Drifting Focus – Bazaars of Bangalore (Part 1)

” Don’t get stuck to one kind of photography. Try different things … as long as you can make the subject look good and can tell a story” said a photographer friend of mine. It got me thinking and sort of gave me a much needed push towards something I’d been thinking about for a while ….Street Photography!

I have to admit, I had been fascinated by street photography much be before my heart started beating for food photography. Even before I knew what photography was. Clicking pictures of random things without looking for a story in those subjects ( and yet , thinking how amazing those photos were … hahaha… Embarrassing! )

Fast forward to today… I’ve been practising food photography and thanks to a great Phone Cam,  been clicking things beyond food.

Realized of late that I’ve been developing a strange kind of love for outdoor photography. Been clicking with my phone a lot but had been itching to step out with my DSLR. But there were one hitch – I don’t know any about street photography!!!

So I’d been looking for very many street photography photos, looked up blogs for tips and pointers etc. Made some mental notes on how I would want to go about…and finally decided on a date and place – Sunday 6th Sept …Viveknagar Market- a busy Bazaar close to where I live.

So sunday afternoon it was ( because as a newbie street photographer must start with day light shoot) , dressed right ( wear dull clothes – as mentioned by many websites and Yes, we can debate this!) and made sure no unnecessary bags ( no lady purse /hand bag, basically!) …Just me, my cam and my smile ( one of the much needed accessory for any street photographer, as mentioned by many websites) !!!

I walked around the bazaar , observing people, talking to some, checking with some if I could take a photo of them and accepting tons of voluntary requests for ” click me please” .. ” one photo please”.

What amazed me is how enthusiastic most people are to have their photos taken. They were just thrilled to see the photo on display of the cam. Almost all of them posed happily …and while some were keen to know why I was clicking them. Some were curious in a good way and some were suspicious. I can understand that. But I learnt that the only way to go is patiently explain who you are, what you are doing and why. And show them what you’ve clicked. That will help put their curiosity to rest.

Smile! Cannot emphasize on that more.

A smile helps you connect with people and it helps tremendously in street photography. And staying close to your subjects…as opposed to taking pictures from a distance or even discreetly. (esp. when you are starting off)

Timing & Be quick as you can, because the subject is more often than not beyond your control. ( I happened to miss what I thought could have made a great photo…. because of my timing. Wish I were quicker with my position)

So, I spent a good 2-3 hours walking around , capturing faces, colors, life… with stories that spoke to me. Before stepping out, I told my husband, I’ll be happy even If I get ONE good visual story…one good photo. But turns out , I got more than one and I’m really happy for this wonderful beginning.

The beginning was great not because I feel I got some nice shots.. but because this experience changed a little something in me. It helped me with something that I didn’t find as ” tips” or resources listed on those websites I studied.

It helped me overcome my fear of walking up strangers, trying to capture a moment with them in it, without offending them, without intruding , without getting them angry. In fact, that was the most exhilarating experience of the day.

This is something I wish street photography beginners are advised on. No matter how much you prepare … chances are you might freeze when you see your story, your subject. It is very natural with a lot of people. Esp, people who are introverted or Introverted Extrovert ( like myself).

Street photography , for me, started when I went beyond that frozen moment. Breathe, Smile, Take that first step and Click…. there are stories waiting to be told. Go fearless …and you will only enjoy it!

Here are some of the stories that spoke to me yesterday :

A family waiting for their ride. Meanwhile, the man wanted his family to be photographed.
Blue Door
I love doors…and this one looked interesting
Fish Vendor
Man who believes that the only way to look tough is to not smile. Sells fish for a living.
Grill Gate
Grill Shutter …and because it is blue
The glistening skin of the fresh fish…
More loot…
and then some…
Fish 3
okay… some more.
Purple cap man
Man with the purple cap and he wanted him to be clicked!
Bottoms Up!
Sugarcane ManMain
One of the first vendors on the bazaar… Sugar cane Man! One of my fav. people from the bazaar.
Colorful fries…
yellow turban man2a
Street vendor selling tomatoes… clicked from a moving auto. Look beyond his yellow turban, his eyes are more captivating!
Super enthusiastic teens… Hipster boys! Wanted me to click them.
Loaded and waiting!
Do you see what I see!?
Blue door House Main
The blue door ( I’ve sort of redeemed myself…. People who follow me on Instagram would know what I’m talking about)

Let me know what you feel about this special post….




8 thoughts on “Drifting Focus – Bazaars of Bangalore (Part 1)

  1. I know many are gonna say that Bottom’s Up will be their favorite, but for me it’s the flowers. It signifies Bangalore and the local lifestyle. Every morning when I’d wake up, the smell of those flowers used to be so heavy. Hated it at that moment in time, but no reminisce fondly through your pictures.

    Great stuff Ambica. Waiting for the Part 2 now.


  2. Its a lovely set of pictures.. One needs an eye to capture detailing in street photography.. and thats exactly what you have done 🙂 There are things that look absolutely normal when we pass by , like the Blue door, food trucks ,locked blue grill.. But you have made them look so special 🙂


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