13 September 2011

Mumbai Street Photography - uniquely different

Street Photography from Mumbai looks different, very different than most of curated Street Photography from the West. The one thing I struggle most of the time is the muck and dirt all over, people smile less and law enforcing bodies continue to get more and more suspicious of anyone shooting alone at seemingly unattractive sights.

Some of shots from a recent shoot below are from streets in Mumbai. I was out shooting with Kaushal , a very talented street photographer from Mumbai. The day was eventful, with a cop accosting us much before we had even started. He probably thought he would scare us into giving him some bribe and after realizing it would not work  - he choose to book me for a unclear car number plate. I realized one thing, no one can stop you, not even the dreaded Mumbai police from shooting on streets. Yes, public spaces like a rail station etc could be off limits but not the streets. It was a day well spent, surprisingly inspite of not such a great start, all the shots from same day. Hope you like them.

I was still tentative, when I turned my camera towards this gang. I didn't have to ask - they just loved posing. What a joy!
"Joy" :: 2 Mumbai 2011
"Joy"

These colors are uncommon, more reminiscent of anglo / portugese culture. Probably some folks on this street. It was still early morning.
"Friends!" Mumbai 2011
"Friends"
Only in mumbai, can you actually take a photograph inside someone home, from the "street". You get a good peek into lives of typical people who live here. 
Space.. err !!
"Space... err"
It was a happy neighborhood, people were friendly, a bit shy but laughed as they went about doing their work. The Mother and Daughter .. probably
Window
"Window View"
The bright view surprisingly was the sea. The houses on the streets, many of them had their windows opening to the sea at the backside. Wonder what are so many stairs for. 
"Kitty Alone"
That is my cliche reflection in the glass pane. But thats a hair saloon for you, the interiors still dark enough for a tubelight.
"The Face"
Did I not say, we were close to the sea.
"Grounded"
Yes, the sea was finally on us, the street ends into .. err a playground for kids.
"Catch" Mumbai 2011
"Catch"
On our way back, the street abruptly ended here. The view was stark, some would say sad, I would say truly Mumbai. 
"The Divide"
All these shots, were taken with my Nikon D3000, on manual mode and most are with minimal post processing. I have my personal favorites, but would love to hear yours. Do share your views on street photography. You can see more of my street photography on Flickr and follow me on facebook and twitter

35 comments:

Aayushi said...

I love the irony of "space...err"
But if I had to pick one, I would pick "Friends" :)

Vinod said...

There are lot many messages behind the pics...!!

Shanoj K said...

Nice :)

Saru Singhal said...

Captured the essence of the city that never sleeps. 

Kiribane said...

The colorful image friends is really staying out to me. The colors and the light are just on the spot.

Kaushal said...

Lovely shots Mayank! You really did capture the essence of the place and these images transformed me right back to that day on the streets.  I really like all the images but if I had to pick my favourite(s) it would be The Face and Catch, and I also like Grounded.  I remember how you started tentatively and slowly got more confident to get closer.  I enjoyed watching that transformation:) and its great to see the results. Good job!

mayankpandey said...

It was a good day. Your tips helped a lot - i don't come back with more than 1 or 2 usually. Its hard for me to choose my fav, but I end up liking Divide and Friends. 

mayankpandey said...

thanks. Thats a shot very unlike Mumbai. One of my fav too. 

mayankpandey said...

Thanks Saru. Are you from Mumbai! I do love shooting stuff in the city which is very mumbai and also very unlike. 

mayankpandey said...

Thanks Vinod. 

mayankpandey said...

thanks. Its interesting that you choose the bright colors one! 

ripple4it said...

Lovely PHOTO JOURNEY from Mumbai Streets !!!

mayankpandey said...

Thank you ripple4it. Welcome to my blog and hope to see you again.

Cloudninetalks said...

Lovely pictures and interesting narration. Loved the color play in that yellow and orange painted houses and the light play in the tiny saloon...Good work!

mayankpandey said...

Thanks cloudnine. I am glad you have liked the post. Feedback and appreciation is always such a pleasure ;-)

Krunal Palande said...

Superb pics, love them all, especially the first three. 

Though I'd disagree about people smiling. 

Well in that case I find myself fortunate enough every time I go out on Mumbai's street.I look at it this way, it's my city and I am never afraid to ask someone to smile for me and even if I don't whenever someone finds me pointing my camera at them, well 6 out of 10 people do give me a smile or at least are not objectionable. This wasn't a case in some of the northern cities though, possibly they didn't find me famaliar enough. I really find people of Mumbai very grounded and friendly. Now the people who seldom/or never smile for me are 'the Girls', they really have this insecured feeling that one might misuse their photographs, as a matter of fact once a girl almost started a quarrel with me. Well this is just my observation. 

Though I must also say in two of the above photographs you have captured some excellent smiles.

 

Georgie Mathew said...

:) great post, . really a travel through the streets.. As you now know, i'm partial to color and I'd choose "friends", "window view" as my favorites but I'd also tick in "joy" along with these :)

I know how much children get excited in front of the camera :) 

After seeing kaushal's comment, I guess I'd also like to congratulate you on a job well done..
BTW, I could definitely have guessed Kaushal's choices ;)

mayankpandey said...

Hey georgie - thanks for dropping bye. Glad you liked the series. Oh yeah well i would have guessed your choice too. I was with Kaushal that day, he knows those some of these frames as much as me. And yeah he has a bias for B&W. :-)

mayankpandey said...

Thanks Krunal. I must acknowledge that usually its not easy to see smiles in Mumbai - what with everyone busy with their lives. This street was different and i genuinely mean people were happy - not necessarily when they were in front of camera. 
Are you NOT in mumbai now? 

PK Talli said...

wow!! Mayank i loved the mum-daughter picture the most.....

mayankpandey said...

Thanks Chintan. Interesting how different viewers have different choices. Some learning for me to understand viewers tastes :)

Rohit Sareen said...

a good documentary series!

Rituparna Mukerji said...

That is a depiction of Mumbai in it's spirit & misery. Beautifully done.

mayankpandey said...

Thank you Rituparna and welcome to my blog. Appreciate you dropping and leaving your feedback.

mayankpandey said...

Thank you Rohit and welcome to my blog. It was not intended to be a documentary much though it may sound like one. But am glad you like it.

joshi daniel said...

great series and yeah mumbai is the best for street photography!

mayankpandey said...

Dear Daniel. Yes, the city is interesting - some unique challenges all the time. Are you in mumbai?

Pratap Ramamurthy said...

Awesome pictures and narration. btw, would you like to get more viewers from Mumbai?

Submit your blog in  zeole.com/Mumbai . This is a one time submission. This would automatically submit a preview of your future blog posts in Mumbai , with a link back to your blog.

Show it to more people in Mumbai :-)

mayankpandey said...

Dear Pratap - thanks mate for appreciation. Yes i will consider registeration on zeole.com - thanks for tip

Asd said...

Hey man, that's some wicked street photography. There's very little street shooting from India, at least that's what I think trying to find some online. Loving the color shots. You should totally keep up the color street shots from the Mumbai streets with your commentary. Good stuff!

mayankpandey said...

thanks man. Feedback like yours helps me keep going. thanks. Hope to see you again.

Vijay Nair said...

Very nice post Mayank, and nice photos indeed. I love street photography than any other form of this technology... every pic speaks 1000 words. loved it man. and keep it up. I am not professional but my passion always end up clicking something that crave me to do more.

please visit.

http://vijaynairs.blogspot.com

n for pics you can see my fb link

http://www.facebook.com/nairvj


Thanks and keep clicking friend.

Darren Lobo said...

Hmmm not to be critical... But I think you need to tone down the high contrast monochrome shots.. Btw I think your losing some detail in the shadows

mayankpandey said...

thanks for comments. Appreciate if you can point which monochrome shot you are talking about.

Arindam Mohanty said...

Love your work man! Keep shooting!

AddThis