Photo Anatomy: how a top documentary photographer adds impact to his images
In our Photo Anatomy series on Digital Camera World we select pictures by famous photographers and explain point by point what makes them work.
In our latest instalment, documentary photographer Nyani Quarmyne explains how he took this stunning portrait at a New Orleans street party.
Colour and content
Nyani liked the man’s multi-coloured costume and was intrigued by the ‘U Can Have Whatever U Like’ slogan. “I thought it was an interesting reflection of the US’s obsessive consumerism,” he says.
Selecting the subject
This strikingly attired man was celebrating at a street party. “I caught his eye and shot three frames as he approached,” Nyani says. “He paused for a brief moment for this one.”
Filling the frame
“The scene was rather messy and it was hard to get a clean shot,” Nyani remembers. “I liked this frame the most as I was able to cut out most of the surrounding distractions.”
To freeze the man’s movements as he approached while keeping the image as sharp as possible, Nyani opted for an exposure of 1/500 sec at f/5.6 using ISO800.
Choice of kit
Nyani used his Nikon D700 SLR, Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens and a Nikon SB-900 flashgun with a diffuser dome. “I had to use on-camera flash, something I try to avoid. Off-camera just wasn’t practical.”
“Street parties, parades and festivals are great subjects to photograph. The participants are often dressed in colourful costumes
and are usually only too pleased to pose for cameras. Using fill flash gives that extra kick of vibrancy to your images.”
Chris Rutter, technique editor
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on Sunday, July 21st, 2013 at 2:01 pm under Photography Tips.
Tags: documentary photography, famous photographers, street photography