It is always nice to get recognition and win a competition. Last week I came first place in a photo contest, and I have won a three night stay at a ‘quaint, authentic, heritage boutique Home Stay, in the white deserts of Rann of Kutch’. Not only is this going to be an awesome place to relax and chill, but it appears to offer endless opportunities for photography. So this is a double win!
The image was one of many taken at the Angalamman Festival in Tamil Nadu. I entered the image for ‘the most gruesome’ photo award, but it excelled itself and was awarded first place. The lady in this image had been psyching herself up to bite the chicken’s head off for a while. Once she was ready, it was a scramble to get my camera and capture the image. I was using a standard zoom, and managed to get very close to the action. The photo just about shows her teeth, which I believe is important for the story.
Getting a clear shot was fairly difficult. I wanted the focus to be on the woman’s teeth as she bit into the chicken. The sun was extremely bright creating extreme highlights and shadow, and this is never a good recipe for photography.
These settings were not perfect. The action happened quickly, with the subject moving from a shady spot to an area with high contrast. In addition, there was quite a crowd to deal with. Ideally I would have liked a wider aperture and a lower ISO. I am happy that I nailed the shutter speed, although in all honesty this would have been set automatically by the camera! However, I did enough to capture the image, and that has kept me smiling. Having a RAW file, gave me some flexibility in post production.
As most of you know, I shoot RAW. This means the camera records a lot more detail than if you were shooting jpeg. For a much more detailed description of RAW v JPEG, read this https://digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg/.
In the meantime, here is the original RAW image v the final published photo.
One tip I will share when editing photos is to be subtle. If you can see obvious brush strokes on a photo, then the editing has gone OTT. I like to edit a photo and leave it for a day. When you see an edited image with fresh eyes, you often back up a little from what you did originally.
If you enjoyed finding out how this image was created please let me know, and I will post more articles on capturing and editing great photos. Many thanks to Kaveri and CultureRings, for organising a fantastic trip to the Angalamman Festival, and for a wonderful evening of food and shared photography!
Take care and keep clicking, Chris