KNIGHT + India + Photojournalism (Day Three)

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am totally freaking out this morning! I spent like $16,000 shopping yesterday. What was I thinking? You would think that after my 30 years on this earth my mom and my 5 sisters would have prepared me for picking out dresses and doing so at reasonable prices. Well they did a great job because 1 US dollar is equivalent to about 48 Indian rupees. So I spent 16,000 rupees and not 16,000 dollars. Yesterday was my shopping day for family so I browsed the Pondy Bazarre strip of stores and then met up with the bride, her mom, and aunt. They were getting fabric for the Mendhi Ceremony. I thought my mom was the Queen of bargains and negotiation (actually she always will be) but when I met up with the three ladies they had one question, how much do you want to spend? I had a clean napkin from lunch that I detailed with all of my family's names and sizes. I wrote the budget down and then we were off to several stores. The experience of sitting in a Silk House while sari after sari is laid in front of you and then opened is incredible. I could feel my heart beat rising with every new color, pattern, and fabric I examined. There will be some really happy ladies when I return to the States bearing gifts as unique as they are. Especially my wife!

I couldn't leave the guys out so while walking through the shopping district I noticed that my all-terrain, water resistant, mildew free, adjustable, reflective, vented, removable sole, laceless, backpack-friendly shoes just wouldn't do. I needed some sandals and figured my dad would like a pair too. I got him sandals from Africa last year so why not India. I tried on a few pair and then settled on brown Batas for $4.

If I wasn't going cuckoo over spending money then I was definitely being driven insane by the colors and objects around me. Everywhere I turn all I see are paintings of people's lives and the order of disorder. The intro photo of this blog entry was taken while walking through the market. That is sugar cane being pressed to make fresh juice. I didn't have any of the juice but the portrait speaks volumes and will be hanging as a canvas in my home soon. Next, I witnessed a girl walking a tight rope nearly 8 feet off the ground with a painted bamboo rod in her hand and a tall flower pot balancing her head. You couldn't pay me to leave early at this point.

As far as objects are concerned, I have been mesmerized by the number of scooters and motor cycles on the road. Last night I rode from the bride's grandmother's home (I had a lovely meal there) to my hotel on the back of a scooter to retrieve my flash. Its the first time I needed more light. During the ride I was shooting the action on the streets and in the small vendor shops. Turns out that the increased frames per second and low-light capability of my new camera trumps my faithful body back home. I wish that I had my bicycle for transportation. Everyone has a bike and most are retrofitted with a flat metal grate and rope to hold groceries, people, or just about anything else you can images. In the two photos below, although the bikes were haphazardly chained to trees or simply supported by the kickstand on concrete, I was lured by the color and the order of disorder. I'll explain more about this on my travel website and exhibition coming soon.



- KNIGHT

Ross Oscar Knight Photography Destination Wedding Photographers

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5 comments:

R E U said...

WOW....

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Wow!! what an experience!

Jewells said...

These are great, just great! Such a wonderful experience.

Brandi Brandon Knight said...

Babe, great pics! I can't wait to see my sari!! Is it green?! Continue to have fun...not too much without me ;)

Joshua said...

Ross how are you doing? this is Joshua I was introduced to you by Carlton Mackey. I love your photography, my favorite photo is where the young girl is getting ready to walk the rope. Did she do it? Every one of your pictures caught their culture the best. As i go through your blog and the other guys Carlton has introduced me to it makes me want to capture my culture in words, like a lyrical photographer or something. Your photo's are timeless I pray I can get my music to that level. Take care bra. Joshua