Blog category: Ethiopia

Capturing the paparazzi feeling

While visiting Ethiopia some fellow travelers joined me on a walk in the streets of Harar. Soon they found out that for me photography is serious and not just in for tourist snapshots. They asked about the camera I am using and what type of photo’s I produce. They looked how I make photo’s and became inspired. Soon they started to take also photos with their cameras and smartphones. When I saw something and made a photo they took same spot and tried to imitate my actions.

Making portraits became impossible for me, I asked for a photo and then they also took the same photo. I started to feel like in the zoo or being a guide that says “take a photo here, it is an amazing spot”. So I had to give up on portraits for that afternoon. I thought the only thing left was Street Photography.

When I waited for the right moment at a promising spot, the travelers where doing the same. With their behavior they more or less forced me to leave and continue to look for another subject.

In Street Photography I not very often make photos from people walking in front of me, it is just not interesting enough. This woman and the color combination was unique but the travelers still where with me. With some frustration I pressed the button.

The resulting photo visualizes the paparazzi feeling that accompanied me that afternoon. Maybe it was not the most productive afternoon but considering the constraints I made an interesting photo that captures that special feeling.

I know, there are organized photo-walks. I’m not sure if I am going to feel well during such an event but maybe someday I’l give it a try and challenge myself to come home with something unique.

How about you? Do you have any experience with photo-walks?

Ethiopian family life

I have been working on my Black and White conversion skills a bit. I used  the PiXimperfect auto dodge and burn action for Photoshop and manipulated the masks where needed.

The power of the square format

In portraits it all is about the person and expression shown. Some portraits clearly benefit from the square format, they get more powerful.

By choosing the square format the features of the face get more attention and the character of the person becomes more relevant. This portrait has been made in a house entrance, the background almost is pure black and helps to put even more focus on the man shown.

More portraits can be found in the portraits section of the galleries section on this website.

Color: I start to like it!

In another post I explained why I started publishing color photos. Today I took one from the Ethiopia trip and let the colors play. The colors in the original RAW file where too poppy for my taste, I carefully reduced them and this is what could make out of it.

Portrait of a woman belonging to the Hammer Tribe in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.Portrait of a woman belonging to the Hammer Tribe in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

For my taste this is the kind of color I am looking for in my photos. One of the visitors of this blog (Stefan) took his time to look closer to the photo and gave some valuable feedback.

The image slider on the right shows the original and new version (slider left). In the new photo the background has been blurred and color is a bit more desaturated.

I invite everybody to make critical comments to my posts, a bit more than beautiful, wonderful is highly appreciated!

Amhara Nikisat

The Amhara people also known as Abyssinians, are an ethnic group from the northern and central Ethiopian highlands.

The neck and facial tattoos called Nikisat are standing out against the traditional white clothing and elaborate jewelry. Lines of tiny crosses along jaws and traditional Ethiopian shaped crosses on foreheads prove the intensive dedication to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

A YouTube video/slide-show about the celebration of Timkat in Gondar (Ethiopia) can be found here.

The Arbore tribe in the Omo Valley

Earlier this year I visited Ethiopia a country with an incredible variation of people. These 3 portraits are from the beginning of a visit to the Omo Valley in the delta of the Limo River (sometimes called Weyto or Dullay. The Arbore tribe with a total population of 6850 is living in 4 villages: Gandareb, Kulaama, Murale, and Eegude.  Their economy of subsistence depends largely on the periodical floods of the river. Visiting the village was a smooth experience and I took some first portraits of young woman, at first there was some shyness but after a while, they where looking directly to me.  This is the kind of portraits I like, for me direct eye contact is a main element in my photography.

 

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