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Monk_Sri Lanka

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

I photographed this monk during a brief break while travelling with my old friend Darren Cuttler (Cutts) from Colombo to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.

The monk was happy to walk with me to the top of the ancient stone steps for a view of the ruins and forest below. After a few quick frames it was time to get back on the road and continue our journey.

As well as the original color image I’ve included a black-and-white version for your perusal. Which do you prefer?

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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Pic of the Week_Serpentine Gorge_Central Australia

 

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Ektacolor Gold 160 film

Here’s a favourite image that I made a number of years ago and, except for one exhibition, has remained relatively unseen until this post. I came across it while hunting through images for a recent talk I gave on my life, thus far, in photography.

It’s great to think that the talk, and the work associated with putting the presentation together, re-introduced me to this and other images.

The image in question was shot at the end of a full day of photographing along the West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs in Central Australia. I arrived at Serpentine Gorge, 100 km west of Alice Springs, late afternoon and climbed atop a rocky outcrop just in time for the sunset. As you can see the view was spectacular and a privilege to behold.

Important to indigenous people as a resting place for the Rainbow Serpent, the gorge seemed imbued with power. I descended and followed the path, framed by Red River Gums and ancient rock, back to the car in the eyrie near dark. The sense of pervading quiet was intense and stayed with me for some time after I’d left the Gorge.

Central Australia remains one of my favourite places and is rich in photographic opportunities. I recommend it to anyone interested in landscape photography and a taste of the ‘Other Australia’.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Monk_The Bayon_Ankor Wat_Cambodia

 

Hasselblad 500C and Hasselblad 150mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 500C and Hasselblad 150mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

Here’s an old image from a trip to Cambodia in the 90’s. I met this monk while photographing the Bayon, a part of the famous Angkor Wat complex near the town of Siem Reap. Apparently he was from a town around one hours drive from Angkor Wat, yet this was the first opportunity he’d had to visit the site. I asked him how he’d gotten the pockmark on his face. He answered with two words, “Pol Pot”. Further questions revealed that a member of the Khmer Rouge had pushed a lit cigarette into his face when he was a young boy. The physical scare remains, as does the memory. Hopefully he’s Buddhist beliefs have helped the monk come to terms with the actions of his tormentor. Even the downtrodden have the power to forgive.

The original image was made on negative (print) film and scanned. By today’s standards the scan is below par, so I’m treating this version has a rough proof. I plan to re-scan and reprint the image as part of a larger body of work on this beautiful country.

Even after all these years I remember well being drawn to the monk’s eyes. His intense gaze was compelling and seemed to reveal a strong character, only partly veiled beneath the cloak of a religion that both celebrates and actively pursues peaceful existence. A very shallow Depth Of Field (DOF), achieved by shooting with my lens wide open to an aperture of f4, helped to isolate the monk from his surroundings, as did the use of the medium format Hasselblad 150mm lens (roughly equivalent to a 100mm lens on a full-frame DSLR camera). I feel the camera’s square format provides an idea canvas onto which the line around the subject’s body and head are drawn. The relatively tight composition further enhances the tension within the image.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Travel Photographers Kit Bag

 

Hasselblad 503C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 503C camera and Hasselblad 180mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

One of the great compromises we face, as photographers, is what gear to bring and, therefore, what to leave at home when we pack our bags. The experienced traveller understands the necessity to conserve space and reduce weight. Some decant their shampoo into a smaller container, dispose of excess packaging surrounding medicines (while including important documentation such as original prescriptions, product identification and dosage instructions) and choose lighter weight, new technology (e.g. fleece) clothing that efficiently manages a range of varied climatic conditions. A beanie, scarf or neck gaiter and gloves are great items to include for colder weather, while a sarong can become a pretty universal item (clothing, towel, wrap, etc) for the girls.

The camera bag allows us to include all our photographic gear into the one place. But remember, you have to carry it. Those taking a lot of gear may prefer the backpack version rather than the traditional carry strap shoulder style. Backpacks also provide fairly solid protection for your camera and lenses and enable you to take some of the weight off the shoulders and spread it more evenly over your back and hips. Try walking for hours with a more conventional camera bag slung over one shoulder and you’ll appreciate the advantage offered by the backpack.

However, while backpacks that sit snugly onto your back do allow you to balance the load quite evenly, the lack of air circulation around your back will tend to trap any sweat between your back and shirt. This is a real problem in high humidity climates.

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Fisherman_Myanmar

 

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

Some days are truly wonderful. As part of a photography trip to Myanmar I’d undertaken a short pre-dawn trip from Mandalay to photograph U-Beins Bridge at sunrise. It was an amazing day that provided numerous opportunities for landscape, architectural and portrait photography.

 

The above image was an incredible scene to behold. Warm, soft sunrise light illuminated fog surrounding the two fishermen as they walked through the water. The surreal nature of the scene reminded me of the famous bible story of Jesus walking on water. Whether fact or metaphor it’s a wonderful story. As far as my photograph is concerned no fancy Photoshop hocus-pocus has been employed. This is not the result of superimposing one image onto another. The fishermen were simply walking through very shallow water. Nevertheless, the sheer beauty of the scene was undeniable and the appearance of the fisherman through the fog serendipitous.

 

The image was made with a Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film. After scanning the image was processed in Adobe Photoshop CS3.

 

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Novice Monks_Myanmar

 

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160 VC film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160 VC film

The above image was made in the grounds of a Buddhist temple in Myanmar on a hot, bright day. The common perception is that this is the ideal weather for photography. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bright light is the death of photography. It reflects off the surface of the subject taking with it much of the subject’s color and texture. In the case of a portrait direct sun produces specular highlights on the subject’s forehead and deep, black shadows under the eyes.

Once permission was given for me to photograph the two young novices I moved them into the shade of a porch. I then spent quite some time positioning them to make an interesting composition that allowed the light to feather across their robes and illuminate their faces. Desiring a somewhat candid feel I gave very specific instructions for where I wanted the boys to look. This was a very difficult image to produce, but the result is one with which I’m very happy.

The image was made on the medium format Hasselblad 500C camera with a Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens. While not always easy to work with I love the unbiased nature of the camera’s square format. It is not so much the orientation of the frame, but of elements within it, that emphasise notions of movement, restfulness, etc. The 150mm lens is roughly the equivalent of a 100mm lens on a 35mm film camera or a full frame DSLR. It’s a wonderful focal length for portraits as it draws the face in a flattering manner, foreshortens the nose and provides a comfortable camera-to-subject distance.

The original color negative image was scanned then processed in Adobe Photoshop CS3. I feel the black-and-white rendering of the image enhances the relative innocence and purity associated with younger people.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Novice Monk_The Bayon_Cambodia

 

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm f4 lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

This image features a novice monk at the Bayon in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. I was fascinated by the way the warm sunset, illuminating the top of the structure, was compositionally balanced by the young monk at the bottom right of the image.

I utilised a Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film. The telephoto nature of the 150mm lens, with its ability to diminish the sense of 3 dimensional space, concentrates attention on the structural elements of the scene. However, as most of the Bayon was in shade, I utilised Adobe Photoshop CS3 to ensure brightness and contrast were sufficient to hold shape, texture and color throughout the structure.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography  

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