Tag Archives: India

Don’t Come Too Close


Its been close to a year now, and we have gotten kind of “hooked” on wildlife.

Going to a wildlife sanctuary, and being part of a safari is extremely exciting; but to be able to spot an animal in the wild, also requires a bit of luck, and some blessings from above.

The whole experience is very exciting. You get up at 0430-0500 Hrs and start getting ready. The safari jeep arrives by 0545-0600 Hrs, and then by 0630 Hrs you are actually driving into the sanctuary. During the winter months, this part of the morning is extremely cold and misty. The jeeps travel fast, and that only adds to the cold! You start to feeling the cold beginning to really bite into you as you struggle to keep your ears warm, and your camera from falling from your fingers that are stiff with the cold. There is a feeling of unreality; – you are being bounced around in a small jeep, it is still a bit dark, there are shadows everywhere, and you see all sorts of shapes and movements in the large jungle. Not an easy job this, – holding your head gear in place for the cold, and your camera in the other, while trying to balance in the jeep and not fall off. There is only one thought in everyone’s mind – “TIGER” !!

Time passes, we see the pug marks of the tiger, and try to track it. We suddenly hear the animal cry’s…something is nearby. We cut the engines of the jeep and wait….and wait…and wait !  No luck today…nothing happens.

Disappointed, spirits low, we start making our way back. We were so close; but then with wildlife sighting, this is something you need to get used to..sometimes you hit the jackpot, quite often you see nothing.

We are almost out of the jungle when suddenly the guide tells us there is a leopard moving up ahead. Our moods shift gear immediately, all eyes are searching the thick undergrowth and trees for signs of movement. And then suddenly, there she was!! It was almost as if she was sunbathing; with not a care in the world.

We took some really good pictures and then moved on, careful not  to disturb her peaceful morning.

The day did turn out well in the end !


The Writing on the Wall


On one of our trips to Cochin, we decided to just walk around the streets with camera in hand. The place in itself is very pretty and colourful so we were confident that we would come back with some good pictures. However, as we walked around the place, we were were amazed at the number of opportunities that were there to photograph. Almost every 15-20 steps we were stopping, finding a subject and clicking.

The greenery and the trees were a lovely contrast in a blue sky in which fluffy clods floated; the old churches, the backwaters, fishing boats, tourists…they all made lovely pictures and we will post some more of these pictures soon. Even the walls had colourful drawings on them, but probably the one thing that stood out most for us was the graffiti on this particular wall.  The building was old and in a run down condition, the windows were falling off, (some had already gone and were replaced with boards); but the walls were as colourful as ever with different writings in blue, green,  red, black, orange, white…someone had taken a lot of trouble to decorate these walls.

Opportunities to photograph are everywhere. You just have to look for them !

Beat of the Drums

Culture 5

Festivals in India take on a different dimension. There are lots of preparations that take place prior to the event, people and the entire community as a whole sets aside time for their participation in the festivals. Added to that is the fact that the events that take place happen in the open public areas, so everyone has access to it. In some areas (like the one pictured above), there was not enough open place for the celebration to take place, so it happened on the main road.

Traffic was diverted, the road was cordoned off, and the drummers and elephant, marched through the street. The drummers seemed to have endless amounts of energy, the beats kept rolling out in great rhythm, they kept swaying to the beat, much to the excitement of the crowd surrounding them. All in all a very festive and happy mood for everyone.

The drummers as well as the organizers of the festival were very receptive to the fact that we were taking pictures, however, being able to get good pictures was a bit of a challenge. It was late evening, almost sunset time, light was low…the drummers kept walking forward, swaying to the beat, and drumming, the crowds surrounding them were anxious to get the best view, so not too receptive to the photo making, there were people constantly walking in front of the drummers, and the road was not wide enough to accommodate all the activity happening on it. With a lot of moving around, coaxing of the viewers, making many apologies, we were able to get some good pictures of the event. Lesson learnt, talk to people, explain what you are trying to do, show them the images you are making, and they will help and accommodate you.

Moody Slopes

DSCF5539aWhile doing photography,one of the things that we need to keep in mind is that we have to capture the mood of the place/subject. It actually helps the viewer to get a better insight of what the photographer has witnessed and captured.

This picture was made in Manali, India. Although it was generally a very clear and bright day, there were several times when the sky would fill with clouds, sometimes so thick, that you felt that they would just explode into a heavy thunderstorm; there would be dark shadows of the clouds on the mountain slopes, giving the mountains a mysterious look; and then all of a sudden they would be gone, leaving behind a clear, sunny day.

Look for moments like this, it brings out the best in your pictures.

The Ferry Crossing

The CrossingCrossing a river or a small bay by boat/ferry in India is something that we always look forward to because it involves a lot of factors. Firstly, you have to wait in line with several other passengers, all dressed in brightly coloured clothes, carrying different kinds of packages and bags. Then there are the boats themselves which are crammed to capacity.  Needless to say, once the boat arrives at the jetty it is total pandemonium…there are passengers trying to disembark, while the others attempt to board. A lot of shouting, noise and confusion takes place in these 3-4 minutes, and then suddenly you find yourself in the ferry, sailing smoothly across the calm bay to the opposite shore.

Its at times like this that you envy the luckier ones who have their own colourful rowing boats to take them across. No chaos for them.

Overall, its an experience not to be missed, and it helps if you have a camera, because there is a lot of colour and the crossing itself presents many instances for photography.



A splash of Colour

Just Boats

Making a trip back home to Cochin in South India always gives us a lot of inspiration because there are so many oppportunities to do some good photography. There is so much of colour all around you, the place in itself is quite beautiful, will loads of tall trees, so may areas with backwaters, and blue skies filled with puffy white clouds.

We  had gone out the previous day and did some good photography, but it was extremely hot and humid, and we had ended our outing earlier than we expected to, mainly because of the climate. So this morning we were not too sure as to what to do. Finally, we decided to brave the heat once again, so armed with our camera’s, off we went. We soon came to the waterfront, and decided to look around a bit.

We saw a few colourful fishing boats in the distance, but they were too far away to get a decent picture, so we went looking for a way to get closer to them. The road led us away from the sea, but we came across a small winding alley, with a lot of garbage, a couple of cats, and lots of crows, (the latter two being rather surprised at seeing us there). As we had hoped, this alley led us out back to the backwaters, and there the boats were !

We spent the next half hour or so clicking away to our hearts content, and we did get some really good pictures of these boats. The lesson learnt ? Keep exploring your options, dont settle for the standard shots…if we had not looked for a better angle/viewpoint, we could never have got this picture.

Abandoned Truck


How often have we gone out with the camera only to come back home dissappointed, saying that it was “not a good day” because we could not find a good subject? Or maybe the lighting was not right? Or there was nothing scenic in the vicinity?

This is when we have to make a little more effort, and try to look at things from a different point of view, because the opportunity to make a picture is all round us. We have to be able to see the beauty that is around us, and be able to capture this beauty in a manner that makes it asthetically pleasing.

This old abandoned truck looked its worst, but there was something about the way it stood there in the grass that caught my attention.  It seemed to be giving the plants on the ground a support to climb on and spread even further, almost as if it were trying to support  life after it had passed the best years of its own life, and the bright colours of the bonnet and parts of the cabin worked in total contrast to the rich green colour of the grass.

Overall, a simple, yet interesting picture, and this is the what photography is all about. We all have our own views and opinions as to what is and is’nt a good photograph; but it is the ability to go out there, form a picture in your mind of what is around you, and then capture and share that idea/thought process with the rest of the world, that makes photography an art.


An evening in the Land of Kings

A fun evening

Jaipur, the capital of India’s largest state is a city filled with forts and monuments,  by virtue of  its Rajput Rulers. One of the largest tourist centers in India, this city (also known as the “Pink City”) allows you to experience the culture, heritage and grandeur of days gone by; and there is no better place in Jaipur to experience this than the “Chowki Dhani” village.

Half an hour of driving through the crowded streets and you find yourself at the  entrance to the Chowki Dhani Tourist Village. As soon as you enter the doors, you pass into another place and time. Brightly painted haveli’s, colourful costumes and rich colours, traditional music and dance forms, pottery and handicraft, handprinted block printing, rides on colourful camels, puppet shows in the most basic form, traditional musicians and dancers; – all this followed by a sumptous Rajasthani Thali – makes your trip to Rajasthan truly unforgettable.

But thats not all; after you have dined; (I must warn you here…it involves sitting cross-legged on the floor, on large cushions, which is uncomfortable for those not used to it, but its when you have to get up that you really have a problem), you take a stroll acroos the open sands, and you will come across many traditional coir strung beds. Stretch out on these crude but extremely comfortable platforms, enjoy the gentle warm breeze as it travels over the hot desert sands, and gaze up at a sky full of stars. Its another world !

One can easliy spend a whole evening in this place without being able to fully participate and take in all the excitement and activity that it has to offer. You generally leave wishing this magical evening does not have to end !