Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Portraits of two Kandians

An image of a self appointed tour guide at the Embekke temple in Kandy
A self appointed tour guide at the Embekke temple in Kandy

This post contains two portraits of people I met while I was in Kandy.

The photograph above is of a man who was at the Embekke temple when we visited in January. He was at the gate having a conversation with some other people when we walked in. A little while later he came  up to our group and started giving us a "tour" of the temple. It was a bit of a surprise to all of us as no one had indicated that we needed a guide.  

I took this photograph of him on our way out. I thought he had an interesting face and an impressive moustache (which was completely white). The sun, falling on one side of his face, accentuated the wrinkles around his eyes and on his forehead. In hindsight, I should have used a reflector of some sort to lighten up the area around his eyes. I decided to convert this image to black and white as colour didn't really add anything to it. I also felt that a black and white image would highlight the different textures on his skin. 

The second portrait is after the jump.

A portrait of a woman who was drying cloves at the Lankathilaka temple in Kandy
A woman who was drying coves at the Lankathilaka temple in Kandy

This woman was drying cloves at the Lankathilaka temple when we visited. The temple itself is built on a massive rock which the people of the area use to dry their spices on before sale. We visited the temple at around mid day and found that it was almost impossible to walk around without some form of foot wear as the rock had got heated up by the sun. The woman was quite friendly and was more than happy to strike a pose when I showed her the camera. She was thrilled to see the image on the LCD! 

I spoke to her for a few minutes while waiting for the others and found out that she lived in the village near the temple. She also told me that she would have to sit around for three whole days, in the burning hot sun, and watch over the cloves until they dry and are ready for sale. I'm glad I was able to capture an image of her kind face and her smile.

These images were captured using a Canon 7D and a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens.
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Anna said...

Excellent expression capture. Thanks for sharing your story too. Anna :)

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Anna.

holdingmoments said...

Interesting to read that Dev, and a couple of good portraits. I love the one of the old gentleman.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Keith.

Me-shak said...

Wow, super stuff :D
I love the first, The mild smile the detail! You have captured it really well!
Super stuff!

Chris said...

Hi Dev,
These is also really nice to see the local people that you met. The two portraits are superb, but i prefer the first one. as you said i think the black and white fits very well to this picture!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comments guys.


Yep, I too like the BW image better. I should have got a lot closer before taking the second one.

Anonymous said...

It is great to see a story behind a photograph, Dev, it gives it another dimension. Both these portraits and stories behind them are very interesting. I personally find it quite difficult to take photographs of strangers, I am always afraid they wouldn't like it...

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Petra, the story does add a bit more to the image.

T and S said...

Beautiful portrait shots, the B&W composition of the self proclaimed guide is well taken...Thomas

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Thomas, I thought he had a very interesting face.