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When I was in the Philippines I had to do an assignment. I had to take a portrait in an environment. My tutor and classmates thought it would be very interesting to see something from the culture. Therefore I decided to go to a mouintain called Tolo- tolo where they are known for making straw hats of bamboo called “sarokk”.

I bumped in to a lady who volunteered being my model. She had actually been filmed for a documentary about making these hats before. It was also very easy to make her smile, but hard to give any other instructions as she did not understand English and my Bisaya skills (the language they speak in Cebu) is very limited. Therefore I had to use my mum as a translator.

My first attempt:

My tutor told me they liked the first picture of the lady, but it was blurred and burned out and the light comes from behind. She liked the light in the second photo, the things going on in the background. But the lady looks a bit scary in the second and the third photo. My tutor advised me to take the photos again.

Therefore I went back another day to take new pictures of the lady.

My second attempt:

I tried to make the lady smile and to show more of the environment behind. I took some of the pictures while it was cloudy. You can also see that the white balance is different. I realized that the setting for my white balance was wrong and that my photos became more yellow than it should be.

It would be nice if I could get some feedback. What picture do you like best, and why?

You can read more about my vacation in another post or take a look at more photos here.

– Maria

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