Saturday, 21 March 2015

6 Reasons Travel Photography Is An Epic Experience In INDIA

Although I haven’t been to many countries, I can still declare India to be one of the best countries for travel photography. I believe India challenges you as a photographer, forces you to be creative in the most uninviting situations and offer images that are beautiful beyond being visually appealing. India induces a photographer to be curious and hungry for soulful images. To be really honed as a photographer, you need to do a photography tour of India – you will get accustomed to the unglamorous side of photography pretty soon and know your true worth as a photographer.


So why is India a refuge for travel photographers?

It’s a land of colours.

Perhaps the easiest way to make your pictures attractive is by adding colours to the frame, and when you are in India, that’s an obvious thing to do. India is so full of colours – gorgeous Indian outfits, bangles, decked out bazaars, adorned elephants and camels, spices, festivities, rituals, street processions and so on. Reds, pinks, yellows and blues are all there to lure you into the revelry of everyday hues.


MY TOP 3 FAVORITE PLACES TO CAPTURE COLOURS IN INDIA – RAJASTHAN, SIKKIM & KARNATAKA.

Do I need to say anything about the colours of Rajasthan? Everything about the royal state is colourful and vivid. I noticed a lot of colours in Sikkim, too. Although the approach to colours in Sikkim is quite different from other states in India – I’d say Sikkim is very tastefully colourful. I also love the use of colours in Karnataka – the banana stalls look so pretty and also the flower shops that always manage to grab my attention.

The landscapes are lush, arid, mystical, dramatic…  

India is a country of surprises. When it comes to landscapes, the diversity will blow your senses – there is the divinity of the Himalayas, the nothingness of the deserts, the serenity of the lakes, the verdure of the islands and the imposing benignity of the rocks. Besides, the romance between the elements of nature and our man-made structures is beguiling, too.
    

MY TOP 3 FAVORITE PLACES TO CAPTURE LANDSCAPES & NATURE IN INDIA – SIKKIM, HAMPI & KERALA.

Well, my choice for landscape and nature photography in India is not limited to just three places. (Of course, I will also have Kashmir and Ladakh added to this list very soon.) But yes, I have picked Sikkim, Hampi and Kerala for the contrast they offer – Sikkim has mountains, Hampi has boulders, while Kerala has islands.     

The people are so interesting.

If you talk about conventional good looks, most people in India fall short of it – they are usually not tall, fair and slender, and they are far from being sophisticated. But, Indian faces and personalities are so interesting and photogenic. It’s hard to resist an Indian face – it’s so real. It’s a photographer’s joy to translate the everyday frowns and smiles into an artistic symphony through the power of his/her lens.   


MY TOP 4 FAVORITE PLACES TO CAPTURE PEOPLE IN INDIA – KUTCH, RAJASTHAN, SIKKIM & KARNATAKA.

Although the list is even longer because every state in India has interesting faces, I choose to pick Kutch, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Karnataka for the edged-out personalities that you get to see in these states. Also, people are rooted in traditions; they are simple and charming.

There are everyday quirks and nuances to capture.

More than anything else, India has so many ordinary and mundane moments for photographers – vendors at their stalls, rickshaws, labourers on the job, Chai shops, the display of laundry, cows on the streets, the narrow alleys, the atmosphere around the temples, mosques and Gurdwaras, and of course, the epic train journeys. Outlandishly, every bit of it is quick to grab your attention. It’s practically hard to ignore any sight in India. I’d say capturing the real, ordinary and ignorable moments of everyday life in India is like a furnace test of a photographer. Each and every frame that you freeze has to be birthed amidst the crowd, the chaos, the dust, the noise, the heat and the various smells.


MY TOP 2 FAVORITE PLACES TO CAPTURE THE EVERYDAY LIFE IN INDIA – DELHI & MUMBAI.

I’d like to settle for the two biggest cities of India – Delhi and Mumbai for everyday photography. But, you will have to leave the posh areas and frequent the old areas to find your treasure as a photographer – the alleyways, the street life and all that stuff.

Even the pace of life is diverse.

I feel India has various worlds within it. The metropolitan life is so fast-paced, while the life in small towns and villages is so laid-back and quiet. I think the contrast is amazing to notice and capture for a travel photographer.


FOR ‘PACE OF LIFE’ KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY, I’D NOT LIKE TO PICK ANY FAVORITES, BECAUSE I GUESS THAT’S SOMETHING VERY SPONTANEOUS.

Everything in India exudes stories.   

The most awe-inspiring part of photographing India is being part of its age-old stories. You can’t capture India’s soul without taking a few steps back into its history. Be it the food, the festivals, the many cultural dances, the artworks, the architecture or the ruins, everything has a story in tow. In short, you cannot really capture India merely on the surface. You have to go deep into its traditions, mingle with its people and embrace the eccentricities to be able to slice off a layer of India for your lens.


MY TOP 2 FAVORITE PLACES TO CAPTURE FOOD, ARCHITECTURE, CULTURE & TRADITIONS – KUTCH & RAJASTHAN.

Without a doubt, Kutch and Rajasthan are the epitome of Indianess – forts and palaces, traditional Indian clothes, the village life, rich cuisines and boisterous festivals.   

Which part of India did you enjoy the most as a travel photographer?

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22 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Your photographs are fascinating and truly representative of our widely varied colors,culture,art,architecture,landscape,enchantment and mystique. Great post Renuka.

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  2. My favourite are uttrakhand ..... rajasthan and north east

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  3. I agree with everything you have said, India is the greatest place for a photographer. My favourite places to photograph were Varanasi and Mumbai.

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    1. True, Varanasi has been every travel photographer's favorite. I am yet to go there!

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  4. India to be one of the best countries for travel photography - The pictures you captured justifying your claim. Good one, brings out the reality.

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    1. Thanks John! :-) That's so nice to hear!

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  5. Old cities, Old towns in India are one of the best for photography and if there is nice Sunset in that location that adds more value to a photograph. I am still traveling and still learning so to reply to your question all I can say:
    I enjoy photography no matter where I am but yes, places with good Sunset I like little more.
    Festivals are also good time for photography. The more I click, The more I learn..

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    1. Right! The more you travel the more you discover and learn.

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  6. This is so true Renuka! There's nothing as colorful and beautiful as framing the Indian culture/lifestyle/landscape. The pictures taken in India speak more than 1000 words. There's life in street scenes or celebrations, bazaars. I so miss India.

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    1. I think it's time you come to India! Hope to catch up with you, Anu. :-)

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  7. You are right about India. Its a photogenic country and its also very hospitable and warm.

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  8. Interesting read. India definitely is a photographer's delight.

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  9. Renuka, I think there is one thing that really drives the point home that India is the best place for travel photographers. The people! Not only, as you say, are they diverse and interesting, they are friendly and never seem to mind having their photo taken. It is not that way in many countries. I loved photographing India...and have not done near enough. Jim and I were just saying, it's time we go back! Great post!

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    1. You're right, Corinne! :-) People are friendly, too. It's so easy to mingle with them. I hope you visit India soon!

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  10. Absolutely agree with you about the colours, and absolutely about the faces and people in Rajasthan - simply mesmerising!

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    1. Yep. :-) India is one of the most colourful countries in the world, which makes it a delight for travel photographers.

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  11. I have never thought about India in the way it is described on this blog post. The author speaks of India being so rich in heritage, culture and tradition. The topography of India and the colours around have inspired the author and in turn it has inspired me to see India in a whole new light!

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