Announcing India Photography Collection

Garish colors reign supreme in this close up study of Hindu deities on the front of a shrine in Chennai, India.

Great news my friend! I’ve just updated my India Photography Collection. Here’s what you can expect to find inside this ever expanding collection from one of the world’s most exotic travel destinations:

  • Photographs exploring the cities of Kolkata (i.e., Calcutta) and Chennai (i.e., Madras)
  • Portraits, both traditional and environmental
  • Architectural photography including monuments, tombs, statues, churches and temples
  • Documentary photography exploring the special relationship Hindu’s have with water, particularly their holy rivers
  • A good mix of both color and black and white images

A Nation of Faiths

While India is home to one of our world’s great religions: Hinduism, the country’s substantial population supports many other faiths including Buddhism, which was founded just over the border in modern day Nepal; Islam; Sikhism; Jainism; and Christianity. My India Photography Collection includes photos that explore three of those religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.

Of North and South

I’ve traveled to India on four separate occasions and while much of my travels have concentrated on the Buddhist region of Ladakh the photos in this collection currently incorporate my most recent trip to the cities of Kolkata in East Bengal and Chennai in Tamil Nadu. My three previous trips were back in the days of film. I’II add some of those photos, as they are scanned, over time.

Turn That Color Down

The photo at the top of this post features a detail on the outside of a Hindu shrine. While I love colorful scenes, the Indian preference for vivid and varied color schemes is often a little garish for my own preferences. I prefer photographing such scenes when the temple, shrine or mural in question has aged to a state where the colors have faded closer to pastel renderings. I'm happy that this simple photo represents so much of the color and vibrancy of this most exotic country.

Devotees at prayer in front of the tabernacle at the Santhome Basilica in Chennai, India.

Peace and Contemplation

The above photo features devotees praying inside the Santhome Basilica in Chennai, India. I very much like the quiet contemplation evident within the image and the beauty and power expressed in the stain glass windows and tabernacle. It’s a very beautiful church and well worth a visit for anyone traveling to Chennai.

Golden sunset light caresses a wooden buddha statue in Chennai, India.

Light Transforms, Shadows Define

This final image features the head of a wooden Buddha statue in the grounds of a local Chennai dignitaries home, whom my mother knew many years ago. I stopped in to the palace for a quick visit and was thrilled to be permitted to photograph some of the interior rooms. It was quite an experience. I love the drama brought to this statue by the warm, sunset light and how the deep shadows act to enhance the shape of the face.

Is India for You?

Have no doubt India is a tough and challenging country in which to travel. Sickness, danger (e.g., manic traffic, theft and worse), unrelenting touts, oppressive crowds and excessive bureaucracy are enough to drive even the most chilled traveler to distraction. However, if you make the effort to, from time to time, actively remove yourself from the usual tourist trail you’ll be amazed at the country’s natural beauty and the serene and dignified nature of its people. It is most definitely a country of contrasts and we visitors need to work to find our own way between the extremes of chaos and transcendence that India has to offer.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru