I shot a series of pictures for an NGO in the Philippines in 2013 that involved visiting orphanages in Cebu and Davao. The organisation is called SOS Children's Villages and you can find out more from their website HERE. The shot above was taken in the Davao City village the day before I flew back to Hong Kong. I was looking for a dramatic picture when I came across this scene. I had already shot some pictures of this boy earlier that that day, but after making my way around the village, I came back as the kids were doing their chores. The smell of the smoke caught my attention first and then I saw it creep out between the houses. I walked toward the smoke and saw the two boys from earlier. The smoke was thick and I wasn't sure I would be able to get a usable shot, but I fired off a few frames and hoped for the odd clear spot.
The first three frames on this contact sheet are from the end of another sequence which was a good crop of pictures of a girl studying on a porch. I wanted to show this sequence of twenty-five because it demonstrates how the photographer has the ability, or the power if you like, to show a scene in a way that leads the viewers emotions and thereby the way he or she interprets a scene. My friend Patrick La Roque wrote a post on our Kage Collective website about this very thing and I would urge you to read it HERE.
I like this shot of the two boys away from the smoke. Although I didn't pose this one, the boys saw the camera and looked into the lens. But I like the composition with the boys off to the right and the wall producing strong leading lines. The Fuji sensor always produces great colours too. I actually have this one printed and hanging on my office wall in a plain black frame with white mount.
The picture above shows the exact opposite of the featured shot. We see a boy full of fun who doesn't seem to have a care in the world, a far cry from the one below, that sees him working in the yard cleaning up and burning leaves with a home made shovel.
This is the one I used from this sequence. This for me, is a great story telling image that makes the viewer read into it and hopefully ask questions. It's a natural moment that brings out empathy for the subject. The fact that he is using a homemade broom only enhances this feeling and draws us deeper into the story behind this young orphan boy.