Your pho­tos

Doc­u­men­tary shots of ev­ery­day lives taken over the length and breadth of In­dia

NPhoto - - Contents -

Mis­sion: To cap­ture the di­verse peo­ples of the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent go­ing about their ev­ery­day lives Pho­tog­ra­pher: Hamish Scott-Brown Age: 50 Lo­ca­tion : Leam­ing­ton Spa, UK Kit: Nikon D750, 28mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Web­site: www.pho­to­graph­icjour­

The In­dian sub-con­ti­nent pro­vides the most amaz­ingly di­verse lo­ca­tions that are colour­ful, cul­tural, and that of­fer an im­mer­sive op­por­tu­nity to cap­ture ‘real lives’ at work and leisure. These im­ages are just some of thou­sands shot while re­search­ing dif­fer­ent parts of In­dia, in­clud­ing Ladakh, Ker­ala, Ra­jasthan and Sikkim.

My most memorable pho­to­graphic ex­pe­ri­ence on this trip was in Kash­mir. There’s a mar­ket on a quiet cor­ner of Dal lake ac­ces­si­ble by tak­ing a small shikara (flat-bot­tomed boat) from the house­boat be­fore sun­rise. I pad­dled through the blue light of predawn where the only sounds were the splosh of the

shikara pad­dles. The feint echo of the ad­han (call to prayer) could be heard amongst the wak­ing birds, cou­pled with the red sun ris­ing slowly over the Hi­malayas. This im­age [1] cap­tures the colour, the qual­ity of light and the fierce com­pe­ti­tion as float­ing traders vie for space to sell fruit and veg­eta­bles. It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence I’ll never for­get.

Pho­tograph­ing people in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and cul­tures can be a chal­lenge that many pho­tog­ra­phers shy away from. Some favour the long lens ap­proach, which al­lows them to stay well back from their sub­jects, but that’s a tech­nique I per­son­ally dis­like. One of my mantras, while work­ing on travel and doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy, is this: try to take pic­tures about things not of things. One ex­am­ple of this is my shot of the Ra­jasthan farmer and his fam­ily [2]. Life in this drought-rav­aged area of West­ern Ra­jasthan, near the Thar Desert, is an ev­ery­day strug­gle for the com­mu­ni­ties there, yet I felt in this por­trait the farmer shows both pride and sto­icism.

The Changpa girl with the goats may have been the

trick­i­est of these three im­ages to cap­ture, not just be­cause the no­mads were hard to lo­cate, but the air there is in­cred­i­bly thin, at 4500m. These no­madic tribes live across the re­mote cor­ners of East­ern Ladakh. Our guides as­sisted us on their lo­ca­tion and sug­gested the best times to visit to cap­ture their sim­ple, hum­bling lifestyles.

Sleep­ing can be dif­fi­cult and the nine-hour drive east out of Leh is a killer, but the re­wards for pho­tog­ra­phers are su­perb. It was hard work, but well worth the trip.

One of my travel and doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy mantras is try to take pic­tures about things not of things

1 Dawn Fish­ing Nikon D750, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, 0.8 sec, f/14, ISO100 2 Ra­jasthan Farmer and Fam­ily Nikon D750, 50mm f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO100 3 Changpa Girl with Goats Nikon D750, 28mm f/1.8, 1/1000 sec, f/2, ISO180

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