Photos I Wish I Had Taken

Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Piper MacKay

Photo: Piper MacKay

Photo: Piper MacKay

For my first PIWT of the year I present to you a gorgeous portrait taken in Ethiopia’s OMO Valley by Piper Mackay. I love all of Piper’s work but it’s her tribal images that give me that itchy shutter finger, I-want-to-shoot-an-image-like-that-right-now, feeling.

There’s so much I like about this portrait. The child’s face, of course, is striking, and what initially grabbed my attention. But it’s not the first image I’ve seen with face painting, and I would have quickly moved on if that’s all this image had to offer. Instead, it’s has so much more.

I love how the photo is simultaneously powerful and soft. How the lines created by the painting are beautifully echoed by the reeds wrapped around the child’s head yet the intensity conveyed by these graphic elements are superbly balanced by the muted colors and gentle expression in her eyes.┬áThe diamond shape of the headdress and the horizontal reeds lashing them together add further dimension.

You can check out more of Piper’s portraits as well as her wildlife images at the link above.


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4 replies »

  1. Amazing photos! I love the book I have of photos from the Omo valley shot by Hans Silvester — but these are even more beautiful! Thank you for posting and happy new year!

    • I was unfamiliar with the OMO valley prior to seeing these awhile ago, now i want to go desperately. Piper’s images are a big inspiration. I am so glad you like the post. Thank you!

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