Varanasi India and the Within the Frame Workshop
I had been to Varanasi back in 2006. I loved it then, spent 6 days and felt like there is so much more to see and to photograph. This time we only spent 3 days in the city, but, that was enough to remind me of why the place is so special, so magical.
Leading a workshop means not really shooting yourself. It’s about being there for the participants, so, that’s what I tried to do, as much as possible. I showed some around and gave others advice, while we were on the go. Varanasi was towards the end of the trip, folks felt more comfortable, so we all just wondered around the ghats, shot from the boat or got lost in the labyrinth of narrow backstreets. I finally got a chance to “let loose” for a bit. These images are the result.
I’ll note yet again that I used the Fuji x100s for all the images except for one. I didn’t even take my DSLRs. I don’t want to sound like an obsessed fan-boy, but, I love the camera more and more. There is something so pure about wandering the streets with something so small and the fixed 35 mm equivalent lens.
The Ganga Aarti is an evening ceremony by the river. It involves music, fire and a lot of smoke. It’s hard to get a good spot, but, somehow I managed to squeeze myself in and got a relatively nice spot from where I could see most of the men performing the ceremony.
I made this photo with the Fuji X-E2 and the Voightlander 75mm f/1.8 lens. While the lens is manual focus only, it was surprisingly effective in this situation. Generally auto focus is hard anywhere, whenever you have smoke, like in this scene.
The Ganga Aarti is pretty photogenic. Our whole group photographed it for the 3 nights that we spent in Varanasi.
These are the people watching Ganga Aarti. There were lots of Japanese tourists, with masks and all. They were as much a part of the audience as the Indians, so, I thought I’d include at least a couple into my images.
Man selling flower lanterns by the Ganges. You buy one, make a wish and set it off into the river.
I’m back in Sydney now and I’ll be here for a while. I’ve had a pretty life changing event in my life. I’ve become a father to a very little and very cute baby girl. She’ll be joining me on the road almost as soon as she can hold her head up, but, for now, I’ll be staying put for at least three months.
I meant to post images from Mauritania, from my time with the nomads and I’ll still try to do that soon. For now however, the Indian trip is still very fresh in my mind, so, I wanted to share that.
Stay tuned folks.