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Old 13th May 2017, 01:43   #17191
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This is the India that's portrayed abroad and this is the India that sells in the West. There is always a sadistic pleasure of portraying India like this. It's like the areas in our locality that we'd not even think of visiting that's where these guys roam and get their images from.
Whether you like it or not, it is reality. My wife and I have taken more then a hundred trips all over India. I have travelled more than 15.000 km on my Royal Enfield Bullet across rural India and these sort of images do reflect what a large section of India looks like.

I look at this guys pictures and it does bring back good memories for me. Because I have spend quite a bit of time in these sort of areas. And met lots of folks, everybody was always friendly, wanted to communicate with me, even though I only speak English, when my Bullet breaks down the whole village would come to help out.

So yes, a lot of these people do live in poverty. Their outlook on live is pretty bleak, certainly compared to most of us, most likely. But when I look at these pictures I also see proud people going about their life under difficult circumstances. They live their lives to the best of their abilities and capabilities. Which is to be admired. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone poverty of course.
But it is a reality into which hundred of millions find themselves.

I found all Indian to be very proud on what they are. People go about their lives, making the most of it, not expecting any hand outs from anybody. You have to make it on your own. Very strong family ties (and family feuds!

A very different society from most (European) ones.

To date there are a little over 200 countries in the world. It is impossible for any individual to know each country inside out. But each and everyone of us will have an impression on whatever country gets called out.

That means, these days, with all (social) media, countries get summed up in a few bullets, a few images. I spoke about my dislike of simplification in another thread. But it means that yes, India is known for its poverty, call centres and the Taj Mahal. The Netherlands, my home country is known for it windmills, fields of tulip, everybody wears wooden clogs whilst watching porn and smoking pot. The Spanish have been broke as a nation for several decades, but still all they do is eat and sleep all day. All the Swiss have going for them is mountains, smelly cheese and a few watches. Etc. etc.

The notion however that there is a sadistic streak in portraying India, or any other country I don’t think is true.

As an individual I like to travel, see and experience as many places as I can. Get a feel for the place, for the people, for the smell. And I will take pictures. Of the rich, the poor, the beautiful architecture, the ruins, the gorgeous scenery and the garbage heaps. Because that is the reality I encounter. I don’t sell my pictures. I don’t exploit them commercially. I have no problems with other doing so in principle.

Every nation could make similar claims like this. It’s a fair representation of India, or country A, B or C.

So here is a very different scene in a very different country. But again I have had it on display at various exhibitions.

This I took somewhere in Kansas, USA. Some people look at it and say, typical America, a hugely obese guy. Other say, typical Mid West overweight guy pretending to be a cowboy. Some find the pictures humorous, some find it sad. Some, very few know what is going on.

But it is a real scene, it is reality. If one look at this pictures and believe it stands for something American one way or the other one does the exact same thing as opposing of taking pictures of poverty. There is more to a nation than poverty or obesity. (Well at least that is true for India and the USA)

The Official non-auto Image thread-img_0354.jpg

So I think that makes it a good picture; People look at it, they start thinking and they draw conclusions. Whether that is the right or wrong conclusion, who is to say. Certainly not me. But as a photographer it does mean you touched people's emotion.

So I continue to shoot whatever I come across during my travels, rich or poor, happy or unlucky, great or small. It really doesn’t matter. Some or happy, some or not so happy perhaps. But as I tried to show with my last image as well, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Happy is very, very subjective term.

I would be interested to hear how you gents would like to portray India? Can you describe or better yet, show us say a panel of 3-5 photographs that portray your India?


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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
This guy is a great photographer. Wish he used his talents to shoot differently.
He does, have a look for some of his other work here:

https://500px.com/the22row/galleries/japan_beauty

Jeroen

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Old 13th May 2017, 11:14   #17192
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Here’s my Chandni Chowk image in some more detail:


Jeroen
As a 'consumer' and not a photographer - let me talk about what I felt (You had posted this photo earlier also).

I was actually drawn to the people. A snapshot of daily life scenario, who go about their hard working life (not trying to talk in cliches here). A slice of a city life in my country - I never felt ashamed of this. In fact it looked rather too beautiful, in my opinion. A very positive photo

Am not able to see any poverty here, no dirty sewers, garbage etc - then what's the problem?
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Old 13th May 2017, 11:43   #17193
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
He does, have a look for some of his other work here:

https://500px.com/the22row/galleries/japan_beauty

Jeroen
Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing the link.
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Old 13th May 2017, 12:45   #17194
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I was actually drawn to the people. A snapshot of daily life scenario, who go about their hard working life (not trying to talk in cliches here). A slice of a city life in my country - I never felt ashamed of this. In fact it looked rather too beautiful, in my opinion. A very positive photo

Am not able to see any poverty here, no dirty sewers, garbage etc - then what's the problem?
Thanks for those comments, much appreciated.

Jeroen
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Old 13th May 2017, 13:28   #17195
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As a 'consumer' and not a photographer - let me talk about what I felt (You had posted this photo earlier also).
Let's say you were the subject, not the consumer. Say you were dusting the window with a Jaadu wearing lungi and banian, and you see a foreigner clicking you in the act. You know, capturing a slice of India. What is your reaction then?

Keep in mind this is not a hypothetical scenario. I saw this happening. My NRI paternal uncle tried to click my rural maternal uncle under similar act.
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Old 13th May 2017, 15:10   #17196
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I have taken thousands of images all over India. Not once did I encounter any problems or people objecting. Irrespective of who they were, what walk of life they are from. If anything as soon as they see me taking pictures most will start posing. I very often show them my pictures on the camera screen. You are objecting to something that I have found during my four years in India never to be a problem with any of the individuals in my images. No matter where I went in India.

I have had more issues in the Rockin' Rotterdam project I wrote about earlier. There are areas in Rotterdam where people don't take kindly to anybody taking pictures. In particular of their wife's and kids. Again, explaining what I was doing usually meant they were fine with it.

One thing though. I don't carry a huge DSLR and a whole bunch of kit. I'm just an old git with grey hair and a little camera taking pictures and talking the people. Rarely a problem

Jeroen
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Old 13th May 2017, 16:27   #17197
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I have taken thousands of images all over India. Not once did I encounter any problems or people objecting. Irrespective of who they were, what walk of life they are from. If anything as soon as they see me taking pictures most will start posing. I very often show them my pictures on the camera screen. You are objecting to something that I have found during my four years in India never to be a problem with any of the individuals in my images. No matter where I went in India.
And I would be surprised if they had objected. Due to our colonial legacy, a typical Indian would never take offence to a white person taking pics. As an Indian, I wouldn't receive such co-operation or enthusiasm. When I have tried taking pics of such people under different context, they were not happy that they weren't dressed in their best attire.

Here is one such instance from a report I wrote back in 2006.

Even the poorest people have a sense of dignity, and they know when they are shown in poor light. But they seldom express it openly unless you know them very well. Instead, they swallow their pride and smile. I know this because I was in those shoes while growing up. Whenever somebody pointed out our relatively poorer situation, we swallowed our hurt and smiled.

Please don't confuse us with your MNC management team. Many of us in this thread are from humble backgrounds. If not for the IT revolution, many of us here wouldn't own a car or a dSLR. My parents never owned a car or a camera. My family got our first camera when my uncle from UK gifted us his 15 year old Minolta SLR, when I was 20.

Until my teens, I mostly grew up in small towns and villages, where I had classmates who didn't own shoes. Our servant's daughter was my elder brother's classmate. She often accompanied her mother to work to wash clothes and do dishes at our home. So she used to ignore my brother as if he didn't exist. Pride... we understood that emotion at a very young age because we too experienced it while dealing with our richer relatives.

My first cousin's son is slightly older than me, although we were in the grade. He attended the most premier highschool in Bangalore, while I attended an unknown highschool. He was dropped and picked up in the family car everyday, while I walked everywhere. He was the only truly rich kid I knew while growing up. And I was the only poor relative he hobnobbed with. That was only because we were in same grade, and his mother thought it would be a good thing we met frequently.

I still remember this conversation that happened in 1983.

He: So, how far is your school from home?
Me: It is walk-able distance. Just 2kms.
He: Ha, ha, ha... 2kms is walk-able distance? So, how do you go?
Me: I walk to school. That is why I said it is walk-able.
He: <stunned> You walk 2kms everyday carrying your school bag?
Me: I also walk back. In addition, I also walk to tuition place, which is again 2Kms away. In total, I walk 8kms a day.
He: What? You walk 8kms a day? That is crazy.
Me: Why is that crazy? Your grandmother and my father (who are siblings) walked to a school that was 8kms away, that is 16kms a day. That too across paddy fields and forest paths. At least, I walk on tarmac.
He: <kept shaking head> That is ancient history, this is now.

That was the first time I became conscious that walking 8kms a day was not considered normal by somebody. Next time I met him, he introduced me to his equally rich cousins as the uncle who walks 8kms day. I just smiled... the same smile you get from your photography subjects.

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Old 13th May 2017, 16:57   #17198
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Default Re: The Official non-auto Image thread

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Whether you like it or not, it is reality. I would be interested to hear how you gents would like to portray India? Can you describe or better yet, show us say a panel of 3-5 photographs that portray your India?He does, have a look for some of his other work here:https://500px.com/the22row/galleries/japan_beauty
Jeroen
The same person portrays Japan so beautifully but he reserves the worst when it comes to India.
Why do you always go for the bad things 'alone' when there are so many good things to portray. Since you've asked here are a medley of images taken by me around my city.
Attached Thumbnails
The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_1986-copy_filtered_-2_-3_fused_filtered.jpg  

The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_6242_snapseed-copy.jpg  

The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_6608_snapseed-copy.jpg  

The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_7326_snapseed.jpg  

The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_7597-copy.jpg  

The Official non-auto Image thread-dsc_7728-copy_-2_-3_fused_snapseed_filtered.jpg  

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Old 13th May 2017, 17:25   #17199
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I would be interested to hear how you gents would like to portray India? Can you describe or better yet, show us say a panel of 3-5 photographs that portray your India?
Here is a slice of my India.

The Official non-auto Image thread-p3150345.jpg

The Official non-auto Image thread-p3150099.jpg

Rest of the pics here.

The house shown in the initial pics is where my dad grew up.

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Old 14th May 2017, 10:54   #17200
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As an Indian, I wouldn't receive such co-operation or enthusiasm.

I just smiled... the same smile you get from your photography subjects.
With all respect, but my experiences are very different. Indians have been taking pictures like these for decades as well. I attended numerous photography courses. I was always the only foreigner. Lots of (Indian) folks shooting out there on Indian streets. I have been out with them on trips and I did not see a different in responses out on the streets. There are numerous well know and respected Indian photographers that show India in all it’s glory and all it’s problem areas as well.

I think there is a big difference you describe about you feeling forced to smile and what I have encountered. I have come across many situation where people react absolutely positively. But I guess we are going to disagree on this one, which is perfectly fine.

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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
The same person portrays Japan so beautifully but he reserves the worst when it comes to India.
Why do you always go for the bad things 'alone' when there are so many good things to portray. Since you've asked here are a medley of images taken by me around my city.
thanks for the images. They are technically quite nice. However, with the exception of one or two I don’t really see “India”. These shots could have been taken anywhere. They are nice nights images though.


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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Here is a slice of my India.
The house shown in the initial pics is where my dad grew up.
Always great to have images that have an emotional value!

Seriously, I would like to see more images depicted what our members feel shows “India”. Can we make it, maybe a little assignment?

Lets make a little serie or so called panel about India:

Post three to five images maximum of what you feel represents India? You can add a few lines of text to describe and provide context as to why you feel your images capture “your Indian”.

Let’s see how creative everybody can be and how each of us would capture India in just a few images. I promise I will put up my 3-5 images too. But as the ‘foreigner” I will let you guys go first of course.


Jeroen

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Old 14th May 2017, 11:38   #17201
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With all respect, but my experiences are very different. Indians have been taking pictures like these for decades as well. There are numerous well know and respected Indian photographers that show India in all it’s glory and all it’s problem areas as well.
I have a simple question. How often do you shoot subjects that you can relate first hand? Same question goes for the Indians who shoot such subjects.

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Seriously, I would like to see more images depicted what our members feel shows “India”. Can we make it, maybe a little assignment?
I have been doing this for years, without trying to take away the dignity of my subjects.

Kambala, the buffalo racing tradition from my native district, that dates well over thousands of years.



A typical buffalo race jockey. This image has been plagiarized 1000s of times all over the internet over the years.



Full set of images here.
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Old 14th May 2017, 11:38   #17202
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Let's say you were the subject, not the consumer. My NRI paternal uncle tried to click my rural maternal uncle under similar act.
The consequence of the above incident would be in-consequential in the broader scenario, right?

What I mean is that the context, the photographer (intent) and the way it is presented matter a lot.

Let me tell you an ancedote - two months back we were at Valparai. On a early morning drive through the tea estates, we saw two people throwing stones at something in the nearby forest. I stopped and asked what the matter was - they said there is an Elephant trying to enter the estate. I started laughing. Told them I've heard about throwing stones at dogs, cats and even pigs, and never an elephant. I got down to take a pic, but my wife was livid. Said she will be mad if I took a photo and circulated in the social media and online forums as a joke. This was an act of desperation and unfortunate part of their lives and you cannot make it an entertainment

But again, if I was a good photographer, I could have taken a 'relevant' photo and placed it as part of my travelogue as a counter point to the beauty of the place, bringing out the plight of the people in this so called paradise. Something that the common tourists would not see

Check this out - had given a lot of thought before posting this in my travelogue (Please do not discuss the merit of the snap - am not a photographer). I felt that this person deserves a place in my travelogue - more than anything else

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post

Exotic locale for us…All in day’s work for him

Attachment 496282
@Durango Dude - Excellent snaps. But as a viewer, my personal preference is for snaps that has life in it. I guess it is so with almost all of us. That's why I remembered the old post of Jeroen the moment he posted it now. It was imprinted in my mind then - and as I said, I was able to feel the energy of the place. At the same time, since the discussion started with this photo, what problem do you find with this photo of Jeroen's?

Sorry for the long post - I thought a non-photographer's (or as I said earlier, a consumer's) view point would be relevant here

Edit : @Jeroen : There is a thread suitable for what you are suggesting

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...al-spirit.html (The Official Theme Photography Thread: Festival Spirit)

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Old 14th May 2017, 13:27   #17203
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However, with the exception of one or two I don't really see "India". These shots could have been taken anywhere.
That is the crux of the matter. Thpse photos show India too. There are many sides to India (or any place/country) - why selective bias in depiction? Is it because scenes that show a more modern and developed India don't appeal to certain photographers and their audience? And so reinforces a certain perception regarding India among people (audience) who see only a certain type of photo, without having experienced the country and its multiple shades?

Perhaps because the renowned street photographers - from whom most aspiring street photographers learn, and whom they and try to emulate - have tried to portray things in that manner? To cater to the their target audience, because certain photos 'sell'? Here is my theory regarding why this depiction over the years has been self sustaining. Say, I see a photo of some world class wildlife photographer, I think to myself that is a great shot, when I go to XYZ park I would like to try for a similar composition and/or moment. Similarly, street genre gurus would be influencing many street photogs. E.g. that typical shot of a blue house and yellow or red sari clad woman in front of it. To depict 'vibrant colours' of India. Or a sadhu with a joint, or a man with wrinkled face + turban and striking eyes. Or a typical chaotic street - ideally depicting the less affluent sections of society. There are 1.3 billion people in India, one can depict anything one wants to re street and people. Question is, what does one choose to portray? Why a bias towards one side of a multi-sided country? Is it because most street photogs have grown up thinking that street means only 'that'?

Re showcasing India - I took up photography because of my love for nature and wildlife. So my India - what I see and like shooting - would be different. Even in wildlife, there are many situations where gorgeous animals show a very ordinary or less flattering side. If I were documenting their habits and life, yes, I would show everything. But if I am trying to build awareness re the fast disappearing habitat and slow extinction of species, then I have to show them in such a manner that makes people fall in love with those creatures and even visit various parks to bring in tourism money. At least, I aspire to, it is a different matter whether my photos are able to do that or not.

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At the same time, since the discussion started with this photo, what problem do you find with this photo of Jeroen's?
We are not really talking about Jeroen's photo here, but are discussing various viewpoints about a certain type - a very popular type - of street/candid photography.

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Old 14th May 2017, 13:50   #17204
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The consequence of the above incident would be in-consequential in the broader scenario, right?
Why not? When this happened, since they knew each other for 50+ years, the target uncle told the clicking uncle to stop, then he cleaned up, put on a clean shirt and then said go ahead. If it was a white foreigner he didn't know, my uncle would have just smiled.
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Old 14th May 2017, 20:02   #17205
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That is the crux of the matter. Thpse photos show India too. There are many sides to India (or any place/country) - why selective bias in depiction? Is it because scenes that show a more modern and developed India don't appeal to certain photographers and their audience? And so reinforces a certain perception regarding India among people (audience) who see only a certain type of photo, without having experienced the country and its multiple shades?

Perhaps because the renowned street photographers - from whom most aspiring street photographers learn, and whom they and try to emulate - have tried to portray things in that manner? To cater to the their target audience, because certain photos 'sell'? Here is my theory regarding why this depiction over the years has been self sustaining. Say, I see a photo of some world class wildlife photographer, I think to myself that is a great shot, when I go to XYZ park I would like to try for a similar composition and/or moment. Similarly, street genre gurus would be influencing many street photogs. E.g. that typical shot of a blue house and yellow or red sari clad woman in front of it. To depict 'vibrant colours' of India. Or a sadhu with a joint, or a man with wrinkled face + turban and striking eyes. Or a typical chaotic street - ideally depicting the less affluent sections of society. There are 1.3 billion people in India, one can depict anything one wants to re street and people. Question is, what does one choose to portray? Why a bias towards one side of a multi-sided country? Is it because most street photogs have grown up thinking that street means only 'that'?

Re showcasing India - I took up photography because of my love for nature and wildlife. So my India - what I see and like shooting - would be different. Even in wildlife, there are many situations where gorgeous animals show a very ordinary or less flattering side. If I were documenting their habits and life, yes, I would show everything. But if I am trying to build awareness re the fast disappearing habitat and slow extinction of species, then I have to show them in such a manner that makes people fall in love with those creatures and even visit various parks to bring in tourism money. At least, I aspire to, it is a different matter whether my photos are able to do that or not.



We are not really talking about Jeroen's photo here, but are discussing various viewpoints about a certain type - a very popular type - of street/candid photography.
The analysis is pertinent, Nilanjanji. As an average human, one is accostomed to seeing certain stereotypes associated with certain places - because as you rightly pointed out, they sell. India, even today in many western minds, is synonymous with cows, buffaloes & tigers roaming the streets (at least buffaloes certainly!). Just as Thailand & nubile girls still go together, despite the vastly different reality. Central Africa with dire poverty, the continental US with the Las Vegas strip & Beverley Hills (the US doesn't have any poverty!), Japan and sushi. It is as though our minds are reluctant to step outside the comfortable grooves that are so familiar & accept any other reality. And to the large majority of photographers - like the majority in any demographic - what sells is what makes them tick. No doubt this is a simplistic view. But not being a photographer, this seems to be the reasonable take.
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