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Contact sheet #2

The dynamic of this photo comes from the lines and the fisherman's body dynamic

The dynamic of this photo comes from the lines and the fisherman’s body dynamic


On this week’s contact sheet, I am using a photo I took few months ago in Sittwe, Rakhine state, Myanmar. The idea is to study what photos led to the final shot, the one I like best. Of course, as we all have different tastes, you may like another one best, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

1- I started with a shot taken from a low level as I wanted to play with the grass on the foreground, adding a bit more color and depth to the image. I liked it but found that I could not see much of the boats

2- I found a higher ground behind me and went up there to see more the inside of the boats. I liked the shot but as I took it I realized how magic the light was becoming (late afternoon), mostly on the fisherman’s clothes. So I decided (as I always do!) to go back closer.

3- then on the 3rd shot I realized how I could play with the dynamic of the fisherman’s body, giving a diagonal line into the photo and a feeling of direction, his body pulling the boat to the right. Once again, I really liked it, but wanted to detach him even more from the background

4- so I went low again, and at that time his hat took a very dynamic angle. To me everything worked in that shot, I did really like it

5- Still I kept shooting when another boat came in the background, but things, and especially lines, were looking a bit messy.

6- Then, as I was leaving, going back on my bicycle which was on the road, I saw how the lines were playing together. The symmetry of the first and second fisherman was working nicely here, as well as the reflection on the water and the more apparent waves in the distance. I framed it vertically in order to get rid of everything that was around them, and focus on the different shades of blue in the water and sky. This is my favorite.


What do you think? How would you have frame that?



  1. susan moss on January 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Hi Etienne
    I really like how you are doing this contact sheet. Especially on my new monitor I have just installed on my laptop, so much bigger and clearer on the monitor.

    I love what you have done, especially No 4 and your final choice. What lenses are you using please?

    I have Canon 6d and using 50mm (your recommendation when I was in Hoi An) a wide angle 17 – 40 and 75 – 300 zoom. Any recommendations for North Vietnam please?

    • Etienne on January 15, 2014 at 9:53 am

      hi Susan, thanks for your comment. For these shots I was using a 100mm lens, the Canon one (macro). I think you have enough lenses for the North Vietnam tour, but you will mostly be using the 17-40 for landscapes and the 50mm for people. Take your longer zoom lens but we won’t use it much as we will be getting very close to the photo opportunities! 😉

  2. Anthony Pond on January 16, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Just discovered this series (I’ll have to go back and catch #1 next). Love the concept – to see how yu get to your final selection among the several possible images.

    Your final choice is a good one as it has three distinct layers of interest – the foreground, and main fisherman, the mid-ground fisherman, and the hills on the horizon to frame it.

    Keep this up Etienne.

  3. rex breheny on January 18, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Hi Etienne

    I did two of your photo workshops in April 2011, a sunset one around Hoi An and an early morning one across the river to the fishing village. Did you sort out the guy poaching your territory? I have been following your comments since.
    My choice is the 3rd one because of the diagonal arm of the fisherman leading your eye to the boat. The reflections on the boat & fisherman are nice and intermingle with the reeds in the foreground. I like the lighter blue hills in the background to give plenty of depth. Maybe this one shot in portrait could have been another option?

  4. Bonnie McKenna on November 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Just discovered Pics of Asia and now starting with your Contact Sheets. I would have chosen the fifth shot because the fisherman’s face was facing the camera. I see I have a lot of reading and studying to do.
    I love Asia, lived in Thailand for two years (speak the language), Vietnam for a year and have traveled extensively in Indonesia, India, Burma and Pakistan. I shall be looking forward to take one of your tours.

    • Etienne on November 4, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Bonnie, please check out the other contact sheets, there is a lit of material available here! 🙂

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