Photographer Spotlight: Rashad Sisemore, Day 1

Hello, my name is Rashad Sisemore and this week I will be sharing with you some of my work outside of the Daily Cal. I’m a fourth year student studying Peace & Conflict studies, and come from a small town up in northern California called Willits. Whenever I am not shooting photos for myself or the Daily Cal I enjoy rock climbing, running, snowboarding, and backpacking whenever the weather allows for me to go.

My interest in photography was sparked when I was eleven years old after receiving a Point and shoot Nikon film camera for my sixth grade graduation. I soon fell in love with photography, and when I was fourteen I gathered enough of my savings to buy a DSLR of my own—a Nikon D70. When I started shooting I shot a lot of high school sports, my friends skateboarding, and began taking portraits of friends and family.

Over the years, however, I have developed a passion for shooting travel photography. This began after I took a trip with my family to Egypt, Jordan, and the West Bank when I was fifteen, and became fascinated with the people and cultures I encountered on my trips. Since then I always have a camera on me while traveling and try to soak up as much of the life and culture surrounding me behind the lens. For this week I will display some of the photographs I took while traveling abroad in Northern India during the winter of 2010. I hope you enjoy these photographs and i’ll be posting more soon in the coming days.

Rashad Sisemore/Staff

New Dehli, India, 2010. I was in a textile bazaar in New Dehli when I saw this women sitting patiently for a customer. I didn’t want to raise her awareness by pointing my camera directly at her to frame the shot, so I did what is known as “shooting from the hip.” I increased my aperture to 3.5 and then manually set my camera’s auto-focus to be weighted on the left side of my viewfinder. I held the camera at my hip and took a few shots, never causing the women to notice me and to break from her pose. I think the shot turned out great, but I must say that “shooting from the hip” is a very risky way to take photographs and you may end up with nothing but blurry, out of focus pictures that are terrible shots. But sometimes you get a good one, and continuous use and practice of the technique will allow you to compensate better for the shot. Try it out, you may be surprised by what you capture.

Rashad Sisemore/Staff

Jaipur, India, 2010. This shot was taken in a street market in the city of Jaipur. I was walking along the market when I noticed this man working on sewing a garment for the women in the colorful shawl to his left. I was rather close to them when I took this photo so I opened up the lens wide (16mm) and waited until they both were preoccupied with the garment being sewed. For this photo I wanted to capture a real moment where both of my subjects were unfazed and unaffected by my presence. The only negative take-away I have from this photo is the distortion caused by the wide-angle. If you look at the women wearing the white shawl you will notice that her head is a little distorted. As a tip, it is always important to notice everything in your frame aside from your subject(s), especially for things like distortion.

Rashad Sisemore/Staff

Jaipur, India, 2010. While in Jaipur I visited a fruit market and ran into this fruit vendor. I decided to buy some bananas from him and asked if I could take his photo. He said yes but was quick to get business done, so I snapped this shot of him working, trying again to capture a very real scene that you may find yourself in if you are shopping for fruit in Jaipur.

Rashad Sisemore/Staff

Jaipur, India, 2010. Next to the fruit market in Jaipur, through a maze of narrow streets, I stumbled across a flower market. All throughout the market there were burlap sacks filled to the top with flowers (like the ones shown in this photo) being prepared for whole sale buyers. Inside the market I noticed a tiny storage shed used to hold these flowers and I asked the man working in the storage if he would mind if I took a photo of him. He motioned to me that it was fine and I snapped a couple photos of him, as he briefly rested against the wall, taking a break from shoveling flowers in a basket (seen in the background) and moving them to other workers outside. I choose to take this photo because #1 the contrasting colors were incredible and #2 because I felt that it was a good environmental portrait of the man. I shot this without the use of flash because I felt there was already enough natural light.

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  • Omaya

    Love those colorful photos, it appears like you are there in the market place!! Great work!!

  • MALAK

    Hi Omaya , thank you very much for your invetation for my family , but I do not know if we can make it or not ; but hopefully see you very soon.
    Rashad photo’s are very nici

  • Nicole

    Awesome work. :)

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