Saturday, September 12

A Year (or Two) in Kenya: Another favorite picture

I haven't had much time to write this past week as the senior director left and two new directors were hired to take her place, so please accept this brief photo post in the stead of the more traditional anecdote or essay.

There are a lot of things I like about this picture. The composition for one. The layer of sand rises to meet the bushes on the hill's crest of the hill which touch the clouds on the horizon, finally ending in the clear blue sky at the very top. The women, especially the one flaring her shawl, provide powerful focal points. The color is rich.

But this is where it gets interesting. Clearly, I like this picture, but it bothers me, too. Pokot simply does not look like this. The color is more muted, less intense. If this picture were left out in the sun for a few hours, then the color would begin to approach that of Pokot. Fortunately, that's unnecessary as the original captures it all quite well. That picture was processed through Picasa which tweaked more than a few settings. The result was this picture, one that I find ultimately more striking but less honest, and therein is the problem. More than most any other art medium, photography can claim to present the greatest truth of its subject, but even in something as minor as modifying the colors, it already is departing from that truth. This was never a problem when I stuck with black-and-white.

If you want to see other pictures, less good, from Pokot and the center in Nakuru, please check out my Picasa album.

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