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May 5, 2005

Buddha Upon Hussain Sagar

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron SP 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28mm
Shutter / Aperture1/100s / f/7.1
ISO / Metering100 / spot

17.5m high of pure modern Buddha, baby. The Buddha Purnima is situated on an artificial island in the middle of Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad. When it was first brought across the lake from shore in 1985 the barge carrying it across capsized, killing eight and sinking the Buddha to the bottom where it would rest—undamaged—for two years until it was recovered.

The hand raised is the hand mantra meaning "No Fear," making this Buddha a Buddha of compassion. My friend Jeremey bought me a book on Buudhist art a few years ago. That definately made this trip to India more interesting.

Jim, Srikanth, and I took a boat across the lake, said "hi!" to the Buddha and I snapped this shot as we circled around it on our return. The mustardy colors of the sunset didn't look bad in the original version of this shot, but converting this image to black and white and adding contrast definately made it look better to my eye.

I used the spot meter on a darker portion of the budda, locked exposure, and recomposed in an effort to capture maximum detail without having the Buddha become just a a silouhuette against the bright setting sky. The backlighting certainly reduced contrast and darkened things up a bit more than I would have otherwised liked. I'm still pleased with this shot overall, however.

 

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Woman Power in India III

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 @ 300mm
Shutter / Aperture1/50s / f/5.6
ISO200

Part 3 of 3, the final installment, of this series of photographs of construction women working along Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad.

This woman was standing at this posture and taking a rest even before I reached for my camera. She took note of me and only changed the direction of her glance to acknowledge that I was there. Being a 6' 3" caucausian, I do not blend in very well all the time.

 

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May 4, 2005

Woman Power in India II

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 @ 300mm
Shutter / Aperture1/100s / f/5.6
ISO200

Part 2 of 3 of the series I started yesterday.

Youth is another shocker for me whem I came across crews working. The entire family gets involved to help make ends meet.

I committed the cardinal portrait sin of cutting off the feet of the subject. As a result I cropped this photo to a three-quarters. Her smile was too good not to be shared with the rest of the world simply on account of my bumbling. I hope you'll agree!

 

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May 3, 2005

Woman Power in India I

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09:05 (CDT): so don't ever let me near the site in the middle of the night. I'm very sorry for clobbering the index page and scaring people with lame statistics. Everything is back to normal now, thank you for your patience!

One thing that consistantly surprised me as a foreigner in India was simply the shear amount of people used to in construction or public works projects. Whereas a large portion of the world would be content to hire three guys and a Bobcat for the day to move a pile of dirt, in India it seems the standard is to hire a whole squad of woman with shovels to pick at the earth and move it in giant bowls worn on their heads.

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensMinolta 50mm f/1.4
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/3.5
ISO200

In Bangalore, I saw a concrete flooring installed utilizing this method. On the fifth floor. Women would line up under a truck spewing fresh concrete and squat to have the bowl on their heads filled up. Then they would board an elevator constructed of rickety-looking scaffolding and dump their loads off on the floor at the top. OSHA? Sm-OSHA! It's India!

Jim, Srikanth, and I were heading towards boarding the boat to see the Buddha statue in the middle of Hussain Sagar when I passed this construction crew. I doddled off and took a number of photos here. This was the first one I got as I was walking by.

The focus point is a little ahead of the subject and there is some motion shake but considering I took this shot off to the side, no-look, I think I did pretty good. This shot is uncropped, it just happened to frame up this way!

 

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May 2, 2005

Bangle Shop Boy

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The ubiquitous shop children, guilting you shyly into purchases. I really like this kid's look and how the color of his shirt fit in with the rest of the wares within the bangle shop but he was too shy for me to take a proper portrait.

When he got involved watching the heat of the bargaining between Jim and the shopkeep I snapped this no-look shot off my hip. I really like the way it turned out, if nothing but for the natural quality of his posture and how he fits in his environment.

 

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April 30, 2005

Charminar Ceiling

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/100s / f/4.5
ISO200

Capturing almost any architecture in India can be a challange simply because you have to compete with so many people. Often, this would lead me to try and find new angles and occasionally the shot would work out.

The trick with this shot was to include just enough of the ceiling in the frame to make it interesting, but not so much that the lower-right would become too overexposed. The sun was really bright that day!

 

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April 28, 2005

Charminar Security

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 @ 70mm
Shutter / Aperture1/15s / f/4
ISO100

After I was finished shooting over-exposed shots out of the charminar, I turned around and saw this guy. The camera was set absoltely incorrectly for a shot like this, 1/15s @ ISO 100, but I did have Minolta AS engaged and the shot turned out crisp enough.

There is something I love about shooting candids when people are on the job; there is just so much natural character involved.

 

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Bazaar from Charminar

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Our colleague and friend in Hyderabad, Srikanth, took us out around Hyderabad our first weekend there. You cannot visit Hyderabad without seeing the Charminar--four minarettes of Islamic architecture towering over the bazaar around it.

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 @ 70mm
Shutter / Aperture1/200s / f/9
ISO100

I used my telephoto zoom lens to maximize the perspective compression in this shot. Those little three wheelers make almost any shot worthwhile. The market was really busy considering it was about noon in the heat of the day!

 

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My First Indian Sunset

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Indian cities should win awards for their air pollution levels but those poor breathing conditions sure to make for beautiful sunsets!

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 @ 160mm
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/7.1
ISO800

Jim, my colleague and travel companion who joined me for India, and I had just arrived to the Mumbai airport from Schiphol and this was the first thing we saw out the window. We were treated to these sunrises and sunsets nearly every day in India. Indians must think they look bland elsewhere!

I didn't find the airport to be as bad as many of the people thought in this post, but then again we did have access to the airline lounge until it was time to catch our flight to Hyderabad.

 

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April 26, 2005

Saqqara Sentry

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There was still plenty of light in the day when I hit up Djoser's step pyramid after Giza. It was a very nice contrast: virtually nobody was there and I felt I could really take my time in looking around.

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTamron SP 90mm f/2.8
Shutter / Aperture1/300s / f/11
ISO100

There are sentry with rifles all over the tourist spots. It is a little eerie to consider they are there protecting you from outside forces and not primarily to keep you from doing stupid things (as it generally is in the States and Europe.) All the same, I am a little skiddish to take pictures of people with rifles, but I really liked the way this guy was perched on his camel up on the hill.

To make this image B/W I applied Russell Brown's conversion technique with some additional channel masking and mixing to bring forth the parts of the image I thought were worth bringing forth. After I was satisfied with the contrast of things I overlayed a grain field to give it that look-at-me-I'm-artsy Tri-X look.

 

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