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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Masked Girl and Colored Lampshades

Masked Girl and Colored Lampshades

Year: 2012, Month: August

Vietnam > Quang Nam-Da Nang > Hoi An

When it comes to attention-grabbing photographs, few things work as well as large blocks of strong primary colors. I was thus pleased to come across a shop selling brightly colored lamp shades whilst wandering around the fascinating coastal town of Hoi An, in Vietnam's central region.

The composition of the image suggested itself. The colored globes occupy the bulk of the photograph. The large red and blue lampshades create the edge of a frame which allows me to add a smaller view of the adjacent street, to give the shot some identification and relevance. If you mask out the street scene with your hand, the composition does not work at all.

The street is at a satisfying angle, and so provides depth to the scene, and somewhere for the eye to wander about the image. Depth is also provided by the individuals or couples spaced at four points along the street. Their slowly reducing sizes also give the image the depth that it needs to balance the flatter area of colored lamp shades.

The girl in the front of the image is wearing a mask, which adds some sense of mystery to the scene. These face-masks are quite common in South-East Asia, and are generally worn to reduce the breathing in of air-born pollution, but to Western eyes they seem a little strange and exotic, so I was lucky to be ready to take a shot just as she was passing by.

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