_Prior to visiting India for the first time, i met someone who said to me visiting India is "an assault on all your senses from the moment you get off the plane". That quote has stuck with me and i can't think of a better way to sum up my experience in one sentence.
From the moment i stepped foot on Indian soil i was overwhelmed with initially the noise, congestion and heat - And the time was just past midnight. I hadn't been outside the airport terminal doors for 3 minutes before i was being scammed (unsuccessfully) that my hotel was full and i had to go with another man to his hotel.
However 3 days in and you adjust to the pace of this country, its inefficiencies and more importantly the true beauty of the landscape, people and cultures that make it one of the most remarkable countries i've visited.
Once you've acclimatised you find that your senses are still under assault every day, though in a good way. Sure the smell of sewage is still a smell that is hard to acclimatise to regardless of the longevity of your visit. And the seemingly endless and piercing sounds of car horns that do not stop day or night can take some adjusting to (especially when trying to sleep) but these are small inconveniences when compared to the overall experience you can get from sub continent.
The Indian cuisine is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Flavours, intense and powerful with specialties in each region. I particularly like the Northern Indian cuisine with influences from Tibet and other himalayan areas.
Equally impressive and diverse as the food is the Indian scenery. From sun-drenched palm dotted beaches of the south, to desolate and sparse desert regions such as Rajasthan and snow capped mountainous regions such as Lakdah make India a true photographers paradise.
I can't recommend this country enough as a place to visit and experience for yourself. Like me i believe you will leave disappointed you didn't allow yourself more time to immerse yourself in a culture like no other.
These three portrait images are part of my initial portrait series from Rajasthan, India. All three a worthy shots on their own accord but i have just started to play around with the HDR Efex Pro photoshop plugin by Nik Software. I've been blown away by the power of this program and its capabilities to enhance photographs.
The control you have over the Nik software settings is astounding. You can easily add control points to alter small sections / tones of an image. You have mirco adjustment control over exposure / contrast / blacks / whites and other standard settings you'd see in Adobe Photoshop Raw. But then you also have a series of presets down the left hand side that make editing a very quick and easy process to achieve stunning photographic results.
As these three shots were of elderly men, i wanted a very raw and contrasty finish that really amplified the textures and wrinkles in the faces. Below is an example of the Nik Software HDR Efex Pro interface.
My trip to Ranthambore National Park was an incredible experience. Though i unfortunately missed seeing any wild Tigers i got to see a number of other wild animals in their natural habitat. Due to weight restrictions i opted against taking my large telephoto as i couldn't justify the significant weight for limited use.
Getting the right balance of photography gear vs versatility is a challenge. The other challenge i faced on this trip was that i had been suffering from some significant lower back pain in the weeks leading up to this trip around Rajasthan so i made a choice to travel as light as i could with just the one DSLR body and three lenses. The lense I ended up using for about 70% of my shots was the 50mm F1.4 which is an incredible lense. The other two lenses i brought on the trip was my 14mm aspherical fish-eye and a versatile 28-70mm F2.8 Sigma EX series zoom.
This shot of a mother and her young offspring was taken on the 50mm as the Monkeys stayed remarkably still as the Canter bus rolled alongside.
Chris Bishop professional commercial, landscape & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.