Street and Travel photography from Nagaland, Varanasi and Kolkata
Top tips for street and travel photography
1 Thorough preparation do your homework and lots of detailed research is the first step and vitally important to ensure you get the most from your planned trip
2 Speak to locals, it gets you in places you wouldn’t have dreamt of and opens up many doors
3 Travel light, all my images were taken on a single camera with just a 35mm lens. Probably the greatest lens for the street and with a prime you just get to know the lens and its capabilities inside out. The only other stuff I take out is a small bottle of water and a spare battery, load up the camera with 128g cards and you’ll be great for the day, oh and get yourself a comfy pair of shoes or sandals if your visiting lots of temples. My fav trainers are made by Merrill and probably the comfiest sandals are a pair of Birkenstock Arizona’s
4 Stay with the moment and shoot through capturing the reactions, not just the action. My biggest lesson came a few years ago when travelling with a guy that could barely walk. He stayed in one chosen location for several hours at a time but boy at the end of the day did he have some cracking images.
5 Learn to use Google maps and build up a history of where you’ve been, what look like great places when you’re engaging with others and from your research
6 Learn a few basic words in the native language. A simple Hello or thank you with a smile both buys you many brownie points and opens up new doors with locals.
7 Shoot har and Edit hard and then just show your best
8 Vary your shots. Everything gets boring if all your images are taken from the same viewpoint, take your safety shot then ask yourself how I can take this better
9 Get up early, the light is beautiful, rest in the middle of the day if you need and then shoot thru sunset and the golden hour for the best pictures
10 Go with a group and critique each other’s work daily we all love a pat on the back and lots of likes but the best way to improve is constructive feedback amongst each other.
An Indian Adventure
Started at the beginning of November flying into Guwahati airport we spent a couple of days at the world-renowned Kamakhya temple where thousands of people queued each day to pay their respects to the mother goddess Kamakhya.
Early afternoon we started the long drive towards Nagaland stopping off for a night in the Kaziranga national park for a mini safari on elephant back before going on to Sivisgar where we photographed the Mayamara people in their small remote village.
Next day we continued on our adventure to Nagaland, you definitely needed a fixer here as even getting across the border was problematic, but once thru we took the extremely bumpy roads towards Mon to visit the Konyak tribesmen. WOW . is all I can say, just to sit with these guys was incredible and then to spend most of the day in their remote village was a true experience.
The following day we travelled further up the mountain to Longhwra reaching a height of nearly 2000m above sea level this was truly remote. We were greeted by the locals and stayed over in the only guest house there. To call it a hotel would be pushing it with no heating and no running water and being so high the temperature was extremely cold. One of the few nights I struggled sleeping with two thick blankets and all my clothes on I still shivered thru the night.
The next morning as the sun rose we were taken to the Longwa tribe and the chief’s house. Well, I thought yesterday was amazing, but this was a new level …. Incredible! The Longwa tribe invited us into the chief’s house where we drank incredibly strong coffee and took photos whilst they smoked and chanted. The rest of the day was spent photographing them individually in their environment and the other local people.
We finally returned to the temple at Kamakhya before flying into a very different world of the religious, busy and extremely vibrant Varanasi spending much time down at the Ghats and walking the narrow lanes of the old town.
After a week in Varanasi I headed to Kolkata for two weeks , the first week being a training course where I was met by five fellow photographers all waiting to explore the city and photograph its people as they went about their daily life whilst the second week was devoted to my contract with National Geographic Traveller to produce a four-page spread about the city for publication later this year.
Why not join us later this year when we plan to visit Istanbul, Vietnam, Kolkata, Cuba and Nagaland, Sign up here to find out first or just give me a call on 07786 377197
Images were taken by attendees
A short slideshow of some of my favourite images from the trip
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