I’m preparing to leave India after four weeks of street photography that has taken me from Mumbai to Delhi via the southern most states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It’s been a great, if at times gruelling, trip. We have visited some amazing locations and managed to meet up with some India based photographer friends for the first time.
A constant priority has, of course, been to capture some interesting street images. From the point of view of local people there is no difference between a street photographer and a run of the mill tourist. That can work to your advantage when people are tolerant of you photographing but, as in the case of Pondicherry, may work against where some are reticent, indifferent or perhaps weary of tourists.
With experience I think the street photographer develops a confidence and people skills that help ease the process of getting the images. Interaction implies a loss of candidness but, being seen to be friendly with some often means others around tend to watch then accept your presence and relax.
There have been times when the presence of my camera has attracted unwelcome attention, such as during the Jallikattu protests in Madurai (they erupted into violence while I was in Chennai meaning certain areas were out of bounds). Overall though India’s people have been generous and welcoming everywhere and there have never been any serious concerns.
Two main aims have dominated my efforts on this return trip to India. One has been to build on the body of portraits I started in 2016 and the other is to make images with stronger narrative content. On occasion it is possible to combine the two – as in the colour portrait of the little girl on the steps of Jama Masjid in Delhi – but the portraits are typically more static. You can see a sample of the images in the gallery below.
India has been the first of 21 countries I am visiting in search of new images this year. Nepal is next on the list and is a place I’ve never been so am looking forward to it. We then head into more familiar territory in SE Asia. I’ll be blogging when I can and posting images to social media regularly (on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/johnmeehan61 and Twitter here https://twitter.com/JohnMeehan61)
Bye for now,