Category Archives: Street photography

Agra

So I’ve arrived at Agra and the best thing about Agra is there is not Deli. There is less pollution, a little less honking and less annoying tuk tuk drivers. A cow walked towards me and I tried to stroke its head but unfortunately it tried stick me with its horns so I won’t be making that mistake again.

It appears that I made a big mistake in not sorting out all my train tickets and guesthouses before arriving. It’s a nice idea to make things up as you go but the reality is that buying train tickets is such a pain I should’ve sorted out beforehand. I arrived at the train station I shared a taxi with another traveler, when I got my guesthouse I realised that I needed to go back to station the next day in order to buy a ticket before they ran out. I agreed a price of Rs.100 with the tuk tuk driver but when i got to the station he demanded 300 and he was very angry started waving his fists at me and shouting which wasn’t pleasant.

Later I decided to get a tuk tuk around the other side of the river to see the Taj Mahal. There is a road that takes you to the river which is free but it had been cordoned off and soldiers placed there to stop anybody looking at the Taj Mahal without paying. So I had to pay 200 Rupees to get a glimpse of the Taj Mahal through a barbed wire fence. So I took images to reflect my frustration.

I originally set up my camera on a tripod but I got told by security that was not allowd so I took it down. When I tried to leave the security wouldn’t let me and try to fine me for having a tripod, so I legged through the gate and dived into a waiting tuk tuk.

I’m not really interested in following the tourists and just shooting buildings like the Taj Mahal and Agra fort so I spend most the time here shooting in the Bazaars. Here are my favorites.

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The full shoot can be seen on flickr

Delhi

I’ve been in India four days now so I guess its time to update.

I was due to catch a tram at 15:00 on Wednesday to get to the coach station but the trams had been delayed because of a royal visit. This ment that I had to get a bus into town instead and lug my heavy backpack all the way across the city. It wasn’t too bad in the end as I have packed lighter than last time.

Once that little glitch was out of the way it was plain sailing from then on in.

I did feel a bit of a numpty on the flight. I began to second guess whether we were arriving at 11:40 in the morning or 11:40 at night as the planes shutters were open but the sky remained dark as we approached India.

I later learned that I was in a modern plane with auto tinting windows to help with the sleep wake cycle. Who knew.

My guest house is the Smyle Inn, Main bazaar, Paharganj. Its pretty basic. Not the best I’ve ever stayed in, but not the worse. I would’t stay here again.

I’ve spent most of my time so far shooting the markets in Old Delhi. To be honest its pretty horrible here.
The air is acidic and burns your eyes and throat. Its so very very noisy with the incessant car horn beeping. The streets smell of piss. You cant go anywhere without being hassled by taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers. People will try and help you but they will all expect paying for it.

A gang tried to stop me entering New Delhi train station so They could fleece me no doubt. I just pushed past them. You’ve definitely got to have your wits about you. All in all its a pretty horrible place. Delhi is a noisy smelly crazy chaotic shit hole. If I had my way I’d avoid ever coming back here but unfortunately I need to return to fly home. That’s a way off for now though, but when it happens I may treat myself to staying in a nicer area.

Here are my favorite shots for now.

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The full shoot can be seen on flickr.

Marrakesh

So, I’m sitting there on my PC and Facebook says “A year a go to day you were drinking cocktails by the pool in Thailand”. Well thanks for reminding me Facebook. Its dark and cold and I’m stuck at work and you remind me of my 4 months travelling Asia, thanks a bunch.

Then I think to myself. I could go away. I could get a cheap flight to Marrakesh and bugger off for a week. So thats exactly what I did.

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Originally skyscanner had flights for £17 each way but I’m sure that site is set to artificially inflate the prices if you show any interest. The first time you visit they were £17, then they jump up to £47. I decided to book a return flight, but funnily enough just as I’d purchased the outward flight from easyjest, the return flight using Ryan air jumped from £7.50 to £107. What a con.

So I cancelled the booking of the return flight and just booked it directly through EasyJet. I had to pay an extra £20 each way for hold luggage but in the end I got a return flight for £135. Not too bad I guess.

I then sorted out the Nation express coach to Gatwick. That cost £40 Return.

I used Booking.com and booked Riad Todra

The riad was run my a lovely French couple that bent over backwards to help me.

It was a real shame that there were no other guests staying there when I arrived as I ended up getting pretty lonely.

The location of the riad had its good side and bad side. The good thing was that it was very close
Jemaa el Fna and access to the souks. The downside is that every time you left the riad to get food or water you got hassled by all the street vendors.

To be honest I think I suffered from culture shock. I admit I hated Marrakesh. You always had to be on your guard.
As a tourist you are seen as a commodity to be drained of wealth. Everybody wants their share.

The moment I left the safety of the riad I felt like I was in a pit with so many ravenous dogs tearing at my flesh.
Each time I grabbed my camera and went out side the street vendors tried to get their hooks into me.
I resented that these people were draining the energy from me that I needed to do my work.

I didn’t come to Marrakesh for a holiday. I visited Marrakesh to shoot stock photography, push me outside my comfort zone and get some sunlight before the impending Xmas gloom.

So everyday I got up and went out to shoot the souks and the streets. And everyday I was exposed the the hustles and cons of the people of Marrakesh. No doubt the experience was character building but I have come away hating that place. I would not advise anybody to visit .Its a truly horrible place where everyone is simply after your money. ‘Disingenuous’ is the word that springs to mind.

I’ve never felt so unsafe in my life before. I had a man drive his motorbike at me to try and force me into his shop, another man tried to get me lost in a labyrinth. Youths constantly hassling you to buy drugs, people spitting at your feet, people left right and centre trying to con, hustle and extort money out of you. I felt like an injured fish in the middle of a feeding frenzy.

Despite all this I forced myself to work. I took many photos of the souks but very few shots of people. Most People In Marrakesh don’t like having their photo taken, and of those who do, most want paying!

I’m glad I’ve had the experience, but now that I’ve done it, I really wouldn’t want to go back.

These five videos record my experiences as they happen during my weeks stay in Marrakesh.

The full shoot can be seen on flickr

Street photography in SE Asia

In November of 2014 after having saved for two years, I headed of to south east Asia to spend four months living my dream. Rather then get up every morning and and head off to the office to my SEO job, I would be getting up at the crack of dawn and living and breathing photography, my true passion.

The original images were uploaded to my blog and Facebook and Flickr in full colour. I have now had time to go through all of my street images and create black and white versions which I believe are far superior. I hope you enjoy them :-)

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Yangon

We flew out of Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok and arrived in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar 75 minutes later.
It cost 9000 khat I think to get a taxi from the airport to The White house hotel which we had had to pre-book before arriving in the country.

We arrived at 10:30 at night and we worried that the gate appeared to be locked, but someone arrived to let us in. This guest house has a curfew and guests would be locked out at midnight and would have to wait until 5:00 to be let in.

The Hotel cost us 19 dollars a night. The room was small and simple but not unpleasant.
Breakfast was included in the price but was very disappointing and consisted of a buffet of semi off fruit, papaya juice, coffee with condensed milk, toast and an assortment of cold pre-cooked rice and vegetables. The omelet however, was quite nice.

On arrive at Yangon I was drawn to the decay and dilapidated state of many of the buildings.
People apparently use their back yards as rubbish tips and to me this made an interesting subject for photography.

The photos can also be seen on flickr

Khao San Road – Bangkok

Exploring Pai

I am well aware that really the whole point of having a blog is so that your content is indexed by search engines. However photography and video are my media of choice. So these posts are going to be rather content light from a text point of view. I’d simply rather spend my time shooting and processing images than writing :-)

Last day in Chiang Mai first day in Pai

So today was a bit of a letdown. Got a tuk tuk to Wiang Kim Kam, where we were informed we could rent a horse to lazily explore the rural village. Turns out however that the ‘horses’ were in fact tourist buses, and the place basically consisted of a few piles of bricks optimistically described as ‘historical ruins’, a temple, and a couple of market stalls. So, we’d found ourselves at a tourist attraction…a tourist attraction for Thai people, but still. Ended up paying a silly amount of money to get back to the city in a sorng taa ou. Was a bit melancholy about the whole thing, but some amazing street food and a leo beer has lifted my spirits. The rest of the day will consist of Thai massage and packing as off to Pai tomorrow for hammock lounging in a bamboo hut by the river

Post festival Chiang Mai

With the Loy Krathong festival over we headed off the local authentic Thai market to see what could be seen.

Went into a time warp in the Thai market and ending up spending hours there. Live eels, toads and terrapins wriggling round in buckets, bags of spices and dried meats. Beautiful jasmine and lotus flower offerings and gaudy golden packets of paper phones, watches, shirts, glasses, which are given to the dead so they may be buried with them and bring the items with them into the after life.

Here is my selection of images.

The full set can be seen on flickr