Sunday, December 2, 2012

Brother of Student, Humana People to People, Rajasthan, India, November 15, 2008

My notes tell me that this portrait was made on the sixteenth roll of film, the twelfth exposure to be exact. In a roll of medium format film this means that his expression is the last one on that specific roll. Most of my work that mid-afternoon represented women and girls, and he along with a few of his friends snuck in for their pictures.

There is something about how young boys dress in rural Rajasthan that is most striking to me. It is timeless, almost always dark and perfectly in line with my work from other countries. So when boys offer themselves to my camera I almost always agree unless the work with the girls has yet to be finished.

On this day we arrive mid-afternoon to this village, making my traditional work in direct sunlight somewhat impossible due to the angle of the sun. We decided to set up in this courtyard with the good graces of the owners, and they offered a small stool on which the children may sit. A volunteer from Humana People to People India held a reflector to my right, and to the child's left.

Most of the children waited outside of the courtyard, perhaps five meters behind this young boy, beyond the wall just behind the baskets in the image. Once we are finished with one child's portrait another is let inside, very much like a formal studio setting. The only sounds are the voices of the children and the conversations between the adults. Working in such a peaceful environment and with the aid of a wonderful foundation is incredibly satisfying. While at times communication is difficult, there is a sense that we are accomplishing something beautiful and important between us.

This is especially clear with the youngest of the volunteers, with the exception of Baba as described in previous posts. He is an exception certainly and an example for all in the foundation. The younger volunteers are more closely associated with the very people benefiting from the good works of the foundation, and can relate to this child for example directly. There is a gentleness in their communication that is most admirable.

From this point forward I will include this more subtle approach in my photographic process in the field. In between the early morning and late afternoon more opportunities will be sought to make images in this manner, with a softer and more diffuse light source.

We are attempting to fund the reopening of this village's school in the near future and could use everyone's help. Should you feel attracted to this project, you may feel free to contact through the following links.
Halim Ina Photography

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