Boat Vegetable Vendor in Thailand


I love photographing people, and I really love photographing people in the landscape or scene. As part of the scene, they bring life and meaning to the image, but do I need to show their face for that? Or can I incorporate them successfully without the face?

In the image above, I was very excited about the overall scene with all the stuff in the boats. I noticed in particular all the circular shapes that were repeating. I made many picture with the woman included while she was looking up/out at people in other boats or on the bank of the canal. See the image below). But what intrigued me with this one was that her hat became yet another circular shape in the scene – and it added to the design that was already strong. She was part of the scene blending within the pattern of circular shapes. It also added an anonymity to the image – she now represented all vendors in the boats. I loved that her hat broke outside the edge of her boat, making the shape stand out from the rest, and helping to fill in the otherwise dull space of water there. Of the two the above image is my favorite. But the image below works, too. Now though, you want to ‘see’ who she is (and in fact her face could stand a little lightening up here in post-processing but since I favored the other picture I made a quick sync of settings to match the two). As is often the case, once the face is introduced, we look at that with more interest perhaps than the overall scene…

In the end, they both work – which do you prefer? Leave your thoughts, comments, when you can and thanks!


Vendor in vegetable boat, Thailand