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Hand Me Some Useful Street Photography Tips

Take these tips from ace street photographer Arindam Mukherjee, and shoot!

If you stand at a broad way crossing from morning to evening you will find how the emotional landscape changes. Every city has its own character at different times of the day. So shoot both during day and night.

A woman working at Grover Vineyard in Bangalore
A woman working at Grover Vineyard in Bangalore

While travelling, carry light equipment. High speed lenses are important for low light situations. Set your camera according to the light of the day before you start walking—you don’t want to miss great moments.

Indian people celebrating Holi at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. Holi is the Hindu festival of colours. Every year at the begining of spring this festival takes place throughout India.The biggest celebration takes place in Banke Bihari temple Vrindavan.
Indian people celebrating Holi at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. Holi is the Hindu festival of colours. Every year at the begining of spring this festival takes place throughout India.The biggest celebration takes place in Banke Bihari temple Vrindavan.

 

Walk slowly, rather wander, it allows you to observe.

Strap all your stuff with your backpack so you don’t lose anything.

Experience new things, meet new people. Try to trigger a conversation with the locals that will give you knowledge, it adds context in your picture. I listen to them; try to understand their point of view which helps me bring layers in my picture stories.

A Bhutanese man in western outfit surfs his mobile at Ura valley, Bumthang. Effect of globalisation is now getting strong hold in rural Bhutan as well.  Arindam Mukherjee
A Bhutanese man in western outfit surfs his mobile at Ura valley, Bumthang. Effect of globalisation is now getting strong hold in rural Bhutan as well. Arindam Mukherjee

Monochromatic pictures focus on the emotive part of photography. I feel comfortable with black and white as too much of colour surrounding the main subject may distract the viewer.

It is very important that a photographer should know what he/she wants to make their viewer “FEEL”. Monochrome and colour photography need different ways of looking at the same subject. Practice seeing things in black and white when you shoot.

A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.
A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.

A tip I always share is to be safe when it comes to copyrights and illegal photography. Do not shoot private places without prior permission. You can shoot anything and everything in public place without hurting anybody’s sentiment. Don’t forget to look for “Photography Prohibited” boards around you. And do not under estimate common people’s knowledge.

A kashmiri lady prays at Jama Mosque in Srinagar.
A kashmiri lady prays at Jama Mosque in Srinagar.

Go with the flow and enjoy clicking pictures rather than making it an assignment.

ARINDAM MUKHERJEE

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Based in Kolkata, this renowned freelance photojournalist started his career as an advertising photographer where he worked with advertising agencies, fashion designers, graphic designers and NGOs. But he always loved street photography and photojournalism. Apart from hosting several exhibitions, he has written and photographed a book called ‘The Wave that Shook the World’, produced by Hope Foundation.

All pix in this post courtesy Arindam Mukherjee.

Input: Travel Secrets Intern Aarohi Roy

Quick secrets from a biker, please?

What’s it like to be a biker? Rake Chauhan is one of the founders of Born2Ride, a club for motorcycle enthusiasts. We caught up with him (puff, pant!) at Delhi’s Revv Cafe.

Snippets from the chat:

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Adrenaline rush on a Harley?

When the speed-o-meter touches maximum: 220 kmph.

Define your Harley.

Never ending customisation. Everything can be changed on a Harley.

Leather jacket, tattoos, Death Metal, boots, Ray-Ban, rugged define a typical biker. What defines you?

A good heart is what most bikers have.

Are you a Back Door rider?

We have different rankings. Lead – lead keeps an eye out on the road like a pot hole or traffic on the opposite / wrong side / technical problems in bikes, Sweep – biker who is the last man in the group to ensure that no man is left behind and Marshall– biker between the lead and sweep and takes care of the traffic which passes through and to organize the group in single or  double lane. Me and another person are the lead.

A route you are waiting to cruise on and why?

Leh in India, Route 66 in USA and Trail of the Dragon (318 curves in 11 miles, North Carolina, US)

 Do you ride solo?

Sometimes; or when I am in a certain mood.

Sex, money, power, hunger, clothes OR fuel, CC, tyres, kick start, accelerator, roads and you?

It’s a no-contest: the second option, of course.

Rake Chauhan spoke to  Subhashish Bharuka. This article was published in Travel Secrets magazine Sept-Oct 2012. 

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