Posted May 3, 2011 by Jan
"Ferengi, foto! Ferengi foto!"
I heard this cry from the children everywhere as I traveled in Ethiopia. "Ferengi, foto!" This importuning was easy for me to decode, since even in Thailand, the word for "foreigner" is "ferang"!
The kids wanted me to take their photo. And if I gave them a small gift for their trouble, so much the better.
Even before I left Thailand for Ethiopia, I decided to try to take more photos of people. My motivation came from an exhibit by the French photographer Eric Lafforgue called "Portraits of Asia." The outdoor exhibit was installed at CentralWorld Square - one of the largest malls in Bangkok. The images were from all over Southeast Asia. The most outstanding shots were of the New Guinea tribesmen. Their faces decorated in red and yellow and blue dots, their hair decorated with shells or bones or flowers.
What was most surprising was that the photographs were huge yet the details were clear.
I found that Lafforgue uses very specialized and very expensive equipment. How would my portraits compare to his, if I only use my everyday Canon?
Here are the results.