Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Long and Short Of It

I went to Nakhon Pathom, about 40 miles (and two hours) from Bangkok yesterday. On the drive out I saw some workers in a rice field so I stopped to photograph them for a few minutes. 

Workers in rice fields are a dime a dozen in Thailand. 

Thailand is the world's leading rice exporter and one of the world's leading producers. Thailand has, arguably, the finest rice in the world. So people working in rice fields is not an unusual sight. 

I stopped for a couple of reasons; I really liked the quality of light. It was fairly early in the day and a little cloudy, so the light was diffuse and directional at the same time. Kind of a nice giant soft box feel to it. 

Also, rice in Thailand is in the news a lot lately because of the government plans to pay a higher price to farmers and then store the rice until prices go up in what they're calling a rice pledging "scheme." Economists, legal experts and academicians are debating the merits of the so called "scheme" but it makes photos of people in rice fields particularly newsworthy right now. 

I photographed the workers with long and short lenses. I didn't need the telephoto because I couldn't get closer, access wasn't a problem. I used the telephoto to compress the perspective and accent the colors. I really liked the way the woman's red scarf played against the green of the rice field. 

Here's the same scene photographed with a 50mm lens. 

The woman in red pops, but she's one person of several. I'm not sure which photo I prefer. The top one made ZUMA's Pictures of the Day blog for October 12. I initially liked the bottom one for the feeling it evoked. But now I go back to the top one, for the feeling it evokes. 

There are more photos of the rice workers, photographed with long and short lenses, in my archive


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