During the course of the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, people from all over India were staying in temporary tented accommodation in and around the town. We were made to feel welcome within these areas and the people were generally very accommodating to our photographic endeavours (intrusions?) Fairly early one morning I found myself within one of these areas and was drawn to some of the women who’d started their day by washing their long hair.
This is one of several shots I took of a particular woman brushing her hair. On returning home and reviewing the image, I decided to go with a black and white treatment. I wanted the emphasis to be on that hair and the gesture of her hands as she brushed. My concern with the colour image was that, although I liked the green sari, I felt the eye was drawn too much to the bright orange cloth at the left edge of the frame.
In addition to cropping the image, I added a vignette and dodging and burning to play down the background elements whilst emphasizing the hair and hands. I also added selective sharpening to the hair and hands. Finally, after the black and white conversion, I added a photo filter effect in Photoshop to add some warmth to the image. I’ve posted the colour version for comparison purposes.
Canon 5D Mark 2 with 24-105mm lens at 35mm and f4.0. Shutter speed 1/1600 second at ISO 800.