Delhi college of photography 12:00 midnight, the team geared up and packed their bags to head towards Pushkar, Rajasthan. Pushkar organises one of the biggest animal trade fair in the world. Its not only know for that but is also the Mecca of street photographer. This trip was only planned for the Pushkar Fair 19. The vehicles were loaded and the fleet included a traveller, an Isuzu and a Mercedes GLS. We hit the road as the midnight grew darker and touched down Rajasthan as the sun started shining at the horizon. The roads being extremely smooth and the sound of engines roaring could be heard throughout.
DCOPERs were equally excited as the fair keeps photographers pouring in from all parts of the world.
The lot reached Pushkar at around 9:30 and we went straight away to ZostelPushkar. A multiple story premise that has beautiful graffiti and several other places for the tourists to relax and enjoy. After a while when the documentation was done the students were seen schilling in the swimming pools, some playing poker, some string in the common area and some snoring off where ever they were.
The plan was to take rest for an hour or two and then straight away head to the fair area. Once we reached the fair ground we saw a whole new world of camels, horses and various other animals that were to be a part of the trade in the fair.
There was a giant ferrous wheel where children could be seen enjoying the rides. The students were nothing less than excited to see so many frames pouring in the moment we all entered the fair area.
The entire Pushkar fair is spread around across 5 kms and has more than 2 lac attendees every year. It is mainly know for the trade of live stock (Camels, horses, buffalos etc.) The main stage has rural dance and a variety of other cultural programmes that happens every evening for the day the fest starts till the day it ends.
There are horse and camel race at the main day of the event, the tourists can enjoy camel cart rides and desert safari nut above all to document these activities was our priority.
the faces on the street, children playing, the cultural influence on the people who visit the the fair and the locals dressed up in their traditional apparels were something we were looking for.Rajasthan is anyways known for its vibrant colours and dance forms and thats what we went there to photograph.
as the day was approaching towards the end the light turned golden and the faces turned int o silhouettes and the ended with a lot of memories and frames. Once the team was done shooting there was a dinner organised by the college at a resort. everyone was tired but more than that everyone was hungry. there was some nice Rajashthani cuisine waiting for us . The besankagattas and the local dishes were mouth watering. We all sat next to the bonfire and ate the delicious food that was made. During this time in Pushkar the nights are fairly cold and the bonfire felt very relaxing.
Some group photographs from the new Profoto lights and the Hasselblad camera and we called it a night.
The second day began with the students waking up early in the morning and head straight to the fair ground to get some photographs of the morning madness. After a while of shooting, the light became really harsh for shooting. So, we headed back for some munching. After sometime of resting we headed back for the lighting workshop. It was the golden hour and we found just the perfect spot for the lighting workshop.
The herd of camels and the breeders with their colourful turbans could be seen everywhere on the desert. Before the light starts to dim we quickly got our subject ready and pulled out our gears. The gears included the lights from Profoto, ‘B1-X’ and a Hasselblad H6D 100c camera with a giant 5ft umbrella. Slowly people other than the college students started gathering around and see the workshop because of the grader of the setup that we had put.
The students got to test the light as well as the camera and get some insight about how the lighting woks in underlie conditions and how to light up a wide area in the photograph etc. The worship was given by the director of the college himself, a fun and learning experience it was for the students. The lights then went down and the students started experimenting with long exposure and light trails for a while. The students were then set free to go and roam around the fair area with a dedicated time to head back to Delhi. On the way back we stopped at a nice place for dinner as every body was starving after a hectic day.
We arrived at Delhi early in the morning. The whole trip was not just an expedition, it was more than that, we interacted with strangers, saw the culture and religion of a different place, ate cuisine of different kinds. Faces that we haven’t seen before were on our camera and most important memories we weaved were to be compered with nothing less than a bliss.