By Russell Curr.

The charcoal seller, by Russell Curr

Pentax K1; HD Pentax D FA 28-105 lens @ 95mm; 1/400s; f/8; ISO 100

The shot of the charcoal seller happened by chance – he was walking past and called to me to take his photo (at least that is the way I interpreted his gesture), and I only just managed to get the shot off before he was gone. I was certain it was going to be out of focus, but I was in luck.

The light was quite harsh as it was approaching midday, but shooting in RAW has allowed me to bring out the detail via Lightroom. In these situations, I find I can under expose the shot and then retrieve the detail later.

Don’s response

It was a spur of the moment photo opportunity, and Russell Curr has pretty much nailed it. By shooting in RAW and slightly under-exposing, he’s able to keep the detail in the highlights while opening up the shadows in post.

The over the shoulder angle is much more interesting than the head on, ‘take my picture’ pose usually adopted by self-selected subjects. One might have wished for the gentleman’s hand to be a little further away, but you can’t choose these things in the circumstances and by any measure, this is an engaging and vivid portrait.

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