It wasn’t easy choosing photos to leave out of this blog post on Sophia and Ben’s wedding.
The venue was Dyrham Park Country Club in Hertfordshire, and amazingly it only rained in the morning. The whole day was a complete success, with smiles everywhere, and the couple were having such a good time that they couldn’t be dragged outside for some quick photos until 9:45pm! A definite sign of a good wedding.
Assisted by Dave Thorley, I shot the whole day, from getting ready at Sophia’s flat in the morning through to the wedding disco – including the amazing Greek dancers…
This is the first wedding I’ve blogged since actually having a blog. Adding some more is on the to do list.
Hope you enjoy the photos below as much as I do…
Here’s some snaps from the ‘Beatles Ashram’ in Rishikesh, or the Academy of Meditation as it was officially known. You can read more about The Beatles in India on Wikipedia.
I say snaps because I was there with non photographers, so I only had a couple of seconds to get photos while the others got impatient. I’d like to go back and shoot it properly, as it was a challenging place to make good compositions with all the foliage everywhere.
I really love abandoned buildings and exploring, so this place was ideal.
From Ram Jhula Bridge in the Swarg Ashram area (South East of the River Ganges/ Gangas) walk past the bathing ghats and the ashrams until you start to get out of town. Keep going until to get to a dry river bed (assuming you’re there out of monsoon, I guess) and you should see this entrance below, which you can’t miss.
In our first attempt to find it we walked along the river and ended up at a small, abandoned building right on the river. That’s not it – if you end up here, go back and try the next road further in away from the water.
When got there (October 2011) there was a man behind the gate, which he’d padlocked, asking for Rs 100. I’m pretty certain he was just some bloke who spotted the potential to invest Rs 50 in a padlock and turn it into up to RS 1,000 per day, so good for him, I say. If he put some signs to direct people he’d make even more.
These rooms were basic – these steps lead up to the little meditation cave.
We then followed the path up and found this huge building behind the undergrowth:
There were many huge spider webs, with these great big things marauding over them. So it was a careful walk to the building…
Inside the building:
At this point I bumped into a nice guy from Finsbury Park, as you do. I sat with him and chatted for a while as I waited for the hard light of the 2pm sun to soften a little. But not that long, as it dusk happens very quickly and I didn’t fancy finding my way back out in the dark…
Here’s a very wobbly quick panoramic I auto stitched, to show the landscape here:
It was hard to get a good composition with these great big egg shaped domes. I needed something wider than my 24-105mm.
There are tons of buildings to explore if you have time, and I didn’t get very far. Somewhere there is a room where John Lennon stayed, which I’m told is a bit like a mini shrine, with fans leaving messages, pictures etc.
The standard image size on my blog is too small, but I can include some big ones at the end… This is what I think was a temple – but now is just a big, falling down hall:
And this is my favourite image of the afternoon – the pathway back down to towards the entrance:
Well worth a visit. If I go back I’ll go early morning for some decent light, and get some much better photos. That rooftop would make a great location for shoot.
Here’s part II. You can see part I here.
And here’s some larger sized ones:
My usual bag is shooting interiors, portraits, weddings and general corporate and marketing stuff, not travel and street photography. So this photo trip was 100% a learning experience for me. I went into it not really knowing what kind of photos I wanted to produce, but by the end I realised that what I really love is shooting places, spaces and people – lucky, as this is what I already focus on.
So, I’ll start blogging photos from the Gujarat trip over the next few weeks, but here’s a sample of three totally unrelated images for now.
This was one of my first shots on the photo trip that I liked, I think on day two. I really liked all the horizontal lines here and the different element in the foreground and background. The trader also posed well. Also, the guy next to him looks a bit like a cooler, slimmer, Gujarati version of Anthony Worrel Thomson, don’t you think?
A nice clean image, taken towards the end of the trip on the little island of Diu. Shot with a 35mm, I wish I’d also had something wider with me to get more of the blue sky and coloured flags in. But it’s ok like this I think.
This was the last place I shot on the trip, on the ironically named Relief Road in Ahmedabad, a city of 6 million people – the largest in Gujarat. I waited as long as I could manage in the mad crowds, trying to avoid getting run over, but this was the best moment without too many auto rickshaws filling the foreground, while having a point of focus in the form of the guy in the light blue shirt. I was gutted, though, that it this point, the crowds on the stairs and walkways in the background suddenly dropped off. One of the main things I learned from Maciej about street photography is that you have to be patient, wait and make photos happen. I’ll be looking for scenes like this when I visit Mumbai next month, and I’ll stick around for as long as it takes… You can also see a black and white version of this photo on my flickr.
I’ve posted a few other shots on my flickr, so do have a look.
Pushkar wasn’t my favourite place. I’m not one of those people who condemns all popular tourist spots for being terrible because they are touristy. However, Pushkar, during the camel festival – which we didn’t realise was happening – was noxiously crowded, scam filled and *ahem* touristy.
Nevertheless, the lake was very pretty. As I wandered around at sunset, the light sky very quickly went from red to blue. So here’s a few postcard type shots, and I’ll share some camel photos soon (it was a strange spectacle…).
Rishikesh is a town in the lower Himilayas, Uttarakhand state, about six hours from Delhi. It’s known as the yoga capital of the world – there’s apparently over 900 teachers there (of varying quality). It’s full of domestic tourists, backpackers heading between Himichal Pradesh and Varansi, yoga students and spiritual types.
I really liked it for the fresh air, greenery, space, and relative cleanliness – you can even swim in the water. Everywhere else I’ve been is so polluted and crowded in comparison.
It is also home to the abandoned, overgrown “Beatles Ashram”, which will feature in my next post.
UPDATE: Here’s my post with photos of the Beatles Ashram.
Apparently there are a lot of fires on Diwali night across India. This makes sense.
Despite our British sense of health and safety we did get slightly involved a the festival of lights couple of weeks ago, as Biresh, our kind host, had some fireworks for us. We fired a couple from the roof and then went out onto the street, where local kids were running around with also sorts of bright, loud, exploding things.
Later we went into Delhi and the fireworks were still deafaning after midnight, despite the local authorities deeming fireworks after 10pm unlawful.
A fitting intro to India
Click the images to see larger size.
I’ve nearly got my webiste sorted, so I’m looking forward to posting some blogs very soon.
I’m away in India at the moment (back June 2012), so I’ll mostly be sharing images from my travels here. But I’ll also do some back dated posts with image from interior shoots and other things I did, beyond what you’ll find in the galleries.