Photographer's Note

A member of the Melanesian Kanak Tribe, the man was a bus driver in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

It's always a difficult decision to offer tips to people you photograph, wondering whether they expect it or whether they will accept it. I found the people in the Solomon Islands never beg! The culture of begging does not exist. He was just happy to see the photo on the screen of my camera.

In shooting his portrait I was interested in capturing "his soul" and he appeared fully compliant. Behind that full beard, he exuded a proud demeanor, and ironically, an impish, enigmatic smile. Both, in composing and in cropping, I am cognizant of the center-line principle, discovered in 1999 by the English-born American psychologist, Dr. Christopher Tyler, that in almost all portraits created by the Great Masters, one eye of the subject will be on the vertical bisector of the frame. Here it is his left eye! Leonardo da Vinci in his three portraits of women — Ginevra de' Benci, Cecilia Gallerani and in the Mona Lisa — placed an eye of his subject on the bisector. So did Rembrandt in all his single-subject portraits, and even Picasso in many of his portraits. Photographers can learn from the great painters!

As I wrote in notes accompanying earlier photos that I submitted of the islanders, the natives of the Pacific Ocean, "Oceania," are divided culturally into three groups: the Melanesian, who migrated to the present-day Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia; the islanders who migrated to the Marshall Islands, Papua — New Guinea and the Mariana Islands to the north of Melanesia are known as the Micronesians. A more expansive area was settled by the Polynesians who migrated to Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand... These migrations are thought to have taken place between 3000-1000 BC. In an earlier Workshop, I posted a map showing the three cultural groups. Of course, the Aborigines of Australia date back at least 35,000 years and are known to have come from Africa by way of southern Asia.

Oh yes, one small exercise in photoshop. The man was missing the lower button on his shirt. I copied the button on top and sewed it into the lower button hole.

To my friends at Trekearth, I wish you all a good weekend.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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