Visual Diary – November 2014 – India Spice
279/365/2014 – Arrival
Wheels down, flights were fine. I caught up on movies on the plane. Guardians of the Galaxy was fun and I sort of wish I had caught it in the cinema. Edge of tomorrow was crap and was about 1.5 hours too long. I also watched Frank – a fictional tail of the life of Frank side bottom told by Jon Ronson. Music was great.
First impressions of India, I will love this place. Hectic!!
Hair cut planned for later in the morning/ evening. My body is confused about the time.
281/365/2014 – Rythu Bazan
An amazing place, the sounds, smells and colours had my head spinning. I was a bit nervous of photography at first but then a woman with a small crying child pointed at my camera and said to the baby that if he did not stop crying there would be no pic, that was my opening and I ceased it. Two rolls of film where shot here. This is about as trigger happy as i get.
282/365/2014 – Amber Fort to Jaigarh Fort
We walked the the walls of the fort in the baking heat. The view was spectacular. The second fort was much calmer and had way less tourists and the views of the city made the journey worthwhile.
285/365/2014 – Taj Mahal
A 6am start to try and beat the crowds and enjoy the fresh morning before the sunrises. I have looked at pictures of this place for so long I really was unsure what to expect. I loved it.
There is a heavy haze in the air in Agra but still I enjoyed the sights. I fear that if no effort is made to sort the local air pollution problems it will become impossible to see the Taj from a distance.
286/365/2014 – Fatepur Sikiri
Our last day in Agra and a trip out to the abandoned city. Beautiful buildings and wide open spaces had us shade dodging for the afternoon. Lo found a pleasant spot to sit and rest.
287/365/2014 – Sunset on the Ganges
Our sleeper train was half an hour late leaving Agra and four hours late arriving in Varanasi. India is so big, Ireland so small, this kind of bends my brain.
We had a total of 14 hours on the train. I slept a bit but was restless but this evenings view in our new city made it all worthwhile.
288/365/2014 – The Alleys of Varanasi
We spent about 5 hours wandering the alleyways of the city today. Since we arrived in India I have been missing my walks (generally I walk 10 to 15 km everyday) but the narrow streets offered respite from the biting sun and allowed for strolls and interesting photo opportunities.
The hat I am wearing in this photo was bought about ten years ago during a trip to the US. It has been a common sight on my head in the intervening decade. It has been with me all over Europe and has visited most of Ireland with me.
At some point not long after our arrival in India I lost the cap. This was no big loss as the only notable features of the hat are that it fits my odd shaped head and I have had it a long time. Losing it was only a concern as the direct sun on my head can be uncomfortable but beyond that I was mostly unaffected by its absence.
Today we arrived in New Delhi and met with many of Nikhi’s extended family and friends. The cap had been left in the back of Nik’s fathers car and was sent by courier so it would be waiting for me in New Delhi. This hat traveled 1500km across India to be on my head tonight. This is no small feat arranged by people that only recently got to meet me in person. I am glad to have my scruffy old hat back but I am even happier to be able to call these people my friends.
291/365/2014 – Delhi Metro
If you asked me to sum up India in a single word I would call you an idiot and tell you to leave me alone. But if you persisted I would say “people” they are everywhere here.
This is a snap shot from inside one of the Metro stations. This was well after what would be considered rush hour but still the station was thronged with people.
I’m loving this place and the people we meet. They say Ireland is the land of a thousand welcomes – well this place has a billion people that want to make you feel at home.
293/365/2014 – Street Food Binge
Stuffed myself silly with Paranthe, between the two of us we tried the following flavours – garden pea, mint, paneer, ladyfingers, mixed veg, and bitter gourd.
A staggering array of flavours, each one a vivid treat.
295/365/2014 – Akshardham
One of the main benefits of traveling with people that are so interested in photography means that regardless of where you are it’s possible to get a nice memento to remember the special day. At the entrance to the Askhardham complex you are required to divest yourself of all worldly possessions including cameras, phones and any other image capturing devices.
It is a beautiful grounds to stroll around and spend some time in quiet contemplation. With no cameras with us we feared that the memory would be trapped forever in our brain dungeons, fortunately there is strategically placed photographers in the grounds that can take a snap shot for pick-up as you exit through the gift shop.
I have edited this shot slightly to reduce the shine on our pasty faces but the original will be framed and mounted once we reach Dublin and will be available for public viewing in the main gallery.
Nikhilesh thought that it would not be possible to capture his full awesomeness and decided to give the photo op a miss.
296/365/2014 – Transport
It is our last evening in India and this city is so very modern, very cosmopolitan that I was concerned that I had looked my last on what this crazy country has to offer. Where we are staying is very calm and has offered a relaxing break before we return to work and normality. So what a strange and wonderful thing it is to drive down a busy city street in New Delhi and spot an elephant on the other side of the road.
Thank you India you have been wonderful.
300/365/2014 – Delayed Gratification
So there it is the sum total of my Black and White film adventures in India. Normally when I shoot film I make an effort to develop it as soon as possible but I have been letting these sit on a shelf in my darkroom.
These 10 rolls will yield about 375 frames and at the moment I can delude myself as to the quality of the photos I took. The light was perfect, the locations amazing and until the development I can believe that these are some of the best pictures I have ever taken.
The trip was wonderful, the people, the food, the streets and the history has made it a truly wonderful experience. This is also one of the reasons that I’m slow to see what is on these rolls. I’m worried that the results will not even come close to echoing the experience.
I love the smell of fix in the morning.