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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Answer to a rhetorical question

So a couple of days ago I posed the problem of how do you make a totally transparent, not very clearly defined object look interesting. Even the autofocus has trouble with a lot of the statues.

Well the real answer is that you let the sculptors do it for you! Just like the Odori area where they couldn't be satisfied with giant statues of Mickey Mouse but they had to light them up in all the colours of the rainbow or put rock stars in front of them.

In this case the artists thought more internally. As in inside the ice. Some bright spark came up with the idea of putting recently killed seafood from the local fish market in there to make things interesting. Take a good look at that photo above. That there is real fish (and there were giant crabs as well) encased in ice. How bizarre. But extremely photogenic!

Just in case you didn't believe me about the crabs!

In actual fact this particular set of carvings (and there's only a couple of them) is one of the most famous things about the whole Susukino section of the Snow Festival.

It's one of those situations where, as a travel photographer there to record what you see and do, you have to put aside any judgements and simply record what you see and let the audience decide.

Our job is to tell a story, show how other cultures live and try and record it as honestly and without bias as we can. The sight of blood coming out of the mouths of the fish didn't thrill me too much but I chose to concentrate more on the pleasing aspects of the display. The enjoyment it brought to the people.

These folks seemed to be as intrigued with it as I was. I've used a bit of flash here to fill in shadow details on the man's face. On the other side of the street a light kept faces nice and bright but on this side the lights didn't seem to be illuminating faces so I needed to use a bit of flash.

Because I only wanted to light the people and not the fish I tilted the head of my flash towards the people, and even though I was using a wide-angle lens I zoomed the flash head to 85mm so it would be concentrated on the faces. Again there's minus 2 compensation and an orange gel in there so it's pretty subtle.

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