Tag Archives: Delhi

Sidewalk Cricket

Sidewalk Cricket

While wandering around India, my wife and I realized just how popular cricket is there. Sure, I’ve heard many stories of cricket frenzied fans but never realized how frenzied it really was.

On our way back to the hotel, we were walking along the street and passed a park with droves of kids playing cricket. Some were in jeans and T-shirts, some were in tattered clothes, and some were in traditional religious wear. It was fascinating to watch, but after a short while, they boys took quite an interest in my wife.

Everywhere in India we went my wife was quite popular. We weren’t sure of the exact reasoning, and it was further complicated when a older gentleman briefly chatted with us and mentioned she looks eerily similar to a famous Bollywood actress.

While we were watching the boys play cricket, one eventually came over with his camera phone to snap a picture of us. (And by “us,” I mean he motioned for me to slide out of the picture.)

Since turnabout is fair play, we continued to watch the boys play cricket, but before we left I took a few photos of them.

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Sewing Red Chilis

Sewing Red Chilis

I had to scan through previous posts from India to make sure I hadn’t written about “Hack and Wheeze Lane” earlier.

After a couple of days in Delhi, India, my wife and I made an effort to REALLY get off of the beaten path. We ended up stumbling upon a busy district with lots of bulk items being carried away for sale at smaller shops. As we walked we came upon a number of men carrying large, brown sacks on their head and/or shoulders. Curious of their origins, my wife and I turned down a narrow alleyway between shops and wandered upstream (if you will) to see where the large sacks were coming from.

Turns out, about one hundred yards through the narrow passageway was a plethora of dried chili peppers being bought and sold. Men were buying pounds and pounds of  bulk chili peppers to sell at their smaller market stalls. The sacks were filled and weighed on a scale, then sewn shut. The buyer would heave the sack on his shoulder and away he’d go. The most interesting part of this process was nothing my wife nor I could have expected.

Because of the hot spices being moved around, the air was full of a thick odor of chili peppers. I have never, and I am not exaggerating, heard that many people randomly coughing and sneezing. It sounded like something out of a zombie movie’s hospital ward scene, but no, this was real life. Everyone, including my wife and myself, couldn’t stop sneezing or coughing. We took a handful of pictures and then made a scramble to fresh air.

Well, as “fresh air” as Delhi, India can provide.

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Street Scene of Delhi, India

Street Scene of Delhi, India

While traveling through India (including Delhi, pictured above), I was terrified to pull out my camera.

Terrified.

Everything I read prior to our trip went on and on about crime — particularly against tourists. I love my camera and didn’t want to be forcibly parted with it. So I give my wife a lot of credit for me finally convincing me to get the camera out.

We were in a busy, busy street scene in India (much busier than that pictured above), and she was shooting away with her camera. She looked at me and said something to the effect of “Really? You’re not taking any pictures?” Sheepishly, I pulled my camera out of my bag and I don’t think I put it back for the rest of the trip.

The people of India were, for the most part, fantastic. Sure, there were those peddling the “(anything but) free maps,” and at the train station a few men deliberately tried to send us in the totally wrong direction to buy tickets, but everything else was fantastic.

Yes, I received the occasional “wave off” from people who didn’t want their picture taken, but for the most part, people couldn’t have been nicer.

I’m glad I finally got my camera out.

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Cricket in the Park

If you’ve kept up with my photography blog over the last few months, you’ve probably noticed it stumble along here and there. About mid-December I stopped posting images altogether, only to throw a couple up in January, one in February, and by the end of March, get back to posting with some sort of regularity (albeit, twice a week).

I like the new system, although I’m not sure what “system” it really is.

Over the last two years and posting an image a day, at times I felt I was handcuffed because it became a “quantity over quality” issue, and I really didn’t like that. Additionally, I had a lot of things I’d rather be doing, but never got around to them, as I had to keep up on blog posts. One of those things was posting more of my images to my stock photography archive at iStockPhoto.

I hadn’t updated my stock portfolio in awhile, and since my blog makes no money, and stock photography provides a little, I wanted to post a few images there. (“Stock Photography” is where a photographer will sell an image to whomever wants it for whatever they want it for. Sometimes the image is for a national advertising campaign; other times it is to be a corporation’s cover for their annual report. I feel like most stock photography goes toward other people’s blog posts, since the images can be licensed for a few bucks here and there. There isn’t much money is stock photography. The true money comes from having a plethora of images available for license.)

Stock photography is pretty particular because they don’t allow any company logos or recognizable faces. Some images, like the aerial photos of Chicago I took in October of 2012, do well as stock images; pictures like the one above don’t because you can make out the kids’ faces.

Regardless of whether the picture is “sellable” or not, I really like the image above. My wife and I sat for about an hour in the park of Delhi, India chatting with children of all ages playing cricket. I snapped a few images of them playing cricket, and they kindly offered to allow me to play with them. While it would have been awesome, I was terrified of completely making an ass of myself and politely declined the offer.

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Selling Vegetables at the Market

As a kid, remember the game of “jump rope?” Two friends would grab either end up a rope and twirl it around while a person steadily watched the rhythm of the rope, and when it felt right, jumped in.

I feel like taking pictures in another country is kind of the same thing.

Every time I go to a new country, I always hesitate pulling my camera out at first. I was never sure why, but it usually took half a day of exploring before I finally felt brave enough to start shooting. I finally figured out why I wait so long, and it goes back to jump rope.

In jump rope, for the person about to hop in the middle, before they dive in, they want to study the twirling rope, get a feel for the rhythm, and then give it a go. Once their in the middle they really can’t stop and turn back, and taking pictures in another country is the same thing.

I want to study the culture, get a feel for safety and the surroundings and then, when the timing feels right, pull out my camera. From that moment on I make a commitment: My camera bag doesn’t leave my sight and my memory cards are frequently changed and vehemently protected.

My time in India is a good example of this.

It took me a solid day to finally get comfortable enough to pull out my camera. Maybe part of it was not wanting to have a super-fancy camera amid all of the poverty. Perhaps it was having my super-fancy camera stolen amid all of the poverty. Maybe it was just that I’m a little girl and needed to man up. Either way, I’m really glad I started shooting (to my wife’s credit, she really was the one to tell me to “grow some balls”). By the end of the trip, I came home with 1,300 pictures from India. Many of them are full of color and life, but none would exist if I didn’t jump in and start shooting.

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Posted in Lifestyle Also tagged |

Carrots

The markets in India are a fascinating place. From the major cities like Delhi and Agra to the smaller towns and villages, there is so much to see and experience. I prefer the food and vegetable markets because the shopkeepers will smile and wave, occasionally practice their English, but by-and-large let my wife and I wander around and explore without issue. The markets selling clothes and souvenirs are a bit different, however.

The shopkeepers selling wares will physically block our path trying to get us to look in their store. Sometimes they’ll grab as we walk by, but mostly they’ll nearly BEG us to stop in their market stall. I’m not a big buyer of clothes in the markets, and in places like India I tend to shut down a bit when getting inundated with people trying to hawk their wares (especially when nearly everything looks the same from shop to shop to shop).

So that’s why I enjoyed the walk through Delhi‘s smaller food and vegetable markets. Foods are always more colorful, and even if I can’t simply buy one and bite into it, the watermelons, tomatoes and carrots all look amazing and mouth-watering. And, as the shop-keepers prepare the foods, like picture above, they don’t mind have a photograph snapped of them along the way.

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Posted in Lifestyle Also tagged |

Haircuts and Chicken

The markets India are a fascinating place. (Actually, I think markets of any country can be a fascinating place.) Walking around and people watching is a timeless activity, but so is exploring the various items sold in said markets. In Delhi, my wife and I explored every nook-and-cranny we could find and were constantly entertained.

The above picture is a good example of unique things one can find in the markets of Delhi, India. A man cutting hair and a man selling live chickens share a storefront.

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Resting Rickhaw

While walking around the streets of Delhi, India, it took me quite a while to get my camera out. I had heard and read so many stories of crime and I couldn’t bear to lose everything so early in the trip. By the second day however, I built up some courage and pulled my camera out.

And never put it away.

The colors and life of India are absolutely fascinating. For everything I didn’t like about the country, I loved the people who were friendly and didn’t mind having their pictures taken.

Yes, a few gave me the “wave off” as I raised my camera to take a photograph, but even the most hardened of teenage kids seemed to like having their pictures taken.

Obviously the rickshaw driver from New Delhi, India pictured above didn’t seem overly concerned about having his photo taken. Of course, I didn’t bother waking up to ask, either.

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Cricket on the Sidewalk

While wandering around India, my wife and I realized just how popular cricket is there. Sure, I’ve heard many stories of cricket frenzied fans but never realized how frenzied it really was.

On our way back to the hotel, we were walking along the street and passed a park with droves of kids playing cricket.  Some were in jeans and T-shirts, some were in tattered clothes, and some were in traditional religious wear. It was fascinating to watch, but after a short while, they boys took quite an interest in my wife.

Everywhere in India we went my wife was quite popular. We weren’t sure of the exact reasoning, and it was further complicated when a older gentleman briefly chatted with us and mentioned she looks eerily similar to a famous Bollywood actress.

While we were watching the boys play cricket, one eventually came over with his camera phone to snap a picture of us. (And by “us,” I mean he motioned for me to slide out of the picture.)

Since turnabout is fair play, we continued to watch the boys play cricket, but before we left I took a few photos of them.

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Posted in Travel Also tagged , |