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Sea of Blue

A young child sits amidst several women wearing blue burqas at a food distribution in the Afghan capital.

A young child sits amidst several women wearing blue burqas at a food distribution in the Afghan capital.
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4 Comments | Report
carmen2016 June 12, 2016
Great shot
shirleybcoulthard August 08, 2016
kenderby PRO+
kenderby November 05, 2016
This photo rocks!
glennpoplin January 31, 2019
Great shot

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Behind The Lens

This picture was taken at a refugee camp in Kabul Afghanistan in 2009. The NGO I was working with was doing a winter blanket and clothes distribution to about 400 displaced Afghan families.
I had just arrived in Kabul a few days before and failed to remember to reset the time in my camera. The time recorded was approximately 6:00 am EST, which would put the time in Kabul at around 3:30 in the afternoon.
Lighting was fairly flat with overcast skies...right at the beginning of the rainy season in Kabul. Fortunately, it was not raining during the distribution - I had no rain gear!
Shot with a Canon 5D Mk II and an EF 100-400mm L series Canon lens. No other special equipment was used.
I was documenting the distribution for the NGO I was working with. I am attracted to large splashes of color, so when I saw the young child's face emerging from a sea of blue burkas, I was hooked. I especially love event style street shooting, shooting real events as I see them happen. I am lousy at posing, so this type of shooting suits me well. I absolutely love to capture natural expressions where people are just being themselves. This little child had no idea that I was there, which is exactly what I wanted; to be able to capture his face as he tried to make sense out of all that was going on around him.
All post was done using Lightroom - just a few minor adjustments to suit my tastes: contrast, color balance and sharpening. No big problems that had to be overcome.
In my camera bag
I had been carrying the 5D II, kit EF 24-105mm L lens, 16-25 wide angle and 100-400 telephoto lenses with me everywhere. Also, a Canon flash, even though I rarely use it. As I get older, all this stuff is getting heavier and heavier, and I am starting to leave the extra lenses home when I travel. I now only carry all those lenses when I do a local photo shoot.
I learned in Afghanistan that it is really good to have 2 cameras when shooting events like at distributions. With only one body, you have limited access to shots that require a different focal length, unless you are extremely mobile. I was not very mobile in my situation, mostly because of honoring cultural values. In my earlier experiences using only one body, I realized I was missing a lot of opportunities to shoot when I was constantly changing my lens. A bigger problem with lens changing, though, was the horrific dust problem in that part of the world. So. I decided to get a second body (Canon SL1). on which I could put the 100-400mm telephoto lens, while I continuing to use the kit lens on my 5D II. This has worked very well for me, and I don't have to be constantly moving around to get shots at a distance as well as those closer by.

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