Street photography on film…so cool!

So I started taking photography seriously about 5 years ago and was obviously drawn to the convenience of digital technology. I have to say that digital cameras are a good way to learn and understand exposure and composition since you can see what you shoot instantly and can correct and learn from your mistakes in real time. However over time I found myself getting bored. I was beginning to shoot like a robot with a machine gun…fire a thousand shots and you are bound to get a few hits right?

I found myself shooting a lot more but with not too much thought and effort – i was taking images rather than making them and my photography was suffering as a result. My images were repetitive and run-of-the-mill. It reached a stage when I would go out and shoot and then not be bothered to download my images for months since I already pretty much knew what I had shot.  Maybe all I needed was a break:-)

Anyway this is when I stayed in more and started browsing other photographers street work on the net.  I discovered that I loved the work of several photographers who still shot b&w film. It was not just the quality and tonality of these images but something that went beyond – they had soul.  I knew it was time to tread backwards against the flow of technological progress, and try my hand at film.

So here is some of my work made on the streets of India (mainly Mumbai). My film work is still not up to the mark but hopefully it will get there. The excitement of shooting film and not knowing what you have captured till you develop it is so exciting…I am addicted. And most significantly, I have fallen in love with photography all over again!

I love my little Ricoh GR1s film compact which managed the contrast of the historic building in brighter light and the hat wearing man in the shade surprisingly well.  And I love the tonal range of film!

And of course my Leica is the king of low light

At a snack store where my wife stuffed her basket with delicious fried stuff while I stood oddly against a mirrored wall and photographed a pavement vendor selling a healthy alternative. The fried stuff is so unhealthy…but unfortunately I LOVE IT!

HCB is always an inspiration

The Goa sun is ‘crushing’

I don’t understand fashion at all. I know what I like and I know what makes me uncomfortable. Apparently retro is cool and I get that because I love my Leica. But does retro have to be scrotum squeezing?? Now that just makes me uncomfortable.

But small and tight can be really sweet as well…

Back in Mumbai from gorgeous Goa.  Entering this restaurant is like stepping back in time. Old furniture, a gorgeous grandfather clock, a lazy ambience, people sitting on antique looking lazy chairs reading the papers after lunch. The average age is about 80. It’s a restaurant for the Parsi community and I immediately felt the pressure of not being a Parsi. But my wife is so I was allowed in after it was made very clear that being the husband of a Parsi I was always welcome here…just as long as my wife ALWAYS accompanied me.

Our mongrel has spotted a cat

My wife has spotted a dress

Almost everyone in Mumbai seems to be in a rush either late for work or to catch a train or to look busy or just purely out of habit

Rushing across the street to avoid the crazy Mumbai drivers

Here the rushing, or rather the running, is justified since this is the Mumbai Marathon. The city comes alive on this day. Traffic is non existent. I realised how pretty Mumbai could be.

The Mumbai racecourse is literally a green lung in this over congested city. To see thoroughbred horses and thousands of people happily going about their early morning walks or runs makes me really happy. My dogs love it here too which makes this place even more special!

Not sure if this was his doing or even if it is what it seems to be but regardless these guys can really relieve themselves

Caught this guy in the act

Movies are a craze in Mumbai and posters are plastered on any available wall space. I was drawn to the low-budget eeriness of this one

Don’t know how these poor guys manage to maneuver on the insane Mumbai roads. Although they shouldn’t really be there in the middle of peak traffic.

It’s okay to park in a no-parking zone as long as you are sitting in the vehicle. This is a cop-made rule since they figured that parking in the city is a bloody nightmare.

The cops are very strict about not talking on the phone while driving. It could cost you a huge fine or a small bribe.

A romantic walk along the seaside on a monsoon day. But lovers beware! If you get too cozy the cops might come along and fine you. The fine is not so high for PDA and so the bribe is really small.

But for the most part you really don’t have to worry about the cops (the Hindi word on the jeep reads “POLICE”)


10 thoughts on “Street photography on film…so cool!

  1. Superb work! I, also, have also “reinvented” myself by using a 35mm camera with Black-and-white film for my street photography. I’m that my experience is more graceful and less frantic.

    1. Thanks sepiaprince. Film rocks so I am glad you are reinventing yourself with your Pentax. Slowing down on the street makes for better images and it shows in your film work on flickr. And of course nothing compares with the lovely tones of tri-x.

  2. Kaushal ! Awesome Images. I love the little descriptions for the photos. You should really try Half Frame 😛 you seem to be at the right place at the right time ^_^

  3. Great pix. I’ve been looking at a lot of SP on the net of late and I thought I hated India because I found myself not liking any Indian SPs, but your photographs are wonderful.

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