India in Black and White - Photography - M1key - Michal Huniewicz

India in Black and White Photography - M1key - Michal Huniewicz

India in Black and White by Michal Huniewicz

This completes my Indian galleries - it took me absolute ages to get around doing that, mostly because I underestimated the complexity of Indian culture, and how much effort would the research take. Some of the previous galleries became quite popular and were translated into many languages. The Hindu cremations gallery was published on the digital front page of a large Polish daily.

I did some reading on Jainism, and wrote a brief introduction to it in my temples gallery. I don't necessarily recommend you become a Jain, but I do recommend you read about it (it's even more hipster than Buddhism, ha). As for Indian literature, I enjoyed the ancient Garuda Purana, a very psychedelic and [not literally] apocalyptic Hindu text on afterlife. In terms of music, I did not discover anything better than the sitars, which is somewhat disappointing - I nevertheless recommend Anoushka Shankar.

Since the trip, which was last year, I haven't been to a country with a more wealthy and impressive culture, with better food, and most of all, more friendly people. Before going on that trip, my friend Stuart (a great traveller I met in the Middle East) told me that India was like "nothing you have ever experienced; it's just something else". And he was right!

This gallery and the night shots one are not so richly described any more, as I wanted to focus on the photos themselves. For an intro to India please check out my Highlights from India gallery.

Uploaded on: 2013-12-22.

Jodhpur, India

On the stairs

On the stairs
People in India were great at posing (and not so great at candid shots). The country is a photographer's paradise.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/250s.

Magician casting his spell

Magician casting his spell
It's a country of magic and wonder, too.
ISO 720, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/125s.

Whispering

Whispering
A country full of ancient buildings and great architecture.
(If you whisper against the corner, your friend can hear you on the opposite side of the room.)
ISO 560, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/125s.

On the road to Kathputli

On the road to Kathputli
And a country of a complete mess on the roads, not equalled by any other place I have ever been to.
ISO 200, 26mm, f/4.0, 1/800s.

Cripple

Cripple
Healthy or not, people wanted to be in my photos, and this man urinated at me to get my attention and be able to pose.
He missed.
ISO 220, 27mm, f/4.0, 1/125s.

In Agra

In Agra
When it gets rough, you can seek refuge in the well-groomed national treasures: museums, forts, parks.
ISO 200, 27mm, f/7.1, 1/250s.

Chand Baori

Chand Baori
India has no equal in exotic architecture. In the photo, the Chand Baori well, near Abhaneri.
ISO 200, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/4000s.

Boys playing

Boys playing
Local people will do anything to ensure you return home with interesting pictures.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/1250s.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
And beautiful girls will pose without complaining or fussing.
ISO 1600, 150mm, f/22, 1/125s.

Kathputli Slum

Kathputli Slum
India is a country of extreme contrasts.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/125s.

Rock on

Rock on
But even the poor are full of joy.
ISO 640, 32mm, f/4.0, 1/125s.

In the Ghost City

In the Ghost City
Cities are overcrowded and noisy, but there are also ghosts cities, like this one.
ISO 800, 52mm, f/4.8, 1/2500s.

Girl laughing

Girl laughing
People don't necessarily speak English, but you can always find common language and communicate.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/320s.

Miss Kathputli #2

Miss Kathputli #2
The girls can be really nice...
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/320s.

Birla Temple, Jaipur

Birla Temple, Jaipur
Being the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, India has many temples you can visit, and most of them are primarily for the local population, and therefore authentic, not commercially spoiled.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/2000s.

Sai Baba of Shirdi

Sai Baba of Shirdi
If you're a mere human being, but plan to become a god, India is a good place to start!
ISO 1100, 28mm, f/4.0, 1/100s.

Boy in Kathputli

Boy in Kathputli
If you visit non-tourist areas, your presence will cause a lot of commotion.
ISO 250, 20mm, f/3.5, 1/125s.

Jodhpur houses

Jodhpur houses
The labyrinth of narrow streets of an Indian city offers endless opportunities for photographs.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/250s.

Jaipur cremation

Jaipur cremation
In India, nothing is hidden away from your eyes. Even the final stage of our stay on the planet - human body disposal - is for you to see. It can take the form of an ancient ritual, or occur like here, very matter-of-factly.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/160s.

Jodhpur Fortress

Jodhpur Fortress
You get to explore sites known not only for their historical importance, but also because they were a setting for a famous film, like this place, where sequences of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were shot.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/250s.

Mechanics' café

Mechanics' café
Candid shots might be difficult, but definitely not impossible to take.
ISO 220, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/125s.

Girls

Girls
What one must value about India is that not everyone is wearing Western-style clothes, and those who prefer Indian clothing are not doing it for the tourists - it's all for real.
ISO 450, 26mm, f/3.8, 1/125s.

Mehrangarh Fort detail

Mehrangarh Fort detail
One also has to admire the intricate decorations of some buildings.
ISO 1600, 38mm, f/4.2, 1/80s.

Boys

Boys
People pose and don't usually expect to be "tipped" afterwards.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/400s.

Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata Temple
India has also... rather extraordinary experiences to offer.
ISO 1600, 27mm, f/4.0, 1/80s.

Two mechanics

Two mechanics
In India, as well as many Middle Eastern countries, men show each other a lot more affection than in the West, and it is not considered homosexual.
ISO 400, 32mm, f/4.2, 1/125s.

In Bikaner

In Bikaner
As you're travelling across India, architecture changes.
ISO 200, 50mm, f/4.8, 1/1600s.

People from Varanasi

People from Varanasi
As does the clothing.
ISO 200, 29mm, f/4.0, 1/320s.

Village

Village
It's not just cities you can visit - you are welcome in villages too.
ISO 250, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/80s.

Shop in Varanasi

Shop in Varanasi
You can buy some sweets for local kids, and they will go insane with happiness.
ISO 360, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/125s.

Ceiling of the Agra Fort

Ceiling of the Agra Fort
Don't forget to look up.
ISO 1600, 11mm, f/6.3, 1/10s.

Chilling out

Chilling out
But mind your step as well...
ISO 200, 36mm, f/5.6, 1/400s.

School kids

School kids
Indian schools are okay to visit, even when the teachers appear a bit startled at your sudden and inexplicable presence. I used to be a kid just like this, and I know it's a big thing for them to be visited by someone from abroad.
ISO 1600, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/100s.

Safari

Safari
You can go on a safari, but ours wasn't amazing.
ISO 720, 135mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s.

Three generations

Three generations
Try to be sensitive and mindful of local customs, as to not offend anyone.
ISO 500, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/8000s.

Just grazing

Just grazing
Mostly for religious reasons, Indian people respect animals, so don't be surprised to see them almost everywhere, completely undisturbed.
ISO 200, 50mm, f/1.4, 1/800s.

Varanasi boy posing

Varanasi boy posing
Don't forget to visit ordinary neighbourhoods and step off the beaten path.
ISO 200, 29mm, f/4.0, 1/400s.

Skull-like lorries

Skull-like lorries
Strange, skull-like Indian lorries roam the roads pretty recklessly and tirelessly, so exercise caution. Luckily for me, those two were lifeless.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/800s.

Girl in Jaipur

Girl in Jaipur
Sometimes it's worth slowing down and waiting for a shot to happen, then surprising someone with the click of your shutter.
ISO 200, 26mm, f/4.0, 1/1000s.

Puppy

Puppy
Puppies don't mind being photographed either.
ISO 200, 28mm, f/4.0, 1/160s.

Jaipur kids

Jaipur kids
Whether your camera makes people a little intimidated...
ISO 200, 34mm, f/4.2, 1/1000s.

Style

Style
... or turns them into models, you are going to have a good time.
ISO 200, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/400s.

Goodbye India!

Goodbye India!
Finally, if you don't look Indian, you will be sometimes treated like a star. Whether you like it or not.
The waving girl gave me a keyring as a gift, with a little Taj Mahal in a plastic ball; I still keep it on my desk even though all the water has evaporated a long time ago.

I found this poem, perhaps worth sharing. (I think it's very Indian.)

In morning's small hours we came to adore
Those golden lotuses, your feet: why?
Born are we in the cowherd caste
But you must take us in your own employ.
Not only for today do we seek your drum
But for ever and ever, seven times seven births!
Would be one with you, work only for you —
Change all our other wishes, Lord!
-- by Andal, 8th century female poet from India.

And that's it. Thank you for viewing the gallery and namastē!
ISO 1600, 18mm, f/3.5, 1/125s.