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Thread: Daybreak praying - a walk through

  1. #1
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Daybreak praying - a walk through

    I'm not pretending that these 3 images are award winning - far far from it! I thought I'd share my workflow from a photowalk this morning though, sharing my thoughts while shooting a scene that I thought might make a good image. C&C more than welcome



    I had to get up seriously early for work this morning to meet a deadline. I mean in the office for 4am early!

    I managed to get my work done early with no interruptions for a change so made my way down to the local Fruit and Vegetable market. Everyone was setting up for the day and there was plenty of frenetic activity. Lots of people were coming and going from an area I hadn't previously explored.

    When I got there I found an open area covered in carpets and prayer rugs, people wrapped up in blankets on the floor catching some sleep and lots of people at prayer. Everyone was praying individually and privately in this space so there was continual movement. I knew I wanted to photograph the scene but did not want to be culturally insensitive or intrusive.

    Firstly I tried to get the whole scene - people praying and sleeping while wrapped up in blankets. It was dark and about 15 minutes before sunrise so I was shooting at ISO6400. Even with my 35mm wide open at f2 I was only able to get a shutter speed of 1/13th second, so I had to be very steady and hold my breath while firing off a few frames. Here's a view:

    Daybreak praying - a walk through

    OK so I'd got the scene but no faces. With such a slow shutter I had to pick my moment carefully as subject movement was a concern. With everyone praying and moving indivually this was proving to be difficult to capture! Moving around a little more for a side on view and the light and background were constantly changing. I was now up to 1/20th sec - still pretty slow but as I was closer there was a lot less human traffic to deal with. Here's shot 2:

    Daybreak praying - a walk through

    OK so now I'm getting some faces in the scene and people in different positions in their prayers. It is more obvious what they are doing. Then something good happened.

    One of the praying men finished and came towards me to put his socks and shoes on. He face was lit up nicely by the lights from the market stalls behind me. Crouching down to his level and I was able to catch a few frames showing him deep in thought after praying and before working, combined with other workers still praying behind him. 2 minutes after the first shot and I was now at 1/50th, f2, ISO6400. Still pushing it on a D700, but within my boundaries for an acceptable shot.

    So here's the third image:

    Daybreak praying - a walk through
    Last edited by dubaiphil; 8th November 2012 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Daybreak praying - a walk through

    Phil, I really like how you walked us through your process to get your images, thank you for that. The last one is well worth the early morning. Nice tone and great expression on this gents face. Well done.

  3. #3

    Re: Daybreak praying - a walk through

    Phil,

    I think that these images are great. Your commentary was very insightful as well.

    - Jacob

  4. #4
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Daybreak praying - a walk through

    Way to work the scene, Phil. The outcome is a fine image. I hope you were able to catch a nap afterwards. If I get up that early I am likely headed to the mountains for sunrise and home asleep within a few hours. lol

  5. #5
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Daybreak praying - a walk through

    Thanks Jon, Jacob and Paul!

  6. #6
    Kdfrank's Avatar
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    Re: Daybreak praying - a walk through

    Nicely done Phil and I echo the comments and add my thanks for walking us though the process. I like your choice of B&W. Your steady hands must be attributable to the high quality coffee in Dubai

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