Álvaro Casás – Before & After

The Thai ‘Giraffe’ women reside in the Padaung village; since their migration from Myanmar in the 1980s, their elongated necks have been the focus of many tourists and heated controversy.

Equipment and settings –

  • Camera: Canon EOS M50
  • Editing software: Adobe Lightroom
  • Shutter speed: 1/200
  • Aperture: F5.0
  • ISO: 400
The Padaung village ‘Giraffe Women’ (Original Photograph)

In situ –

The accelerated pace of being a tour leader lead to several mistakes: first of all the exposure (ISO) of the image is a bit too high, there is some blurriness due to the lack of a tripod, there is no separation with the background and the textiles colours dull the importance of the subjects.

Next time I’ll bring a tripod with me to lower the blurriness as well as ask the subjects to step a bit forward so I can widen the lense aperture to differentiate the colourful background from the women.

The Padaung village ‘Giraffe Women’ (Edited Photograph)

Post production –

First of all the original photograph was slighlty tilted to the left, so I opened the Adobe Lightroom square grid to correct its rotation. Also, the original format of the photograph wasn’t right so I had to edit it to the Leeds Now guidelines (1920×1080).

In terms of lighting, I brought down the exposure, increased the shadows and reduced the white balance trying to create some separation between the darker background and them.

For colour correction, I increased all the colours vibrance separately except for dark yellow. In the original photograph the subjects skin colour seems to have a yellowish appearance but in reality I remember it was closer to a light brown, so I had to bring the yellows down otherwise it wouldn’t look natural.

The Padaung village ‘Giraffe Women’ (Improved Photograph)

Correction –

The constructive feedback from Karl and Ruth taught me to not overdo great photographs. Understandably they preferred the orginal picture, therefore I decided to follow their guidelines:

  1. Don’t sacrifice quality for colour.
  2. A good crop strengthens the subject’s presence.
  3. Sometimes less is more.