Originally Posted by Durango Dude
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)
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?
Originally Posted by nilanjanray
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