Albert Lee  

Buddhist Monk of Nepal by Albert Lee

November 2020 - Buddhist Monk of Nepal

November 2020 - Albert Lee


About the Image(s)

I took the photo in 2016 during a photo tour with my camera club members to the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. It is a beautiful country and offers tons of photo opportunities. While I was strolling along one of the ancient Buddhist sites with history dating as far as 2,500 years, I chanced upon this Buddhist monk (Nepal is 90% Hindu and 9% Buddhist) counting money from the day's collection at one of the temples. Since it was almost noon and the sun was shining brightly outside while he was in the shade, I quickly adjusted my camera settings and when I was about to snap the photo, he suddenly turned his face away from the camera. Not wishing to offend him, I started to leave and while passing by the donation box, I dropped a few dollars. Suddenly, he called me back and using sign language , he told me I can take his photo and gave me this fantastic pose. Today, this remains one of my favorites .
In post processing, I started with Camera Raw and increased the Clarity, Hues and Saturation. Going to Photoshop CC and using Silver Efex Pro , I created two (2) Monochrome images, one focusing of the subject's face by adjusting the brightness, contrast and curves and the other on the subject's colorful wardrobe. I increased the tonality of the subject's wardrobe using the gradient map conversion. I then merged both images using luminousity mask. I removed the distracting backgound by cropping the image and darkening it. Finally, I sharpened the image a little bit using High Pass set at overlay at 50% opacity.
I used a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 24-70mm at f2.8, , 1/160 sec., ISO 100 , Camera Raw, Photoshop CC, Silver Efex Pro of Niks Collection and Raya Pro 5.0.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Thanks for telling us a great story of how you took this wonderful photograph.
I think the monk is gesturing a blessing on you.
Technically, you did a great job to black out all background and make this a perfectly centered image--this has some resonance with religious portraits in western traditions.   Posted: 11/02/2020 23:24:03
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Stephen   Posted: 11/08/2020 16:27:10

Lou McLove   Lou McLove
I think this is a wonderful image. I love the composition and the way you removed the distracting elements from the background. The black and white rendering is great, I think you have handled it well, you have captured all the details in his face as well as in the shadows of his robe.   Posted: 11/04/2020 17:33:16
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Lou   Posted: 11/07/2020 07:01:34

Jill Edwards   Jill Edwards
Great image handled beautifully.   Posted: 11/06/2020 22:28:47
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Jill   Posted: 11/07/2020 07:02:02

Chuck Carstensen   Chuck Carstensen
A wonderful image captured with skill. You certainly did the right thing by dropping a dollar into his box. A lot of computer work to get this done and I commend you for the high technical skill level. Your color original is very small.   Posted: 11/07/2020 14:35:27
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Chuck   Posted: 11/07/2020 18:40:54

Marianne Barnhardt   Marianne Barnhardt
Love the black and white, it allowed me to see his eyes first and not be distracted by the beautiful colors. Such a "deep" photo, thanks for sharing!   Posted: 11/07/2020 20:00:28
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Marianne   Posted: 11/08/2020 16:27:54

Brandon Montgomery   Brandon Montgomery
Wonderful shot that really captures the subject and a great story that goes with it. I love the black and white on this shot as well.   Posted: 11/08/2020 11:13:11
Albert Lee   Albert Lee
thanks Brandon   Posted: 11/08/2020 16:28:14