like to join us in November, check out the tour page here: https://mbp.ac/morocco

Morocco Tour & Workshop 2018


Show Notes

See details of our Morocco Tour here: https://mbp.ac/morocco

Music by Martin Bailey

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Namibia Full Circle Tour 2015 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 489)

Namibia Full Circle Tour 2015 Travelogue Part 4 (Podcast 489)

This is part four of a series of travelogue style episodes to walk you through my recent visit to Namibia, co-hosting an amazing photography tour with my friend Jeremy Woodhouse.

Himba Boy

Himba Boy

We pick up the trail on August 20, when we visit the first of two Himba villages that we visited during our tour.

The Himba are a nomadic people with a strong culture, and visiting their village is a highlight of the tour for many participants, including me of course.

This first photo that we’re going to look at is of a Himba boy, or maybe we should call him a young man, that posed for me in the doorway of one of their huts (right).

Direct sunlight is very harsh, so we generally ask the Himba to stand in shade or go inside their huts, like this. It really helps to reduce the contrast, although it does require a high ISO to get your shots, as you’ll see later.

As this was still in the doorway, I set my ISO to 320 for this first photo, at f/5.6 for a 1/100 of a second exposure.

I also used the Radial Filter in Lightroom to highlight the boys face, by reducing the Exposure of the rest of the image by 0.6. It’s not a huge change, but subtly changes the feel and atmosphere of the image.

There’s one thing with this photo that I can’t quite make my mind up about, and that is that if you zoom in on his eyes, you can see me crouching down in front of him with my camera. It produces a nice catch-light, but I would prefer it if I wasn’t there, so I might at least desaturate my shirt later.

Himba Lady Taking Smoke Bath

Himba Lady Taking Smoke Bath

This next photo (right) is shot inside a hut, at ISO 6400, f/4, for 1/80th of a second. I know that this will have some of you cringing, thinking that it must be full of grain, but it simply isn’t, because I was exposing to the right.

I have actually reduced the Exposure by 0.55 in Lightroom to darken the lady’s skin to a natural level, but the original was brighter than this, with the highlights close to being over exposed.

This greatly reduces any grain that creeps in at high ISOs. Most people get scared of the grain and select a lower ISO, but that makes the exposure lower, recording the image data in the middle or on the left of the histogram, and that in turn ironically introduces more grain.

The moral of this story of course, is don’t be afraid to increase your ISO in situations like this, even if you reduce the Exposure later. Your photos will thank you for it.

The Himba lady here is actually taking a bath. When we asked her to go inside her hut, she quickly picked up a small pot with some dried twigs inside, and set light to them with the fire in a hearth near the center of the room, and then covered it with that ocher colored cloth which she draped over the smouldering twigs and her lower body. This is how the Himba people cleanse themselves, instead of bathing in water, which is too scarce in this areas to use for washing.

These next two photos are of the same Himba girl, with the one of the left also inside the hut. The only light in the hut is that which comes in through the doorway, so it really does light up the subjects face with a soft light, which I had the girl look into for this first shot (below, left).

I shot this as f/5.6, ISO 5000 for 1/80 of a second. I reduced the ISO for this one partly because she was closer to the doorway than the last image, but also because the white on her shells was starting to blow out, and I wanted to protect those highlights.

Himba Girl

Himba Girl

Himba Girl

Himba Girl

The photo on the right was shot at f/5.6 still, but this time she was in the doorway, so I had my ISO at 400, for a 1/100 of a second (above, right). Once again, I used the Radial Filter in Lightroom for these, to highlight the face a little, by reducing the Exposure of the rest of the image.

Himba Lady with Baby

Himba Lady with Baby

This next photo (right) is of a young Himba mother, with her child. Jeremy, the tour leader, asked her to walk out into their enclosure for about 50 paces, and then walk back again.

This is probably my favorite shot. A view from the back, which has more story to it in my opinion. We can imagine them walking away to start something, and we think about what it is that they are going to do, or maybe they are leaving us, and we consider our feelings about being left behind.

We had actually left the village before lunch, and had returned with some supplies later in the afternoon, so here, the light is much warmer at this time than it would have been during the morning, so this was a nice opportunity to get some shots outside the huts.

I shot this with my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, at f/4, for 1/400 of a second at ISO 100. This is one of the few times that I actually used my 70-200m lens during the tour, but I wanted the wider aperture for portraits, which I why I put it into my vest pocket before we entered the village.

There’s actually a relatively sad story attached to having the 70-200mm lens in my vest pocket. Most of the Himba people don’t speak much English, and yet there is one word that the children seemed to whisper to us often, and that is “Water”.

They’re having a dry year, and often the small children would point to my pocket, and get closer to my ear and whisper “water”. They thought it was a water bottle in my pocket. I felt terrible when I had to tell them it was a lens, which they had zero interest in. We did have some water in our vehicle though, which we gave them as part of our payment for their kindness in letting us into their village and their lives.

We continued shooting after this, as the Himba people kindly allowed us to photograph them herding their goats into the corral for the night, as we can see in this photo (below). The are hills behind this scene, so the sun goes behind the hill before it gets close to the horizon. This means that the light is getting warm, but not as warm as it would be later, if the hills weren’t there. There’s nothing we can do about that of course, and I still like the resulting photos a lot.

Himba Goat Herding

Himba Goat Herding

This image was shot at f/8, ISO 500 with a shutter speed of 1/320 of a second. I needed a fast-ish shutter speed to mostly freeze the action, which is what I did here.

The light did start to warm up more as it clipped the top of the hills, as we continue to shoot. The dust in the air also helped as it’s a brownish color from the dirt, as we can see here. I particularly like how we can see the sun’s rays in the dust in this photograph (below), which was shot at f/9, ISO 800 for 1/320 of a second.

Goat Herd in Sun's Rays

Goat Herd in Sun’s Rays

After shooting the goat herding for a while, we joked with the ladies in this photograph, and then started walking back to the main enclosure, and to our vehicles which were outside. I walked back with two of the children, which I lifted up, one in each hand, time and again as they laughed, and seemed to enjoy the experience. I absolutely loved playing with the kids, and the cultural exchange that we had here. The girl of the two children even danced for me for a while, which I caught on video with my iPhone. I have a lot of clips from the trip, and will probably embed them into a slideshow at some point, as time allows.

Purros

The following day, we started another long drive to a place called Purros, where we would start the first of four nights bush camping. Not long into our drive, we came across these men herding long horn cattle to a bore hole for them to take their daily drink (below).

Herding Long Horns

Herding Long Horns

Jeremy’s car drove ahead, and asked if it was OK to photograph them, and we pulled back a way and got out of our vehicles to do just that. This first photo was shot at f/8, ISO 200 with a shutter speed of 1/800 of a second. Here I shot at 286mm, and included the man on his donkey and the entire herd.

As the cattle grew near, I pulled back a little to 158mm, and captured a smaller number of long horns (below). I also adjusted the shutter speed to 1/500 of a second, to keep the data on the histogram over on the right, then I actually reduced the Exposure in Lightroom to -0.20 in this shot. Again, this is a subtle change, but keeping the information as far to the right as possible helps to keep the image quality as high as possible, so even when there is only a small amount to be gained, I tend do this by reflex.

Long Horns

Long Horns

Later that day, just outside Purros, we started to see lots of desert adapted giraffes, such as this one (below). I have a lot of giraffe photos from this trip. And I mean, a LOT! But this is probably one of my favorites, mainly because of the texture created by the tree in this image. The detail is amazing, and I’m looking forward to printing this one to see how it looks on paper.

Desert Giraffe

Desert Giraffe

Next week we’re going to wrap up this series, with one last episode of images, starting with a visit to a second Himba village, and then we drive around the riverbed of the Hoanib River. Although the results aren’t great due to the environment, we had came across a pride of desert lions that had just brought down a young giraffe, and some amazing encounters with desert elephants, so do stay tuned.


Show Notes

Music by the Staff of the Kulala Lodge in Sossusvlei – Thank you!


Audio

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India Apr 2008 – Madivala Market Part#2 (Podcast 134)

India Apr 2008 – Madivala Market Part#2 (Podcast 134)

In the last episode, we started to look at some photos that I shot during another brief visit to the Madivala market in Bangalore, India last week, which for the sake of those listening to the archives in months or years to come was April, 2008. I’d also visited in September 2007 and was searching out the people that I’d shot that time to give them prints of their photos. If you didn’t listen to the last episode, number 133, then it might be better to go back and listen to that first, to get more of the background and see the first five shots of this series with my comments about the thoughts behind the images. If you’re already up to date though, let’s proceed with our brief trip through the market.

We finished last time with a photo with that wonderful gentleman with the red and white checked head dress, who had literally exploded with joy when I searched him out and handed him his photo from last year. This was actually as far through the market as I intended to go, as I this gentleman had been the last person I photographed previously, but there were three people sitting in a stall to our right that had been sharing our moment as I passed the other gentleman his photo. They been smiling and laughing, and as I turned to face them the lady in the middle beckoned me over, and asked to take their photos. Again, it was my pleasure, and I shot a number of frames of them all, and then also the man at the back. Let’s take a look at image number 1747, which is the first one in which we see all three of them.

Three Merchants

Three Merchants

I’d say I messed this up to a degree, because I included all three people, but didn’t close my aperture down enough to get all three of them inside my depth-of-field. I was still at F4, with the shutter speed set at 1/125th or a second, but F4 would not give me enough depth-of-field for all three of these people. I knew that, and I took a couple of shots with the focus on the ladies face, then a few more having focussed on the man to the right, but still was trying not to overwork the situation. I regret this to a degree, but still, I got that kind and sincere look on the ladies face nice and sharp, so I’m not overly concerned. Note that I’d crouched down to be almost at the same level as the people in the shot. It would be easy to just shoot everything from a standing position, but that would not make for very flattering or respectful images.

Man and Child

Man and Child

I then turned to the man on the left of the group as I look at it, and asked if I could take just his photo too. The result is image number 1748. There was a child in the background, looking on inquisitively, so I’d actually shot some further frames, where I’d moved around a little more to my right, to get the child out of the frame, but I ended up preferring this one, as it adds another dimension I think. This too was shot with an aperture of F4 for 1/125th of a second. As I said last week, I’d set my ISO to 200, as many of these people were shaded from the sun by the canopy of their market stalls. While I’m on the subject, I also shot all of these with my 85mm F1.2 lens. I’d left my 16-35mm and my 70-200mm F2.8 lenses in the car, so that I could move around with just my camera, and no camera bag. I also didn’t have my photographer’s vest with me, which I wear religiously at all other times, but remember I was here primarily on business, and so the vest was not really appropriate for this flying visit.

As I walked back through, I was ambushed again by the gang at the fish stall. These guys were just great, and I shot a number of other images. I won’t show you anymore this time, as we looked at a few in the last episode, but remember there is a link in the show-notes that will allow you to see all images in the series on my Web site. If you jump to any of these images using the number I call out, by entering the number into the field under the Podcasts menu at martinbaileyphotography.com then clicking enter, you will also be able to click the India_Apr_2008 link under the photo too, and that is basically the same link that I will provide in the show-notes.

Cool Fishmonger

Cool Fishmonger

So, this snowballing effect of the more I shot, the more buzz I created, and in turn the more people asked me to take their photos too, just kept going. I was having a kind of one man photo-festival. As I walked back towards the car, many people that I’d not shot previously continued to ask for their pictures to be taken and I of course obliged. One guy was actually combing his hair as I walked towards the front of his stall, and was getting into position behind some scales as I moved closer. He then put on a baseball cap, kind of making his hair combing a little redundant, but then hit some great poses for me. Some were very natural and some not so. Trying to keep the number of shots of any one individual to a minimum, I only uploaded one photo of this guy, which is image number 1749.

I started to shoot from the front of his stall, but there was room down the side, so I decided to try to get a different angle. Now, I mean absolutely no detriment to the wonderful, warm people that I was sharing time with, but the market is pretty dirty. There is lots of vegetation that is chopped off from the produce as they prepare it for sale, and this is just left to rot on the ground. Very ecological, but it makes for a fair amount of flies, as well as food for the cattle and chickens that roam free here. There is of course no refrigeration, so the fish stalls especially attract a lot of flies, which I hear is one of the original reasons why many dishes are curried here in India. That7s also why people in England used to salt everything, before the advent of refrigerators and deep freezers, but that’s another topic.

Anyway, as I was shooting this guy that had combed his hair, I really wanted to get him from a better angle, and so walked right into his stall, to get to his side. It was at this time that I realized there were literally thousands and thousands of flies in the area that I’d walked in to. I saw them as I walked in, and many took flight as I got closer, but I was totally unfazed by them. I have seen scenes in documentaries where there are many flies buzzing around, and it usually makes me cringe a little, although I usually say to my wife who hates to see things like this, that I’d be OK in that situation. Still, as I thought about this afterwards, I was amazed at just how unfazed I actually was. I was not concerned about them at all. I could see them in my peripheral vision as I shot, and a few settled on my head, so I brushed them off, but still kept shooting, as though they really weren’t there. Quite a strange experience in hind-sight, but I can only think that I was so deep into the zone that pretty much anything could have happened, and as long as it wasn’t life threatening, I would have remained calm.

One of the people I was with actually remarked later that he’d wished he had a photo of me pretty much engulfed in this swarm of flies. I don’t actually very much like having my own photograph taken myself, but that sure would have been one for the album. The other amusing thing that happened here was that the young man in the photo started asking for the photo as I was coming to the end of shooting him. He actually thought that I could give him the print right there and then and seemed a little disappointed when I explained that I would need to print it and bring it back with me next time. He’d obviously seen me handing out prints, and must have thought that I was shooting with a Polaroid or something. From the size of the 1Ds, that it is probably not that difficult to imagine that it could spit out a photo either. Still, when I promised to do take him a print back next time, he smiled and seemed to be OK with the deal. By the way, to minimize depth of field here, and because it was a little darker at the back of this stall, I opened the aperture up to F2, and the shutter speed was set to 1/200th of a second, still at ISO 200.

As I walked further along, I saw a young boy and I think his older brother at another stall, just a few stalls along from the last guy we looked at. We can see these brothers in image number 1751. I’d actually asked the older brother if I could shoot him, as he looked pretty cool sitting cross-legged on top of a wooden platform, but as I asked, the younger brother threw his arms around the older one, in the posture that we can see here. I have one shot with all of the older brother in, but decided to go with this head and shoulders shot of the two of them, to close in on their faint, but sincere smiles and facial expressions. I closed the aperture down a touch to F2.8 for this, and the shutter speed had to be 1/80th of a second as the light was pretty low. This meant that the boy in the blue shirt’s face is a tad soft, but not enough to ruin the shot, and the background was a little distracting too, so I didn’t want to go with too much depth-of-field either. Well, you’ll know if you’ve been listening for a while that I generally think is terms of how wide I can get away with, when it comes to aperture, and sometimes I push it too far, as I almost did here. Also, you’ll probably have heard me say that you should position yourself so that the background bokeh works for you, not just trying to through it out of focus, but here, as I mentioned last week, I really didn’t want to choreograph these people too much, so I was really just trying to shoot what I could, and take the results as they came.

Brothers

Brothers

As I walked further along, there were two men at a cart with lots of grapes on it who asked for their photos. I shot a few frames of them both together, then a few of them individually. I uploaded one of each, but we’ll just look at the one today, and that is image number 1754. This guy has a great face, and although was posing for me, with his hand holding the grapes over the scales, I think it turned out to be a relatively natural looking shot. I was using the same settings as the last image, so the background is very bright, but the guy himself is well exposed, so I left it at that. Note that I pretty much shoot in Manual all of the time. Had I been in Aperture Priority mode here, the background would have altered the exposure quite a lot, and the guys face would have been very dark, unless I started to use exposure compensation, which is an option of course.

Grape Seller

Grape Seller

As I shot the second of these two guys at his stall, images that I ended up not uploading, the guy that we just looked at, who was still standing at the grape barrow, put a small bunch of grapes into a bag and handed them to me. I thanked him, and asked how much they were, thinking that this only courteous, though I thought the gesture was in return for taking their photos. He told me they were 25 Rupees though, so pleased that I’d asked, I gave him the money. Then he gave me a huge bunch of grapes in another bag, so it seemed that the first bunch actually was a present, and I’d gone and bought another bag full. I actually wrote much of this transcript in the hotel in India on the evening of the day of the shoot, and I ate a few of these grapes as I typed. I can tell you, they were the best tasting grapes I’ve ever had.

Fruit Stall Man

Fruit Stall Man

In the next image, number 1755, we can see the gentleman that I photographed last year, and uploaded as image number 1542 if you are interested. This is actually the person that I mentioned in the last episode, who I approached first when I returned to the market on this visit. I didn’t photograph him early during the visit, but now on the way back to the car, I was more relaxed and the photo-festa whirlwind just kind of got me shooting him again at this point. There were two ladies at the back of this stall too, one I believe was his wife, and I asked them if I could take their photos too. One of them agreed, but unfortunately, although they’d had beautiful smiling faces until this point, I couldn’t get her to smile, and the photo didn’t really work with a straight, almost nervous looking expression. I was still at F2.8 for 1/200th of a second for this shot by the way.

Almost back at the car now, there was a young man sitting in what I think are banana leaves, which he was cutting away at, and he laughed as I drew closer, so I asked if I could shoot him too. I got a number of shots of him alone, but then he moved across to a second young man on the other side of the stall, and put his arm around him in a gesture of friendship. This seemed to make a better photo than the first, which is shot number 1756. Again shot at F2.8 for 1/200th of a second, I think this is a nice boyhood friendship sort of shot. I’d wish that the banana leaves weren’t in the way, but it couldn’t really be helped without dragging them away from their work. Great smiles again too, which I really like.

Banana Leave Workers

Banana Leave Workers

Happy Boy

Happy Boy

I was literally working away from the front of the stalls back towards the car, when the boy in the last photo of the series, number 1757, looked at me as if to say, “What, you aren’t going to photograph me?” and as cute as he was, I wasn’t going to leave without doing so. It was really quite funny actually, because the first two shots he was doing an army salute, which was nice in its self, but pretty unnatural. Then an older boy tried to jump in on the act, and this guy got really angry with him, until he left him alone, then his expression had changed to a very angry and serious one. Again, I dropped the camera and gave him a big smile, and was rewarded with his wonderful smile, as we can see in the photo. This little guy was actually not under his canopy, so I had to raise the shutter speed to 1/640th of a second for this exposure, with the aperture left at F2.8.

This was the last photo of the shoot, as I really had to go. If you check the EXIF data for any of these shots in my online gallery at martinbaileyphotography.com, note that all of the images’ capture time is thirty minutes later than it actually was. I didn’t change the time on my camera during my trip, and India is three and a half hours behind Japan. Lightroom has a feature to change the capture time, but does not have 30 minute increments, so I just moved them back by three hours. The shoot was actually basically from 3:30 to 4:00PM, but all the EXIF data has the images shot between 4PM and 4:30.

As we drove away from the market I was on a bit of a high. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started to give prints to the people that I’d photographed the previous year, and I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to photograph many people this time as well. From the expressions on everyone’s faces when I handed them the photo, to their kind and friendly smiles in the new photos, and just general happiness from both sides of the exchange, the whole thing was simply amazing. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do this while on a business trip, without actually taking a few extra days, but I do regret to an extent that this had to be such a rushed visit. With the electric atmosphere that we seemed to generate though, I don’t know if it would be fair on the people trying to make a living here to take up much more of their time either. Apart from just taking the next batch of prints back when I visit again, I’ll have to think how I will expand on this project in the future.

Well, if you’ve enjoyed this virtual walk through the Madivala market even just a 100th as much as I did, you’ll have had a good time listening to these two episodes. Remember that I always welcome feedback on any aspect of the Podcast, or even just mail to let me know you’re out there. The easiest way to contact me if you do want to let me know anything is by the Contact Form that you can find in the Contact Us menu at martinbaileyphotography.com. If you are a member of the site, you can also send me a Private Message, using the PM button in the footer of any of my posts in the forum. Come to think of it, if you haven’t gotten involved in the forums yourself, please do stop by too. Even if I say so myself, it truly is the best photography forum on the Internet, because of how each and every one of our members interacts with each other. There’s no pretentiousness, and photographers of all levels interact in a very civil and professional way, without ridiculing the lesser skilled members when they ask more basic questions. Even for highly skilled amateurs and professionals, there’s always something to learn, and as I find by doing this Podcast, putting down what you know in a format that makes it easy for others to ingest is actually a great learning process in itself, so whatever stage your at in your photography learning process, I encourage you to drop by and join in the great community.

In the meantime though, let’s wrap it up for this week, and I’ll be back next week with more tips, techniques and the artistic process behind my Photography. For now, you just have a great week, whatever you do. Bye bye.


Show Notes

You can view all shots from the Madivala Market, including my previous visit with this link: https://martinbaileyphotography.com/thumbnails.php?album=search&search=Madivala_Market

The music in this episode is from the PodShow Podsafe Music Network at http://music.podshow.com/


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