QUICK SHOT: Boy from Nagar By Ibraar Hussain

QUICK SHOT: Boy from Nagar

By Ibraar Hussain

Sometimes an opportunity comes along when you pick up the camera and shoot an exposure, which no matter how many times you try and try again the results simply don’t quite match up to that first time.

In this case I was trekking in the Rakaposhi Range above the village of Minapin in the Nagar Valley of the Karakoram mountains. I was ill prepared (though I didn’t know it yet) and the trek resulted in a near disastrous retreat from the Rakaposhi Base Camp and a horrible arduous trek back to base.

We left in the morning and soon found ourselves amongst some villagers herding goats in a lovely high place called Bang-e-Das – we had stone shepherd huts storing fodder for the distinctive pygmy cows, goats and sheep in this rugged but awe-inspiring part of the world. A few kids were tending goats and playing around and one in particular was quite striking with his purple knitted sweater – after chatting to the people there I asked the kid if I could take his picture, he turned and look towards me and with the 45mm Planar T* G lens fitted to my Contax G2, I set Aperture to f2.8 (as I usually do for shallow depth of field with that 3D look) and snapped.

After getting back to England and getting the slides developed, I was astounded at how much of the boy’s personality I seemed to have caught, along with the soulful look in his striking eyes.

The Kodak Ektachrome e100vs was perfect for this, perfect – it brought out the colours of his sweater and his eyes, the features and colours of his face – the sleep in his eyes, the dirt on his face and his roguish boyish behaviour up there vanished for that instant when he looked into the camera – all with the softness of the Film which Digital would render too cleanly and too sharp.

Anyway, this is probably my favourite portrait for a multitude of reasons – so I thought I’d share it with you, and feel free to comment and agree or disagree with me.

Contax G2. 45mm Carl Zeiss Planar T* f2 @ f2.8. Kodak e100vs



  1. it’s a nice shot but there is obviously extra doging on the eyes, takes the natural look away, they’re forced to pop out, and I think they would even without excessive dodging

  2. If you try to get into a photo agency they will ask you for a few hundred or a few thousand “Great ”
    photos. Trust me. One or 50 great photos means nothing unless you just like to get attention from others… Today there are millions of photographers. Do you thing “The Observers”, BBC, CNN pay for the photos they show. HA!

    • I have two scanners, a Plustek Optikfilm 7100 for 35mm single frames
      an Epson 4990 flatbed for 35mm, Panoramic 35mm, MF and LF.

      Both are mediocre and I wish I had the spare cash for one of the new Epson flatbed scanners or a higher end

    • Huh?? youre looking at a Digital scan, the best scanner is as good as digital camera 4-5 year ago….
      And you see it is better, nice job.

      • It’s a digital scan yes but it’s of a film slide of ektachrome and has those characteristics – a digital shot would be cleaner less grain and sharper and rendering would be completely different – making it a different image

        • 10 min playing around in PS, wil give you the same.
          even on a print its not posible to see the diverence anymore.

          Beautiful shot btw.

          • You can play around all day, but you wont get the same in PS. You can’t replicate the grain structure combined with the nuances of tone and colour in the unique way they work together.

  3. Great shot! That was my most used film when I criss-crossed Australia back in 2004 as it was very good at pulling out the reds of the landscape without looking unnatural. I’d have expected it to be harsh for portraits but, no, it looks perfect.

  4. There was a mistake on the other 2012 log – it’s Kodak Ektachrome e100vs – as I dug the slide out and had a look before re-scanning it..

    • oh, thank you very much.
      I am a bit surprised I must admit as it reminds me a lot of Velvia… maybe it was just “wishful thinking”
      All the best,

  5. Great shot! It is taken from your ‘G2 travel companion’ blog. There you state that it is shot on Velvia 50, what- looking at the colours and all- sounds more to it than the Kodak 100…

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