Peoples’ Hands Have Always Fascinated Me
How about you?
Another unique opportunity.
Recently, I had the unique opportunity to visit a local man on his very impressive farm in Üzümlü, a fairly nondescript village located on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near the larger seaside town of Kalkan.
Nur, the woman who owns and operates the accommodations I stayed at in nearby Kas, and someone who became a very good friend, knew this man and asked if I wanted to visit his property and meet him, so of course, I said yes.
One of the best parts of my job as an international tour organizer and trip leader is that I often have the unique opportunity to meet interesting people in their homes, at their places of business and workshops, on their farms, in their market stalls and other locations. To me, this is why I travel.
What is it about hands?
Mr. Hasan’s hands certainly didn’t disappoint. Needless to say I noticed them immediately upon being introduced to him, and as he showed us around his vast property, picking and offering bundles of late season grapes, I had to make some photographs.
Get in close.
I’m always talking about telling the story of a place, scene, person or subject, and so in an attempt to practice what I preach I captured a variety of images of Mr. Hasan’s hands.
That said, getting in close is almost always the best way to show the wear and tear and work and toil these hands have experienced.
Difficult light is typically not your friend.
You may have to ask your subject to move.
Always being cognizant that a person like this is actually working and may not want to be disturbed, if it seems practical and I feel the person amenable, I’ll respectfully ask them to move into better and more even light, if there is any, nearby.
This was definitely the case at Mr. Hasan’s farm and so I asked the woman if she’d mind moving just a bit and more into the shade. Without completely interrupting her work or manipulating the scene too much, she obliged, and although there were still some hot spots from the sun here and there, I was able to get some nice images, certainly better than under the previous conditions.
Be sure to get in really close
Getting in tighter on those amazing hands holding the deep blue and purple olives, brings to light the incredible life these hands, and this woman, have surely led.
Between her hands, and those of Mr. Hasan’s, I was able to create a nice series of images, as well as add to my ongoing theme of the hands of people at work.
To create a shallow depth of field that highlights what you want to be in focus and blurs out the background, and foreground in some cases, it’s important to use a wide open aperture (low f-stop number), and if possible to zoom in on your subject, which can exaggerate this effect even more.
Just be sure your focal point is exactly where you want it. In this case I wanted it to be on the first two fingers of each hand and the olives closest to me. Because of the shallow depth of field you can see the focus fall off and blur very quickly.
Is there a particular subject that you gravitate towards?
What subject or subjects draw you in over and over again?
Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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