India’s Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is India’s most popular tourist route. Not surprisingly, the journey encapsulates three major sites. The route generally starts at Delhi, a street photographers dream and a city steeped in history, myth and architectural beauty. From Delhi you head to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal and numerous lesser-known heritage sites. The final destination is Jaipur, also known as the Pink City.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Despite living in India for the last two and a half years, this was the first time I explored the Golden Triangle. The route has been photographed by millions, and on a short 5 day trip I was going to struggle in terms of getting the images I sought. The Taj itself must be one of the most photographed buildings in the world and I was fortunate that only a small part of it was in scaffold!

The Baby Taj

The Itimad-ud Daulah, is more conveniently referred to as the Baby Taj. I arrived here close to mid-day, so shooting conditions were poor. However, the site is much less crowded than the Taj itself.

‘Baby Taj’

Jaipur

Jaipur is a place I wish to return to for more photography, and to stop by as a gateway to Rajasthan; an area I would dearly like to further explore. If you enjoy wandering around ancient Forts, then this is the place for you. However, what really captured my imagination were the massive astronomical instruments of Jantar Mantar. As you can see below, the potential for some interesting architectural photography is huge.

Delhi

I did not take many pictures in Delhi, and some of the more interesting places to see did not allow any photography (such as the past residence of Indira Gandhi). However, phots taken earlier this year can be seen here.

Morning Wash, Delhi

Planning a Trip?

If you are planning a trip it is well worth doing your research first. For instance, tripods are often not allowed in many of the venues. Secondly, it is worth finding the best time of day for capturing the light in each location, with mornings and evenings obviously being best. As yet I feel I have only just scraped the surface of the potential each location has for photography and I plan to return at some point.

That’s all for today folks, keep clicking, Chris x

10 Tips for Better Travel Photography. Part 2

Firstly, thanks to Brenda for pointing out that for most of these tips, you do not really have to travel far. This brings me to my first discussion point…

Long Distance Travel not required!

Bangalore City Market – 30 Minutes travelling time from home
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10 Tips for Better Travel Photography

Part One

Everybody has a camera and can call themselves a photographer. Last year over a trillion photos were captured, that is a one with 12 zero’s on the end. If you can’t image just how large this number is, think of it in seconds. A trillion seconds is the same as 31 thousand years. Travel is also becoming cheaper and more people are escaping to exotic destinations than ever before. If everyone is a travel photographer, then what can you do to differentiate yourself, and give your images a professional touch?

Signs help tell a story

Tell a Story of Place

Often more that one photo is required to tell a story of place. Look out for roadsigns and displays as well as people involved in day-to-day activities. If you have a travel zoom make sure you take a wide shot that includes the landscape, then zoom in to capture significant details. If you shoot with primes, don’t be afraid to change lenses, or use your feet to get the wider view!

Tell a Story of People

It is hard to think how a photographer could succeed in travel or street photography without some skill in capturing people. If time allows aim to get more than just a head shot. Hands, feet, wrinkles, muscles and lines all tell a story. 

Holy Bull Walker/ Bangalore

The Environmental Portrait

I was taught the environmental portrait by my friend Glenn Guy, who runs the wonderful website www.travelphotographyguru.com. I kicked and fought against this style of imagery, preferring the candid image. However, the style has slowly won me over. The environmental portrait is a collaborative image between the photographer and the subject. Permission must be sought from the subject for this photo. The image should capture the person in his or her environment (duh!), which could be work, home or play. As the photographer has gained permission, they can take a little more time over composition and light.

Composition and Light

Is there any genre of photography that cannot benefit from a stronger understanding of composition and light? Most successful photos will adhere to one guideline or another, even when you are trying to break the rules! When traveling take into account the time of day and the direction of the sun. Mornings and evenings are obviously the prime times for photography. However, the harsh shadows of mid-day can also create effective photos.

Fishermen/ Vietnam

Capture the Vernacular 

When traveling it is easy to focus on the major tourist attractions. Yet is is often the smaller, domestic buildings that tell a story with greater clarity. The vernacular deals with the functional, domestic architecture. These buildings will reflect the environment and cultures of a surrounding area. Weather will play an important role in the construction of these buildings, as well as the materials they are made from. In many countries religion will play an important part in the design of a house, look for symbols to ward off spirits, or shrines used for worship. 

Cao Dai Symbolism (Vietnam)

Well that is all today folks. It WILL be a 10 part tip sheet when I have written part 2. What can a say, life happens.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

Cheeky Monkey

Recently I visited Lepakshi, just North of Bangalore. The light was mid-dayish, and not fantastic for the temple’s magnificent architecture. There was a group of very photogenic women singing their hearts out by the entrance of the temple, unfortunately they were camera shy. However, third time lucky! Monkeys surrounded the grounds and were very tame (to the point of pinching people’s bags and snacks). This monkey posed just long enough a portrait.

For those of you who are interested in such things… This image was edited in Lightroom, and flipped left to right so the monkey was looking to the right. I then colour graded it using On1 and added a film filter. The eyes were lightened and sharpened. Lastly, I added a slight vignette.

Now my regular Street Photography Group on Mewe will only accept images that feature a human element, and this does not count. However, these delightful creatures are soooo close to human I may get away with it!

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

If you are interested in joining the Street Photography Community (SPC) please use the link below.

http:// www.mewe.com/join/street_photographers

Farewell 2018, Hello 2019…

Wishing all my readers a great new year, I hope it goes out with a bang. This month I have been busy with Wes Hardaker who has been guiding a select few photographers on the different applications of exposure control. I generally leave my camera set at -0.3, so it has been an education to finally play a little more with my exposure compensation dial.

New Zealand loves its Bees!
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Best of 2018. Part 1

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on what I have achieved with my photography in 2018.  Today I scoured by hard drive for my favourite photos of the year. I will try and explain a little of what is behind each image. There will be six images in this post, and six in the next.

Varanasi
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Photographing Varanasi

Chaos

Varanasi is the spiritual home for Hindus and sits on the banks of the Ganges River. The city is sacred to Hindus and is credited as being one of the oldest cities in the world. What many of the guidebooks forget to tell you is that it is thick with smog and full of people who are more interested in your finances than your spiritual life! However, don’t let that put you off, the opportunities for photography are fantastic.

Varanasi (1 of 1) Read More

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