As most of you know, I like to travel and believe it is a great educator. Wherever one goes, people are an essential ingredient and can really help to make a good trip a great experience. At the recent Folk Festival in the Romanian city of Csíkszereda, I was lucky enough to encounter such people.
As it often does, it started off with wanting to take a photograph. On this occasion, it was a group of young ladies dressed in traditional Sékely dress whose smiles grabbed my attention. So I ambled over, armed with just my mobile phone and gestured to take a photograph. They looked at each other, smiled and nodded that I could go ahead. I thanked them in sign language and clicked the mobile.
It was a pity I only had my mobile phone with me and not the bigger camera – I really don’t like how the portrait mode looks to zoom in on the subject to what it thinks is best, but the depth of field is not possible to control in standard photo mode. Either way, a compromise was going to have to be taken. I used the standard photo mode, so at least I could control the composition, if not the depth of field. As a result the above image has way too big a depth of field, making the man in the red T-shirt even more obtrusive than he should have been.
I continued on and went behind the stage, taking an image of the same group as they headed off for their turn on the stage.
I spent a little bit of time just getting a few shots as the performers stood around waiting to enter the stage or, indeed, tucked into their lunch to replenish burnt calories.
Then a familiar face came over and spoke fluently in Hungarian and while I got the gist of what she wanted, the finer details were missing. Off she hurried and soon came back with an English-speaking friend to act as translator. The biggest question was how to provide the images; searching on Facebook failed to provide a connection and the troupe was being summoned for another stage performance.
I assured them I wasn’t about to run off and took the opportunity to go round to the front of the stage so they could have a few images of themselves in action.
Once the dance was over, it wasn’t long before contact details were exchanged and a promise was made to send on some of the images. A final couple of images and smiles all round.
Of course that is not the end of the story, the images still have to be sent. A few to begin with and I was thanked profusely by return email and there was a request for more images to be sent if possible. A large selection was sent and shared amongst the group, with overwhelming gratitude being provided.
It’s not just about the taking of pictures, it is in the communication too. I would hope that this group would be more than obliging to allow others to capture their culture and smiling faces like I was allowed to.