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2015年8月28日 星期五

Photographic Masochism (自虐的剪影)


It's often said that it takes quite a bit of masochism to earn the elusive title of being a "serious photographer". Unlike a serious musician, who would often be treated with respect for the hard work he/she puts into practising a musical instrument to achieve mastery, all my friends subscribe to the  belief that nowadays the DC will do practically everything for its owner and so there can't be any merit in doing so-called "serious photography".  I won't say that my friends are all wrong. The DC does come in with a good many well-researched programmes that will almost automatically produce reasonably good quality photos. But that's only half the story. The other half may consist in blood, sweat and tears. 



It's extremely to difficult to take a good photograph. Quite apart from technical skills, sometimes, you need to be braced to go with rather less sleep than normal.



To take this not very good photo, our photo group had to get up at 3.30 a.m. We were told by our local tour guide that all the good spots for taking photos by the side of the river would be taken up by 4.30 a.m. because there was another photo group living in the same hotel. So we got to get into our coach before them!


 So we all got to leave the hotel by 4.15 a.m. torch in hand, with all our equipment in our backpack. Because of the early morning fog, we could hardly see anything beyond the reach of the fisherman's lantern.

After waiting for what appeared an eternity, we finally got some movements and a little expectation. A girl from a rival group got on to the fisherman's boat. We did not know why. We waited in suspense.

  
Apparently she wanted to be the focal point of numerous cameras! Probably imagining herself to be the star at the bow of the Titanic???



She came prepared with a red dress, a white hat and a shawl of the same color and provided a little fun for the bored amateur photographers. .


Long after finishing my self-made sandwich washed down with plain bottled water and a pair of weary legs, the sun was finally beginning to appear behind the foggy hill top on the opposite side of the river.


I could finally turn off the brightness compensation function reduce the ISO setting of my camera and still manage to get a tolerable image to appear on my viewfinder.



But I could only barely manage to see the fisherman's silhouette against the murky background.


At least, I got some hills as background instead of merely the bare image of the boat.



After a while, some reflections began to appear on the surface of the water.


But the reflections were vague, with no details at all.



Nothing we could do but wait, wait and wait. Moreover, we were told that we could not budge from whatever spot we had first planted ourselves in because once we did that, there would be no hope whatsoever that we would be able to get back that spot from which we moved because Chinese photographers were like wolves eager to kick out any person from "their" spot which we vacated for however brief a period of time even though that spot was first occupied by us!



Although it was getting brighter now, the fog was thickening. So there's not much improvement.



Not having anything more interesting to do, I just clicked a few shots of the mist and fog on the river itself



 The boat was now on our right, and now on our left.



There's more yellow in the light now



and the reflections began to take on a bit more detail and the redness of the fisherman's T-shirt began to emerge more clearly.

  
The fisherman was bending down. He appeared to be groping for something.



Ah, I got it now. It was a net.



He's preparing to throw the net.



Oh yes, the net is in the air now



The net did not open fully.



He's drawing in the net with no fishes.



He is preparing for another throw.



He's concentrating on his work


There he is, making another throw.



The net landed on the surface of the water.



He is making another throw. What a pity the mist is still so thick.


This one appeared a little higher but still not fully extended.


It didn't from a perfect circle


The net is landing on the surface of the water.


He is drawing it in again. It was getting a bit brighter. We begin to get a slight tinge of green now.



The fog was getting thicker again, covering over the entire shoreline on the other side of the river.



The fisher man is preparing for another throw.



There he is, trying to throw it up into the air.



The mist and fog was as heavy as before if not heavier


 
He tried again. Not much better than his previous ones.


The fog was getting even heavier.



He's moving away.



it seemed that he was not very happy.

He's determined to give it another try.


This one looks much better.




 He's gathering it in now. It was getting even brighter. We got a little color on the surface of the water now.

He moving his boat closer

We can see him much clearer now



Another try!




It was still not very good

It seemed that he was undaunted.


He's going to make it final try.


There he is, doing his best


After that, he disappeared into the fog again.