Documentary shots of everyday lives taken over the length and breadth of India
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.photographicjourneys.co.uk
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  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 . 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