By Jim Zuckerman
We visited a Maasai village here in Kenya, and as usual it was a great experience. The people are very friendly and warm, and we always get great pictures of this proud culture. I find that when I return to a place, my pictures are often better the second time around. That was true in this instance, and I’ve included four of my favorites. The silhouette of the two people was digitally composited with a telephoto shot of the sun, and the semi-silhouette of the single figure standing at one of the entrances of the compound was enhanced with color and contrast.
What I look for in a situation like this are compelling faces and images with graphic compositions. I find that the strong graphic designs add a powerful artistic component, and they hold people’s attention. That’s why I am especially pleased with the silhouette of the two people because their shapes are so dynamic. When I took this shot, we were in the middle of a severe dust storm. I was terribly afraid of the damage that wind blown sand can do to camera equipment. Many years ago, when I was shooting a medium format film camera, I went through a dust storm in Arizona and it cost me $850 in damage to my camera.
This time the Canon camera held up well and no damage apparently occurred. The photo of the two people was taken with my 500mm f/4 IS telephoto hand-held. This is not something I usually do, but I didn’t bring a tripod and I didn’t expect that I’d be shooting the long lens. I saw this composition and didn’t want to approach the subjects for fear that they would change positions. I wanted the candid image as I saw it, so I quickly switched lenses and shot into the bright sky.