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Thread: Portrait of a monk

  1. #1
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Portrait of a monk

    Portrait of a monk

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Excellent. My only suggestion would be to tone down the highlight on the right hand side.

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    a beautiful image.... I adore the way you use light and shadows to bring out your subject, and I'm hopeful that I will learn something about portraits and lighting by viewing your images.

    Thank you for sharing.

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Bravo. The heavy shadowing and contrast work perfectly here. His wisdom and gravitas are so apparent, and the background amplifies the effect.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    A very effective use of a large lighting ratio; the image is very dramatic. I find the way your subject has his eyes very much turned camera left gives the image a bit of an unbalanced almost spooky look. I somehow find having the eyes more or less centred with some whites on either side usually makes for an image I like better.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    A very intense study that looks beyond the surface and into the soul of the man.

    A very, very good portrait, I think. Well composed and well lit.

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    With most portraits, I only see a photo of the person. With this portrait, I sense that I know a little about the person.

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Very nice, captured a very intense gaze.

  9. #9
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Well... thank you for the nice comments.
    As you know no image is perfect. As far as I am concerned there is always some little,tiny thing that I do not like.
    And in this image there is one thing I do not like: the too bright on his forehead.
    I tried to disguise it and you haven't noticed, or have you ?

    I do have darkened the area on the right side as I have darkened others areas in the background.

    I have done two things wrong here:
    1. Photographing - in the thrill of taking the picture - with aperture priority without - yes without - paying attention to the speed. Silly me. Many images were ruined.
    2. I should have measured the light on his face and used manual instead.

    Always learning or "We learn until we die"

    Thank you all
    I was going to forget to say that I asked him to take his photograph and he immediately position himself where I wanted and how I wanted.
    I gave him my e-mail. He will write me when he comes to Varanasi soon and I will send him his digital portrait.
    Portrait of a monk

  10. #10
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    I think I prefer the coloured version; all the red works well. I guess I'm used to seeing Buddhist monks in dark reds. What does the image look like when you crop it to the same format as your B&W?

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    I've only seen the Buddhist monks in Cambodia and Thailand, but they were all clothed in saffron orange, not red.

    This gentleman is an Indian monk, so he could be Buddhist or Hindu.

  12. #12
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I've only seen the Buddhist monks in Cambodia and Thailand, but they were all clothed in saffron orange, not red.

    This gentleman is an Indian monk, so he could be Buddhist or Hindu.
    You're right about Cambodia and Thailand but Tibetan monks dress in red for sure. Hindu monks? I'm not sure I've ever heard of any, however, there is a large Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, India, so this could be the connection.

    This is Sera Monastery in Lhasa. Saw a few Tibetan monks here. Shot was taken with my first real digital camera, a Canon Powershot S40.

    Portrait of a monk
    Last edited by Manfred M; 14th August 2013 at 02:22 AM.

  13. #13
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Here is Manfred, what the image looks like in color.
    I had to do it as he will like best this version. So...
    I have done a slightly tighter crop. We have been in Dharamsala, India and yes they were all dressed in red.
    This is a very different part of India...
    We have traveled with a local (Indian) trustable agent and everything went nicely as expected. We started and ended our journey at New Delhi's airport.

    Portrait of a monk
    Last edited by Antonio Correia; 14th August 2013 at 07:12 PM.

  14. #14
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Antonio - I think this version works very well. You still have very much a monotone image, with the reds and skin tones, even though this one is in colour. I suspect you are right; the red robes are very much part of the Tibetan Buddhist look, so I suspect the colours are a powerful and important symbol for this monk. I think the tighter crop works very well here as the background matches the monk's robes. The shooting conditions were hardly ideal.

    Nicely done!

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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    This last one is completely different from the first one. Not better or worse, just different. Both are wonderful in their own ways.

  16. #16
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Thank you Mike !

    Thank you for commenting Manfred !

    Here I post another monk also in color. This image was not taken in Leh but during the festival in Phyang Monastery .

    Portrait of a monk

  17. #17
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Another very nice image, Antonio.

    I hope to return to that part of the world again some year. I have not been to India yet, but the north certainly reminds me a lot of what we saw in Tibet when we were there 9 years ago. I guess that should not surprise me, as the areas are geographically close to each other. As you say, this area would completely different than southern India.

  18. #18
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Indeed it is Manfred. However you should go on this period of the year because of the extreme cold what the blocks roads during other monthes.
    The area is object of great surveillance as it is between China and Pakistan.
    The roads are terrible but that is not a problem. A problem can be the global climate changes and the avalanches which can take us to the other side.
    From Delhi to Amritsar we took the train to get gradually adapted to altitude (numbers in red) and from Srinagar to New Delhi it was by plain.

    Oh yes, altitude can be a problem. Thickness altitude has no connection with the age of the person, and it is dangerous. There was two oxygen bottles in the car. We had no problem whatsoever as we have not had in Buthan some years ago.

    If you can just go next year as the global weather changes have a tremendous impact on these areas.

    Portrait of a monk

  19. #19
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    Thanks for the information - India has been on our list of place to visit for a long time, but it is such a large country, and a long way for us to travel, so we haven't made it there yet. It sounds like a fantastic adventure! I have always imagined that Northern India would be very different than the central and southern parts.

    Yes; we know all about altitude sickness; we got well above 5000m in a number of places in Tibet; the altitudes on your map look more like what we encountered while traveling in the Andes in Peru, where things where the altitude did not bother us nearly as much. I suspect that you likely got into places with higher altitudes during your visit to Bhutan.

    Yes, interesting roads for sure; the Toyota Landcruiser was the most common vehicle we saw. We almost got knocked off a road by a landslide once. I can imagine that the winters must be fairly tough. Our trip to Tibet was in early May, and it was windy and cool; and things got downright cold after the sun went down.

    I look forward to seeing some more of your fantastic pictures!


    If you can read the fine print on the bottom of the sign, it says 5200. The highest we got was the top of the small hill just behind me. Great view of the mountain and base camp. Too bad that the shots were with the S40. I'd love to get back with my current gear.

    Portrait of a monk

    Two flat tires on one road on one day. We had to unpack the back of the Landcruiser to get at the second spare. Great roads....

    Portrait of a monk
    Last edited by Manfred M; 14th August 2013 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Added pics

  20. #20
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a monk

    We have been higher, at 5.250 but I took no picture.
    Here you can have a quick view of the roads and me after action !

    We were in a Toyota whatever !

    Portrait of a monk Portrait of a monkPortrait of a monk Portrait of a monk

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