Bruce Goodman  

Taking a Break by Bruce Goodman

May 2020 - Taking a Break

About the Image(s)

While touring in Rajasthan State, India this past January (before Covid-19 was something we were worried about), we visited the 'Pink City', Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state. I had read about the morning milk market in Jaipur and we were able to take an early morning walk through the market for about 20 minutes. Milk is delivered from nearby farms in large metal canisters by bus, car and piled on the sides of motorcycles.

To show the quality of the milk to interested customers, the dairy man (all men) dip their hands into the container to show how much butterfat is in the milk (by how slowly it drips from the hand). Customers than purchase the milk in whatever quantity they need (if you are wondering about hygiene, most milk in India is used to make yogurt or a pressed cheese (simply paneer) for cooking. Both cheeses require a high temperature to make so any harmful bacteria in the fresh milk is destroyed.

This photo is of one of the dairymen taking a short cigarette break and is one of 150 shots that I took in the short time we were at the market. Besides showing the dairyman and a couple of milk canisters on the wall in the background, I was fortunate to get my focus correct! This was the first trip where I used 'back-button' focusing, shutter priority to try to keep my shutter speed fast enough, and auto ISO (with a maximum set to 1600). Generally my photos were improved but I am still not 100% satisfied with the focus on some of my shots.

Olympus OMD EM1-Mark II. ISO 200; 90 mm (Olympus 14-150 f5.6); f7.1; 1/200 sec. Using Lightroom, the photo is minimally cropped; radial filter to highlight the smoker; highlights and exposure decreased on the milk cans and his watch; graduated filter on the left side to decrease saturation and exposure of the background since the pink wall (it is the Pink City) is too close in color to the man's complexion and wrap. I also created a copy in B&W (LR B&W 6) but since it is the Pink City selected the color version.

5 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Bruce, very intriguing subject. specially his body language and the way he is holding the cigarette. I do not know if the fact that his head is being framed by two of the milk containers was anticipated, or it was just luck. The image is sharp without strong shadows. I also use speed priority with auto ISO when doing street photography to increase the chance of keepers. The background is slightly blurred. The area between the milk canisters is somewhat distracting, but it is what it is.   Posted: 05/14/2020 21:13:41

Randy Andre   Randy Andre
Wow, buying raw milk, on the street, with hands dipped in it is "intriguing"? I love the story told in his face, is he tired thinking of a better life, of getting home to family, thoughts just wandering. His hands tell a story all by themselves. I also use back button focusing and have found that my "in-focus" pictures have increased. I can't decide if I like the milks cans in the picture or perhaps not there. Nice story!!   Posted: 05/15/2020 16:45:52

Gloria Sprung   Gloria Sprung
Bruce I like the subdued colors of this image with the man's head framed by the folds of the fabric. His hand is interesting holding the cigarette and the triangular shape is repeated by the shape of his nose. I think the milk cans add to the street environment and the story. The cans also adds depth to the image and takes us the rear of the scene. Background is nicely out of focus. Details of your post processing work are interesting and makes this image work!
TIP I got from a sports photographer. Try Aperture priority instead of Speed Priority. I know it's counter-intuitive - take the same scene (1) using SPEED as your base, lets say 1/250. Note the aperture the camera sets-lets say f/7. (2) Reverse this procedure and use APERTURE as your base -say f/7 from (1). Invariably the resulting speed should be more than 1/250. See if this works for you.   Posted: 05/16/2020 09:26:58
Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Even better, set your camera in manual. Select your f/stop and the speed to your liking, and set to AUTO ISO with a top limit. Then you do not have to worry about anything and just concentrate in composing and shooting. It works extremely well.   Posted: 05/18/2020 13:34:51

Daniel De Cort   Daniel De Cort
A photo with a beautiful story. Good portrayed with soft colors and good use of the DOF.   Posted: 05/18/2020 13:43:00


Please log in to post a comment