Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Taking Stock

Elaine and I are slowly getting the gear ready for our upcoming trip to Gambia, and with just 5 weeks to go starting to get a tad giddy at the thought of 2 weeks in the sun after what seems like a very long summer without a proper break. I've also got the hardship of 4 days in Catalonia fishing on the River Ebro before then as well! I just hope the catfish are more obliging than last year when it was a real struggle for Alan and I to get amongst them. I've been slowly ticking items off my ever increasing photographic equipment list in anticipation of Gambia and India again in February, when it dawned on me that other than a few photographs of birds, I never did get around to editing most of the images from India this January. I'm not really in to hours spent post processing but I'm slowly getting a little more creative with some of my work. I always smile wryly when I see work flows explained in detail and the work that goes in to image editing. I'm bored after a minute and don't really understand 99% of what the software does, suffice to say my workflow comprises of chuffing around, twiddling this and that until it looks something like!  More often than not I mess it up again and thats that for the day. I do like Silver Efex Pro however and I've dropped some pictures from Agra in to one of their preset templates, I quite like them and if I get fed up I can always twiddle around with them some more!

Kids in the street -Agra January 2012- Life in some parts of the City is pretty tough as you would expect, great kids that really latched on to our chocolate eclairs!
Quiet contemplation - Street food is a large part of local life throughout Agra. I reckon this image could have been taken any day in the past 50 years!Everyone tourist who goes to Agra does so to visit the Taj Mahal, us included, it is quite simply breathtaking and worth every ounce of the effort to get there. We had a great tourist guide and after an hour or two in Agra Fort he couldn't get his head around why anyone would want to visit a normal street where the tourists don't go. I suppose if you don't you never meet the people who make the city what it is. There's an atmosphere on the street especially as dusk fall, little rubbish fires burn all over the city as the temperature drops but the streets are thronged with people just getting by in life.

Its hard to capture the atmosphere in the street, the smoke and noise but I tried never the less!

Express delivery - This is still a normal way of getting around along with oxen and carts, tut tuts, lorries and every conceivable mode of transportation known to man!

We rounded off the day watching the sun set over the Taj from the opposite side of the river. There was a large security operation on so any chance of getting on to the river bank was dashed by the presence of an armed Police Officer every 25 yards, still worth sitting and watching the sun go down though. I had a wander around the lovely gardens on the site of what would have been the Black Taj, even in the 16th Century some degree of fiscal responsibility halted some ambitious building projects!

Gardeners at the BlackTaj - I reckon that sunshine takes its toll

I've plenty of pictures of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort but none as good as you can find on a thousand other internet sites, it is nice to see the places with your own eyes and through your own lens ( or in this case Steve's 17-55 nikon!) What also stood out about the trip was the journey from Delhi to Agra through Uttar Pradesh, I'm not even going to try and describe that other than what a road trip, almost like the 17th century colliding with modern day

Just like the isle of Axholme!

God knows when that gun was last fired, an old soldier guarding the roadside cafe!

Uttar Pradesh January 2012 -This little girl spends her day helping Mum and Nan make cow dung patties so the family have fuel for the family home - thats them drying in the background

I could really make strong comment about the last image when I see some of the wasters in this country, but I shan't for once, I'm pretty sure you can work it out for yourselves. There we have it, eight images only another 1350 to edit!

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