What makes this India Photo Tour so special
I’ve been traveling and operating in India for years of my life, but it’s one of the most unpredictable – and rewarding – destinations as far as a photographer is concerned. Every time I operate an India photo tour I think I’ve seen it all, and every time India proves me wrong.
I’ve been traveling and operating there for years of my life, but it’s one of the most unpredictable – and rewarding – destinations as far as a photographer is concerned.
When you’re talking about when go on an India photo tour the answer is whenever you get the chance. The country is so varied and constantly moving, from the lackadaisical blue life of Kerala in the south to the dust and whirlwind of Pushkar, to the teeming human masses bathing in the Ganges in Varanasi, India is everything. India is always photographically interesting.
The harder question is how to photograph India. On my India photo Tour I always tell my clients the same things – get ready to shoot in low light and get ready to step outside your comfort zone.
India is also in constant motion.
Much of the true India happens before the tourists can get up and get moving. I have no interest in tourists, and most photography is not interested in them either. So it’s necessary to find a place away from them, and generally at that golden hour just before dawn so your work won’t be disrupted.
This might mean crossing to the other side so to speak. When you see a rocky path or alleyway that looks less than ideal in terms of comfort, take it. If it isn’t comfortable, your risk of finding tourists decreases greatly. Even more so if they’re all still asleep.
For instance in Varanasi I used to set myself up right on the river bank because that’s where everything interesting happens; you’ll get the first pilgrims arriving to bath, wandering goats and cows drifting by you, and the priests coming along in their boats during this blue hour, sending scarlet ropes of fire and petrol off the back of their vessels, smoke rising into the still-dark sky.
It’s a magic hour for photography.
But this is where you’ll need to be prepared for low light photographic conditions. A tripod is indispensible. Patience, as well. You’ll need to use every light source and illuminated object that you can. Also, be prepared to work in program or ‘p’ mode – automatic mode will destroy your ISO settings and use flash even if you don’t want to.
But this is where you’ll need to be prepared for low light photographic conditions.
India is also in constant motion. It might not be frenetic, but it’s a living place. You need patience to make sure, especially at the times of the day you’re likely to get good photos of the real India, that your subject is receiving what little ambient light there is. And that might mean taking your time. You’ll want to make sure your subject has stopped moving, and is in the right position to receive the illumination you want. This means staking out a place ahead of time, taking test shots, and getting used to how the light will behave will all benefit you before you start your shoot.
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