Illuminating light, insane visions, electrifying sounds, furious speeds and pervasive smells.
It was with great excitement and anticipation that I landed in India. Within minutes I realised this was quite unlike any place on Earth. As the trip unfolded so did the landscape of my wondering mind. There were both subtle and relentless differences between India and the kaleidoscope of my previous cultural experiences. Few words can describe the juxtapositions each region presented. Among a chaotic assault to the senses I witnessed a simple, peaceful beauty, an energy filled with elegance and colour, fuelling the photographic imagination. Below I have shared some experiences of the above.
Udaipur – hidden gems
With soft light illuminating its traders, Updipur’s covered market is a refuge from the commotion outside its walls.
Varanasi – New Vishwanath Temple
A pilgrim from South India visits Varanasi. She has just had her head shaved, sacrificing her hair at the temple. Asking me to take a picture of her she sees her bald head for the first time.
Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort
A women is stationed to protect an internal section of the famous Mehrangarh fort. Whilst on duty she frequently peers outside to liaise with the male guards in the court yard below. Away from the tourists this calm image captures the informal communication between local staff.
Varanasi – rituals
At 5:30am young monks have just finished a session of yoga on the Ganges edge. They follow their leader with a few minutes of laughing yoga before walking down to the water- candles in their palms. This was a truly tranquil moment.
Bera – Jawai Sagar Dam
A family cross the dried up dam in Bera. As they approach me I’m greeted with warm smiles. The children however are perplexed by my presence. This shot stands out from the usual images whereby excited children but cautions parents engage with the foreigners lens.
A typical scene in rural Rajasthan. Orange turbans line the streets like glowing lanterns in the midday sun. Backed by a bright yellow shop, three local men relax on a bench and watch the world go by.
Varanasi – Aarti ceremony
A young candle seller hops nimbly amongst the ever increasing flurry of wooden boats, each arriving to take a spot for the nightly Aarti ceremony. Sold for pence, these floating candles are set alight and placed on the waters surface. Each candle floats away carrying a wish made at it’s origin.
Varanasi – daily life
Local’s use the early mornings to wash and dry their clothing and materials. Taking just minutes to dry fine fabrics, the warm concrete is a perfect heater. For a short time before 6am, areas of the riverside are flooded with colour and patterns as local men and women get to work.
Rajasthan – the turban
The turban (pagari) is a key part of identity in Rajasthan, indicative of its wearer’s social class, caste, region and occasion. They have also developed a multitude of uses. Although protecting individuals from the harsh elements they can also be used as pillows, for draining muddy water and to draw water from a well. This proud man wears his red Pagari.
Rajasthan – transport
It goes without saying that the various means of transport in India are a wonder for photographers, writers and travellers alike. This image captures a traditional bus piled high with men on the roof and women inside. The man in the centre of the roof and the woman in the window smile simultaneously. A delightful moment and one which celebrates the uniqueness of life in India.
For more images please see my website at www.capturedonce.co.uk