#113 Incredible India! (2)

By philberphoto | News

Jul 19

India is portrait heaven. Not only do people almost always accept having their pictures taken, if asked respectfully, but there are so many interesting portraits to shoot that I could have bid my driver stop every few hundred meters. That would of course not have helped our travel, which already proceeded at Indian speed. Meaning slowly. Really slowly.

Slowly is how you need to shoot when doing portraits with manual focus lenses, such as the magnificent Zeiss ZE 85 f:1.4You see her smiling. Others are not, like this fellow:They are alone, almost without meaningful surroundings. But those, too, is easy to find:Or, of course, the person can be busy. Guarding, for example:Or playing:India is, of course the world’s most populous country. So people are not alone, as my pictures would until now suggest. Let me dispel that would-be myth:As you can see, the colours are fantastic. Of course, Zeiss lenses are noted for their exceptional colour rendition, but it is India’s colours that shine through the lens. And, unlike in the Western world, where beauty and money go hand in hand, attracted to each other, in India, poverty, and that means something much more intense than in the West, is not sentenced to ugliness. Even in squalid surroundings, one can see a woman in colourful, beautiful clothes.

It would not be India if it did not have its share of drama, and suffering. And what is more unfair than a suffering child?

Then, you cannot discuss India without mentioning its exceptionally vibrant spiritual life. Priests are everywhere, such as these Sikhs:But India is also home to many sadhus, or “wise men”, whose lives defy Western “science”. Many do not like to have their pictures taken, and such is their reputed power that our guide quaked as he waited to see if I would show restraint or violate their deisre to keep their picture to themselves…. Some, of course, are just make-believe for touristsBut here is one example of a man who reputedly has gone without eating for many years, and agreed, to my guide’s surprise, to a few reluctant picturesAnd moreAnd men at work (not that women don’t work, much the reverse)But what I remember most vividly, despite the hardship, is the humour, the kindness, the smiles..Ah, India, let me count the ways your people smile…Instalment n°3 will be the final one, and talk about equipment, and, specifically, a comparison between my Zeiss lenses and my Canon…