I’m delighted to say that my collaboration with writer Meera Vijayann, which you first saw fruits of in our jointly produced photo essay on the Qawwali of Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, has borne further fruits. This time, we invite you to take some confident steps off the so-called ‘Lonely Planet Trail’ in order to explore India’s ‘brass capital’, a place that doesn’t even get a mention in the so-called ‘Bible’ of the guidebook world. Click the image below to start out on your meandering path along the back lanes of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Once again, writer Meera Vijayann and I team up to bring you a glimpse of life in India. This time, we’re visting the country’s brass capital: Moradabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is a great chance to wander off the ‘Lonely Planet Trail’, for the city does not even feature in the ‘Bible of guidebooks’. The population of the core and old city areas is predominantly Muslim, and this photo essay documents how the city’s metalworkers and those immersed in the Islamic faith spend a typical day.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase, “only in India”, following some apparently bizarre happening or other. (It’s not something that only expats say, I hasten to add.) Yesterday, as I was walking through the Shanti Nagar neighbourhood of Bangalore – where I have been based for the past few months – I witnessed the latest such scene. I snapped a shot of it with the only camera I had handy, the one in-built in my Samsung Duos smartphone, so as to make this postcard for you:
Come to think of it, it’s perhaps not that surprising that a goat should be found climbing whatever it can in order to gain a vertical advantage in its quest for nourishment. Shanti Nagar is a neighbourhood of contrasts, with upper-middle class and less well-off families nestled side-by-side, and the modern juxtaposed with the traditional. Evidently, a family that chooses to rear and consume its own animals for its sustenance lives close by to another that uses an SUV to get around and no doubt sources its food solely from local shops.
This, one might say, is what happens when these two worlds collide.
It’s a little-known fact that I can also cook! This year’s ‘Seasons Greetings’ card from Robin Wyatt Vision bears testimony to this, being of a traditionally British Christmas pudding that I whipped up for seven friends while in Bangalore, India this Christmas.
The bigger challenge was actually sourcing the ingredients for my favourite recipe by Delia Smith. Some of them had to be constructed from their various sub-ingredients. For example, I could buy candied mixed peel in a British supermarket, but in Bangalore I had to chop up the fruit peel myself and boil it in sugary water. All good fun! But perhaps not as fun as pouring brandy over the pudding and setting it alight, which I did to my friends’ delight right after capturing this image.
Wherever you are in the world at this festive time – whether you’re celebrating Christmas, the New Year or both – I wish you glad tidings and every success for the year ahead.
My decision to become a photographer followed a lot of soul-searching, as my regular readers know well. I didn’t feel satisfied in my earlier career, but for a long time didn’t have clarity on what I should do instead. I had a checklist of things that I wanted from my new career, which you’ll find in one of my earliest journal pieces, So I decided to become a photographer…. #6 on this list is the one I’ve found hardest to achieve: “It should not involve constant computer usage”. I can confidently place a tick by all the other ten requirements on this list now that I’m a photographer, yet I still spend the bulk of my time in this career staring at a computer because there are so many tasks to complete after the pressing of the shutter button on my camera before an image is ready for my client.
So for me, Gavin Gough’s new eBook, The Photographer’s Workflow, was just the ticket. ‘Workflow’ doesn’t exactly sound like the most inspiring subject for a 130-page book, but Gavin has clearly spent considerable time making his creation a pleasure to read. It’s full of his compelling and uplifting imagery, step-by-step idiot-proof instructions illustrated with screenshots from Adobe Lightroom 4 and exercises to help you practise the time-saving and efficiency-gaining things you’re learning. And it’s more than just an eBook: in the package you’ll also get links to a number of free online video tutorials, 65 Lightroom 4 development presets to help give your processing a more consistent linear structure and a series of Lightroom ‘smart collections’ that pretty much copy-paste Gavin’s years of experience in building a step-by-step workflow for managing his digital photographs right into your own copy of Lightroom. That’s quite a privilege! All for only $30.
If this is something that interests you, chances are you’re a photographer, whether professional, aspiring professional or amateur. As a photographer, I think the chances are also good that you’re more of a visual person than someone who’s keen to read a lot of text. So rather than me continuing to wax lyrical about what this book has to offer, here’s a great little video that Gavin himself has put together: