A TRAVEL IMAGE BRIEF BY DAVID SMITH
How I captured this image:
This marvelous old man sits in his canoe at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An Vietnam an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century . He patiently waits for tourists to walk along the bank of the village lake saying with with broken English words “pictures for a dollar”.
I gladly gave him a dollar took his photograph and then took the time to turn my camera around to show him his photo on the LCD screen. I must have been the first person in weeks to do that because his face lit up with a huge smile and chuckle. I needed his attention because my first photo was awful as he was looking into the sun with hot spots and blown out highlights on his face.
Most of the tourists that visited Hoi An that day were from a cruise ship, a 2-3 hour drive away, so most snapped his photo at noon with glaring mid day sun and contrasty haze then moved on not realizing how their bad photo can be corrected easily. Having his attention and after waiting for the crowd to disperse I waved my hand in a circular motion to get him to turn his canoe around so the sun was behind him while I pulled out my 70-200 mm lens and moved further back to zoom in and create a narrow depth of field.
To properly expose his shaded face and blow out highlights in the debris filled lake I guessed at a camera exposure value (EV) of +2.0 and spot focused in his eyes then recomposed. An alternative was to stay close and use flash to lighten up his face but I would lose much of his wonderful facial feature lines and old character. A quick glance at my LCD confirmed the dramatic effect I was looking for as I sensed a “once in a lifetime” type of photo op was upon me. As I teach digital and travel photography worldwide I decided to bracket more shots at +1 and 0.0 EV to demonstrate the benefit of taking the camera off automatic, over exposing using no flash and zooming in for a narrow depth of field.
Out of the 10,000 images in my Interface Image s online archives this one is the most viewed image by far. This image is used frequently in my own photography and camera classes and workshops to demonstrate camera exposure value settings and is featured in my Online Travel Photography-Amazing Tips and Techniques Course .
Camera Settings: Canon 20D with Canon 70-200 IS L lens| Exposure 1/250sec @ f/8 | ISO 400 | Focal Length 200mm
Location: UNESCO World Heritage site at ancient Hoi An, Vietnam
Image Award: This image was award Image of the Day by Light and Composition Magazine on May 15, 2013.
Use this image: License or download Hoi An Fisherman from the Interface Images World Photo Collection or order a fine art print Hoi An Fisherman by David Smith from the new World Faces Fine Art Gallery