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Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images by David duChemin

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Waiting in Lalibela, Ethiopia, 2006

“WAITING IN LALIBELA” was created on Orthodox Christmas in the ancient town of Lalibela, in northern Ethiopia. I was struck by a couple things in this scene that I wanted to express. In contexts like this, my tendency is to move in close, to make a portrait if I can gain the collaboration of the subject. But when I did so here, I realized I was losing everything about the scene that I loved. So this was not going to be a photograph about a specific man. It had to be wider, to include the context and the elements that most intrigued me, which were the rock-hewn stairway to nowhere, and the huge, heavy carpet. That initial realization led all my other decisions in the creation of the photograph.

The image is ...

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