Cham woman in Black and White

As a follow up to Khmer Boy in Black and White I will present a different style black and white image. It is a Cham woman, the Cham’s being an ethnic minority living in Cambodia. Photographed during a village visit, I kept my camera on her after an initial portrait shoot to try and capture a candid expression. I especially like her face and hand.


Captured in sunlight, this image therefore has more contrast. I have developed the black and white with a much heavier processing enhancing the contrast and texture of her face and hands. I am interested in hearing your opinion on this image and the black and white processing.

15 Comments on “Cham woman in Black and White”

  1. I’m having a hard time commenting on this one because I don’t know what to think of it. I’ll try and break it down.

    1. Love, love the way you’ve brought the detail on her hands out. That was what totally drew my eye first.
    2. Great laughing moment caught on film.
    3. I think the processing really suits the image, soft vintagey monochrome so it could belong to today or 50 years ago

    It’s an excellent standalone photo imo. I’d hang this one on my wall, especially together with more from this set (assuming there are). The lack of context in the single photo bothers me. Travel-/ethno- work implies for me, a learning experience from images, and there’s not enough in this one to tell me:

    – what she’s laughing at
    – if this point of amusement is peculiar to her particular culture (from a foreigner’s perspective).
    – what/what the setting is

    and so on. I’m not necessarily saying you should have pulled back to fit more in the frame or similar, just that this one photo really feels like it belongs with others to tell a more complete tale and inform the viewer more holistically.

    I’ve been stuck on narratives, and storytelling for a while, as you know, so it’s a one track mind I’ve got with these things at the moment.

    I’m totally hogging the Recent Comments stream on your nav bar :\

    1. We have moved our conversations to my blog comments, way cool although possibly scaring away everyone else 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback, very useful. I still tend to shoot single images so there are a few images before and after this, but I doubt enough to build a story or narrative. I still must remind myself to “shoot the hell out of it” and not just shoot single images for the wall. A transition that is difficult coming from single image landscapes to narrative shooting.

      1. Hey, blog images are the flavour of the moment, so just going with the flow. You’re probably right about the scare factor though. Heh.

        I’m making the transition from single image to narrative/series/set as well so I hear you on that one. Imagine your blog commentary in 6 months… ;).

        Yes, shoot the sh*t out of it!

  2. G’day Flemming. Wonderful candid image. And I do like your black and white processing. Geeze Charlene is a hard woman to please! Maybe she is right. If so then where is the snow capped mountain in the background to really set the scene off! ….only joking Charlene!

    1. Thanks Dave. Charlene is my favourite, I always learn something and have a laugh and one day I’ll find that virtual snow capped mountain (or I’ll photoshop it in hehe!!!) 🙂

  3. landed on your blog through a comment on Charlene´s blog and I am glad I did. Absolutely stunning and moving images. I was also impressed by your biography. My compliments on finding the right path in life and above all, having the courage to take it.
    Shall keep coming back.
    Best wishes,

  4. I really like this shot Flemming.
    I love you post production and how you bought out the wrinkles and her character lines.
    I understand what Charlene is saying and I suppose you guys are both on a different journey at the moment of telling a story where for me I feel that I get the story from her already. I don’t really wonder what she is laughing at or anything like that I just simply see someone with alot of character and who is obviously enjoying herself and has some sort of emotion that makes her put her hand where it is. It makes me feel peaceful, joyous and emotional all at once which I feel is pretty cool.

          1. Oh if you can’t laugh at yourself Flemming then who can?
            I like it, I have the same problem in Bali, they laugh at me because the jeans are too short for me and my feet are so huge, personally I don’t feel it’s all that funny but obviously they think it is 🙁 Must be my complex about my huge feet lol.

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