Homework: a candid shot

Often I try to shoot first and ask permission later, for fear of missing a candid moment. This doesn’t work in the western world, but here people are (mostly) only too happy for me to take their photos.

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An example would be this shot of a girl doing homework in her dimly-lit single-room home. I had been out walking in town when I came across an area that had been badly damaged by the earthquakes in April and May. There, amongst the devastation, debris and decay was this serene scene. I took the photo and then walked up to the door to ask if she minded. If someone says no, then I don’t use it.

In this case her mom, who was at home, immediately called the other kids and got me to shoot them too. Those were posed, of course, but I didn’t mind. I love shooting people who want their photos taken. Here’s a shy, posed photo of the studious kid.

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When it came to editing the original photo I couldn’t decide if I preferred the colour shot (with the outside of the home in black and white to draw one into the interior) or a tighter, purely black and white photo. What do you think?

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