How I shot the ‘Artisan’

The FoM 09 (see post below) concluded on Sunday. It was a lot of fun hanging out with fellow exhibitors and meeting fellow flickrites, bloggers, and friends. The exhibition had many a visitors and apparently folks at the Chitrakala Parishat, where the exhibition was held, were surprised at the number of visitors who came in. So, overall, yeah, it was good. Niranj has documented the 3 day long event on his blog.

One of the questions I got asked a lot at the FoM 09 was how I had shot this Artisan pic.


I shot this with my camera, Canon’s 400d and used Sigma’s 24-70 F/2.8 EX DG Macro lens.

This was at the potter’s workshop in Sultanpet, at the foothills of Nandi Hills, just outside of Bangalore. The workshop had a courtyard that had natural light but very little of that was where he was working. So, it was fairly dark; I had enough ambient light to auto focus. I used the Speedlite 430EX II flash on the camera and bounced it off of the ceiling. The ceiling was made of Mangalore tiles and the bounced light wasn’t too bright; just enough to light him up. Behind him, the room extended in near darkness where the freshly made pots were being stacked. I shot many shots of him while he was making the pot and have his hand in many postures. Just that this one worked with his head tilt and with his two hands coming together.

In the post processing, I just had to up the exposure some and darken the shadows a little to get a uniform black background. I also vignetted the frame a little.

Shot in the manual mode; Aperture – f/4.0, Shutter – 1/200, Focal length – 30 mm

 My flickr stream

9 Responses to “How I shot the ‘Artisan’”

  1. Congratulations again and thanks a lot for such a detailed explanation on the lighting for this shot!

  2. Hi Chitra,

    Checked out some of your snaps on flickr and I think they are simply wonderful! I own a 400D too and am a beginner. I am still building up my lens line :) Just finalized on a prime and waiting to buy it… Anyway keep up the good work and lovely photos again!

  3. Nice. Always nice to hear the story behind a picture. Thank you for this one :)

  4. its awesome, that pic.

  5. HI Chitra, This is truly a awesome pic. An thanks for sharing the technique. Many ppl believe that using flash destroys the essence of the pic. but when used right can produce dramatic out put.

  6. Thanks Sudhamshu. You are very welcome.

    Thanks Swati. All the best for photography.

    Thanks Which Main. Yes, stories are nice arent they? :)

    Thanks Choxbox.

    Thanks Mayur. Yes, a flash can add so much value to pictures. Thanks for visiting.

  7. Chitra,
    I came to your blog through Charu’s blog. What a find. I loved a lot of your R2i articles (we also moved back from the bay area to Mumbai last year).

    This picture you have here is a masterpiece. I am going to have my husband (an amateur photographer) read this too.

    Will follow your blog from now on.

  8. chitra all the best for ur work they r wonderful expecting u to get accolades from all the quarters

  9. that is a beautiful shot

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