Monday, November 23, 2015

Meeting the Medicine Buddha

Recently I had the pleasure of working with the Tibetan Monks. Not many people here in the state realize we have THE Tibetan monastery in Bloomington Indiana. This service was with the Medicine Buddha. Not being fully versed in all that was happening, it was a healing cleansing service. Being held in a private residence. The house itself could be the subject of another blog entry.

When covering these types of events I tend to enjoy capturing close up images. Especially when there is an alter having a Buddha. The alter was a temporary setup just for the event. The image was taken after the ceremony. This Buddha held my attention for several different compositions taken. This is the composition I favored most. Mainly due to the other pictures having a more distracting background.  Secondly, the light on Buddha was captured from another camera flash. How is that for timing? Without the flash the image becomes less brilliant with no shadow. The light was a gift from Buddha. So on next to processing the image as I see it in my mind.  If you have read any of my other post I like to go dark and then bring out the light. The first image below is the original out of camera. It was taken with my Olympus OMD EM-1 free hand, no flash. The image stabilization in the EM-1 camera is fantastic. Allowing me to get images like this without a tripod.

Initial capture with Olympus OMD EM-1
Once again, Capture One was used to process the image. There has been a learning curve to Capture One. If coming from Lightroom give it time to get use to the change in workflow. RAW images do have a different look in Capture One versus Lightroom. To me the difference is in color and clarity. They seem to be just a bit more brilliant.

Looking at the finished image below. The overall exposure was reduced a good three stops to beginning the painting in of light starting with the Buddha. Thanks to the flash, from the other camera, I had detail and shadow and highlight in Buddha to work with.

Using the layer brushes in Capture One I started painting in light to the Buddha. Along with light saturation, clarity and structure were increased slightly. It was slow going to get the detail and effect I was looking for. During this process I will make several virtual copies, so if something happens I can revert back to a previous copy.

The light behind Buddha on the wall is natural light. You can see it in the original, however it is more pronounced when the overall exposure is reduced. It frames the Buddha wonderfully.

Finished Buddha,now looking for a title.
Once Buddha was complete ,it was on to the other items in the view. The candlelight gave me a nice soft light up front to use and highlight the glow on the Orange and Vase. The glow also reflected nicely off the front of the bowl.

The remainder of the alter was highlighted with bringing some detail out in the feathers and contrast in the flowers. When I work an image to this detail I already have a title in mind. This one I do not. I having been playing around with "Awakening Hart" but still not sure. So help me along. What should I  title this art? Take care and safe travels.