Photowalks and Portraits

I started photowalking on May 1st. It was at the K R Market, Bangalore city centre.

Immediately after the A-Z challenge, I enrolled in this photo walk, so as to not lose the momentum of getting myself involved in something. But mostly, this was a weekend offering. Street photography was not something I would ever tried my hands on all by myself. Even in groups, I find it hard to break the ice. Hence as much as I enjoy the crowd, and could visualise the pictures, I end up either failing to paint them, or painting differently because of my shyness or my limited technical knowledge.

But I realized its okay. Every photographer from the past has been doing that. In my search of bettering my photos, I stumbled upon two famous street photographers, Dannyand Eric Kim. Their posts too showed that they had the fear of strangers. Yay! I had company.

Now, I need to take more and more photos to learn. “Keep shooting“. That’s another gem I found in some workshop notes and also through Bhaskar Dutta. I have noticed that many of the experienced photographers, keep posting and updating their photo sites regularly. And that’s hardwork on its own, and not just rummaging through the set of images you got. The post processing takes its own time. I have bookmarked the online videos from Guy Gowan for some tips on the same topic.

In the very few photowalks I did, I found, that portraits has a beautiful way of stroking the emotion in you. Some photographers advise to ask them not to smile, but I have not reached that thinking level. Getting natural photos is too much to ask of now. One at a time.

So I approach them smilingly and ask in a shortcut language, “Photo?“, with the question mark through my expressions, as I don’t know the local language, yet, to mingle more. They smile, some of them shyly and some of them as in a photo studio. Maybe they have been used to the flock of these hobby photographers or journalists, but mostly what I saw was the moment they enjoyed.

One of the old lady, whom my photographer friend was shooting, asked for a second, and adjusted her “pallu” and gave a posed, forceful, tight-lipped smile. The photo may not have come perfectly, but that was the first portrait I shot, by shooting someone else’s subject. (which ethically, you are not supposed to do so.)

Pic: old lady in plain violet sari


As I continued walking, there was this lady vendor, with her child nearby. Immediately after she gave permission to click her child, she asked her to sit straight and decently, and to give a smiling pose.

Pic: child of the lady

And I was reminded of Amma doing the same to me in most of the group photos we had. The streak of motherhood is same everywhere, it gets lost in some places owing to the conditions we live in.

Pic: lady with the child

Young men were more enthusiastic to pose for the clicks, while elder men has lost much interest in them.

I find it easy to ask ladies for permission, and sometimes I realize they all have aspirations to be photographed like any other.
Pic: flower vendor

Like this flower vendor who was selling Gerbera flowers at a very cheaper price than at my florist. I got a shot while she was packing the flowers, but then later she posed properly with all the flowers in her hand. That was her vision of a beautiful photograph.

The clouds have been washed out and the background may not be perfect, but that’s fine. I have started the journey for now, I hope to learn it along the way.


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