Monday, 21 January 2013

What Goes Thru a Photographers Mind - Today's Photographer is Peter K. Burian

Friends in Saris by Peter K. Burian
This weeks photographer is a very talented Canadian Photographer, Peter K. Burian. I have been admiring Peter's work for a few years and I am glad he agreed to share his photos with you... Take it away Peter...

During a two week tour of Southern India while testing some new DSLR cameras, I made thousands of images for my stock portfolio. Although my wife Bev was travelling with me, I doubt that I included her in more than a half dozen photos. But in this case, she was an essential component, since this image was intended specifically to illustrate a magazine article  Here's How to Get Great People Pictures While Travelling. While the final copy did not include this photo, I believe that it's ideal for illustrating important concepts.  

In his book, Spirit of Place - The Art of the Travelling Photographer, pro photographer Bob Krist provides an interesting perspective. “If your friends are all architects and landscapers, they’ll love your building and scenic photos. Otherwise, people want to see pictures of people,” he insists.

Of course, most everyone finds it awkward to approach strangers. That can lead to a temptation to sneak a grab shot with a telephoto zoom lens. This tactic is usually considered rude; and it will not produce the best possible photos. Become involved with the people you meet however, and the resulting pictures will become more intimate. That intimacy is easier said than done, but it is possible if there's an outgoing person in your group.

While walking in a village near the Periyar National Park in Kerala state,  we noticed these ladies waiting for a bus. I definitely wanted to get some photos of them, so Bev agreed to approach them. In this rural area, there was a language barrier, but as Bob Krist has also written, a mother will always understand when you say, "What a beautiful child you have", in any language.
More importantly, here is my favourite quote about taking people pictures anywhere in the world, by Rick Sammon  who wrote about dual vision that's worth taking to heart. “Whenever you take a picture, you're also taking a picture of your relationship with the subject,” Sammon insists. “How you feel and act – the image that you project – will make them feel and act and respond in a certain way. These projected and received feelings are the key to good travel pictures of people.”

Tech Specs: Pentax K20D, Aperture Priority, Center Weighted metering; f/11 at 1/60 sec.

Canadian photographer Peter K. Burian is a Contributing Editor with several publications (Photo Life, Here's How, Marketnews and Australian Photography) as well as a stock shooter whose work is represented by Corbis, The Stock Connection, and Alamy.

Check out his photos, including a selection from his tour of India, at   .