Daily Inspiration #76 by Paul Shammasian

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning so today I wanted to share THREE beautiful images for the daily inspiration. Submitted by Paul Shammasian. Here is what he sent in:

Hi Steve,

Last year I was in Armenia shooting a short film. It’s a fantastic place to also take photographs. I spent a day in the mountains, and was very touched by how humble and generous the locals were. No matter how poor, they would offer us food and drink. What struck me was also how much pride they took with their home. The photo of the bed is in a secluded house miles from any civilization, tucked away in the mountains. The old man had a part in the film, but didn’t make the final cut. We just saw him as we drove through a village and asked if he wouldn’t mind being filmed. He never said a word the whole time while we were filming, and at the end he refused any money we offered him. He just said “may you all have good health” The building had a very strange atmosphere. It used to be under Russian occupation, but is now used as a film studio.

Thanks for creating such a great and inspiring site.

All the best.

Paul Shammasian

Camera – 5d Mk2

Old Man – f1.4 – Exposure 1/1250 – ISO 320 – Lens – Canon 35mm 1.4L


f2.8 – Exposure 1/320 – ISO 400 – Lens – Canon 24-70mm 2.8L


f1.4 – Exposure 1/100 – ISO 400 – Lens – Canon 35mm 1.4L

Thank you Paul for the lovely images!

Also, thank you to EVERYONE for your continued emails and photo submissions! Keep them coming!

To see some of Pauls film work, check this out.


  1. I’m just a bit disappointed about the shutter speed and the ISO on the first two images…
    those new ISO monster make people take photos automatically with stupid automatic settings…

    Why did you needed ISO 320 and ….. 1/1250 for a steel old man?? he’s there, he’s not driving a motorbike! You needed 100 ISO… and moreover why the room at ISO400 and 1/320… it seems you were taking sport action shoots with that settings, enough speed for a jumping bike, surely enough for a room that’s not going anywhere…
    The only guess is that the camera was in A priority and with Auto ISO, or that it was ready to shoot everything (but there’s no explanation i can think of for not loose just a second and get out even more both in the room and in the old man wit ISO 100)

    The aperture is an artistic instrument in those cases (you may prefer 1.4 to 2.0 due your taste) or a light need, the mm size is an artistic choice too (and both very effective), but there’s no artistic taste in 1/1250 of a sec, that preclude you a sharper and finer result. Maybe it’s better a D90 and the NEED to think in M mode to get out the best from these three parameters than an ISO Monster that became just a button…
    I however realise that the focus of your attention was 100% on the composition and the emotions you would like to create. In fact you’ve done a great great job, a job that I admire. Especially the position of the old man that make me wonder why he’s there and where he’s prospected, showing me his confidence and his day life knowledge that seems to overcome ours. I can even hear he’s voice “may you all have good health”…
    The only thing I may have tried was to push further to the wall the chair he was sitting, to blur even more the backwall and move up and down a bit to adjust the grass/wall line in the background and put it back where it’s now or the wall line to not pass into the eyes but in the hat (but i don’t know the lights and the environment. It would have been just a test, to try out after i have seen this one, not a thing I could see before the first picture)

    You certainly built the composition that’s talking to me, I hope the next time you will think a couple of seconds more, scroll a couple of wheels to build also the exposure that’s talking to me, and not let the camera artistic sense overcome your possibilities!

  2. Love the portrait of the old man, Paul! Not enough people shoot portraits with normal lenses, and it’s a shame. I’m looking to use my Panasonic 20/1.7 on MFT as a portrait lens more myself.

  3. Great pictures !!! thanks i will love to go to Armenia !!! in fact i must go, you just give me a great excuse !!

    Greg Doniian

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