Photo of the Week | Tibetan Monk - Sean Gallagher - Photographer & Filmmaker | Beijing, China

Photo of the Week | Tibetan Monk

Posted by on Dec 10, 2010 in News | One Comment

Tibetan Monk - Gansu Province

It has been some time since I have posted a ‘Photo of the Week’, so I thought it was about time that I revived this popular feature which I hope gives you a small insight into some of my thought processes when making images.

This week’s image comes from western China, from the Tibetan regions where I have been recently travelling.  The Tibetan areas of China not only comprise of the Tibetan Autonomous region but also spreads into neighbouring province Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. Most of my travelling the past week was in Qinghai, a visually stunning part of the country, rich in spectacular landscapes and a diverse mix of people. This image however was taken just across the border of Qinghai province, in Gansu province.

As is quite clear, the image is a portrait of a Tibetan monk. He is standing in a cave that we were visiting, deep in the mountains in the west of the province. Inside the cave are a collection of Buddhist artworks and special areas which house shrines that people often make pilgrimages to.

I chose this image as it is maybe my favourite portrait of a monk that I was able to capture during my short travels. As many visitors to this blog will know, I primarily use natural light and am always looking for how I can capture images without having to rely on artificial light. For this image, the only light that was used was the light shining from the entrance to the cave. We had just completed our trip into the cave, a somewhat difficult and arduous journey into the depths of the mountain. Preparing to leave, I was stood near to this monk and saw him gazing out of the cave entrance. Even though I was very tired from the climb inside the cave, I tried to steady myself enough so that I could compose the shot. I was wide open at 2.8 and knew that would have to be incredibly steady and accurate to capture a sharp image in the limited light. I captured a few frames and this was the one I was most happy with.

Camera Info: Canon 7D | 16-35mm f2.8 lens | ISO 400 | f2.8 | 1/10th

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