Thekkady’s Streets

Although I thoroughly enjoy viewing street photography for its spontaneity, diversity, and ability to display the flow of life of any culture, I generally refrain from partaking due to a generally awkward disposition and inhibitions around strangers. Being unusually tall (to Indians) and quite white, I also get a lot of stares as it is, and waving a camera around at people certainly does not make me go unnoticed. However, in areas more frequented by ‘foreigners’ such as Thekkady, a tall Caucasian isn’t all that exciting, and many locals are in fact enthusiastic to have their pictures taken.

A telephoto lens would allow for a different type of photograph – one where the subject is entirely unaware that they are being observed (creepy, I know). When you wave a camera around in someone’s face they have a bad habit of inexplicably becoming tense and edgy. However, we make do with the tools we have, and sometimes we’re happy with the results.

Another benefit of my outing today was that it is pilgrimage season. Loud and smelly though they may be, they are highly photogenic, and when seen as photographic subjects, are as quintessentially Indian as they come.

And of course, it’s always encouraging when a subject is not only highly photogenic, but happy to have their picture taken.

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