Shari Hartbauer

The Rajasthan Portfolio

About Shari Hartbauer

Shari earned her first paycheck for a photo of the champion bull at the local fair when she was 17 years old, and has worked as a photographer ever since. Educated in the fine arts with an emphasis in photography, she’s built her career around documentation and travel photography. In 2011 she formed Redpoint Collective for individuals who love photography, and exploring the world with their cameras.

Today she organizes cultural tours taking small groups of photographers to exotic places like Bhutan, Myanmar and Rajasthan, India. She also tutors aspiring photographers on how to make better images, curates photography exhibits and conducts weekend photo trips.

Lives and works in Kansas city, Missouri

Young couple from the Rajashtan Portfolio by Shari Hartbauer

Photographing Women in Rajasthan

In Rajasthan, India I concentrated on photographing women. We traveled to small and remote villages where the women were very shy around men. The married women would keep their faces covered with their veils if men were around. So I would send the men traveling with me away, so I could get to know the women. Even without a shared language, I could still communicate by sitting with them, admiring their babies, showing them photos in my camera and asking if I could make their portraits. I especially enjoyed it when I had to share my own eyeglasses  so they could see the photos on my viewfinder. They were so surprised at how well my glasses worked and then laughed when they could finally see themselves in the pictures. Even without knowing their language, I could tell they were complaining about how they looked – like most women everywhere.

Young woman with her jewels from the Rajashtan Portfolio by Shari Hartbauer

Opium Ceremony

I was given really good advice before taking my first trip abroad and I live this wisdom on every trip – accept any invitation that is offered so to completely immerse myself in the local culture. So I was thrilled to be invited to what is usually a men-only opium ceremony in Rajasthan. When they invited me to try it, the taste was quite bitter as you can see by my expression, but my response must have endeared the men to me because they were happy to pose for photos after I tried the opium.

Close up of a smoker during an opium ceremony. Rajasthan, India
Shari during the Opium Ceremony

Photo by Brud Jones

Shari on VitaminBW

I consider myself an expert user of Lightroom, and was always quite satisfied with the lovely BW conversions I could get out of it, until I tried Vitamin BW. For my first image I processed a photo to what I thought was perfect in LR, then I ran that same image through Vitamin BW and was blown away by how much better it looked in that conversion. Suddenly my original LR conversion looked terrible to me. I’ll will never convert an image to BW without Vitamin BW again.

My favorite process is to use the warm single-tone setting, and I often turn up the opacity on that layer to 100%.

Three great examples of VitaminBW  conversion with different results.