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These are some images from my recent trip to India, with a little commentary for anyone interested in the background. As always, critique and criticism is always welcome.
This was shot at a market in Calcutta. Despite the city's reputation for visible poverty, the economic changes in India have led to a dramatic reduction in the number of street people in the city. I have been visiting Calcutta on and off for the last 20 years, and the extent to which the problems of homelessness, vagrancy, and poverty have been reduced in the last four years is nothing short of astonishing. Nonetheless, the poorest of the city do, at times, make themselves apparent, as this child did in a busy marketplace downtown. I initially offered her a coin, and then asked if she and her sister would not mind posing for a picture. She was overjoyed by the idea, and the smile that crossed her face upon seeing the image immediately after it was taken made it all worthwhile.
When travelling in the villages of rural India, you are bound to attract attention to yourself simply by virtue of being a newcomer. Add to that the fact that I was carrying around a big camera, lens, and tripod, and it becomes easy to understand why small groups of children may start gawking at you, or talking behind your back. I caught this group of children flat footed; their curiosity in what I was doing, but they did not realize I spoke the local language and could understand what they were whispering to each other until after I asked them if I could take their picture. This particular girl I found to be quite striking, and I posted a picture of her here. This was shot in rural West Bengal, about 130 miles north of Calcutta.
This is another child in the same area. She was a bit bolder though, and more than happy to have her picture taken.
This kid was constantly trying to get my attention. I was intrigued by the pastoral quality of life in rural India, with livestock, wildlife, and people living in an odd equilibrium. I think he found my interest in the wandering animals to be a little silly, but he was nonetheless trying his best to do things that would get him a spot on one of my CF cards. In the end, I snuck this composition of the little boy sitting on a temple bench...
Last edited by lordarka; February 5th, 2005 at 02:39 AM. Reason: Updated title.
Those are some very interesting pictures! I like that wall in the background of the last picture for some reason. You never see those kind of colors on buildings where I live, really cool imo.
got any more?
Awesome pictures, and I'm really glad you decided to add some commentary.
This is really great stuff, thanks for sharing.
Here are a few more. This little one was crunching on a tea biscuit while waiting for one of her elder sisters to carry her off this ledge. Shot in a back alley in Calcutta, across from a tailor's shop and a small metalworks.
Here's a child in a Sautal village nestled fairly deep in the jungles of central West Bengal. The Sautals are an aboriginal people that pre-date even the local Dravidian and other Hindu invaders, having been on the land for many thousands of years. As a 'scheduled tribe,' they have certain affirmative action type advantages for seeking work and education relief. Typically, though, they live in small villages like this one, living in clay huts and tending livestock, or working in nearby towns as construction labor or maids. Most are also well known for their ability to hold their drink.
Most Sautals were quite superstitious, and avoided getting their picture taken, but this little one was more than happy to smile for the camera while lugging some water back to her home.
beautiful children, and the photos are pretty good too
Seriously, they're lovely. I'm completely captivated by the first girls' eyes.
Please, if you have more, post them! Even if they are older.
I'd like to ask permission to paint the first one, if I may. If not, I understand, but I'd love to nontheless.
You are welcome to paint it... I've been thinking about it myself, but I have a few other projects pending at the moment. I would love to see your interpretation of the image painted; if you could send me a thumbnail of the painting after you're done, I would be most appreciative!Originally Posted by Oregano
Thank you for your permission. I'll do better than send a thumbnail - I'll send you a print. However, this might take a while because of pending projects.
Cheers, and thanks!
PS - and don't let my painting stop you from painting! I'd love to see how you handle the subject!
I'm gradually working through these. Here's one from a Sautal village (see above)... these two kids were vaguely intrigued by my passage through their little village.
And another very quick grab from the same village... this is a mother and child..
Again, beautiful stuff. Can I ask what camera you used to take these?
These are some fantastic images.
It's refreshing to see colour photography being used so well. Nice framing.
If there are any more please post!
Wow, impressive photos. I find the first two especially capturing.
I like the vibrant colors in all of these.
Interesting composition in the second one and the yellow one with the boy.
this is touching, to say the least.
out of curiosity, what camera did you use?
Thanks Groover! These were shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II, and various lenses; the two images here were shot using a 24-70 f/2.8L or a 50mm f/1.4.Originally Posted by Groover McNab
Thanks! I appreciate your comments. I'll be posting more as I process these RAW files. Things have been awfully busy of late, but I am churning through these things...Originally Posted by Bacchus
I'm glad you like the composition on those; I was actually very happy with the way they turned out. I was able to embarass the girl in the first picture into cooperating; she thought that I could not understand the language, so she and her friends were talking about me and wondering aloud about what I was doing right behind me... when I then asked them if they wanted to be in a picture in Bengali, their jaws dropped and they were quite embarassed to realize that I had understood every word they had said. As for the second kid, he really wanted to be in a picture, and tried really hard to impress us. In the end, I thought this capture of him was especially appropriate.Originally Posted by Five
Thanks for looking and commenting. See my response to Groover McNabb above to find out about the camera details.Originally Posted by dassbaba
Beautiful colours, and emotions in these shots. Well done!
this is such beautiful work.
Awesome awesome shots.
I'd love to see more.
I love them all but in particular, the 2nd one. It looks so surreal...
Undumb! Unimpaired! Untroubled!
Beautiful and exotic!
Even amidst all the problems, there is still happiness in their eyes.
BTW some of the images reminded of old Orientalist paintings.