Chennai Photowalk Part 2: Streets at Night

It seems strange to think that, after 2 months living in this city, we haven’t really been out at night.  I’ve been out very early and there are a surprising number of people up and about – this is the time when the trucks are unloaded bringing new stock to the shops.  But in the evening,  I assumed people generally were at home and the shops were closed.  This is definitely not the case – in fact, it may be even more crowded in some places than during the day!

As noted in the previous post, this photowalk took place in the vicinity of the Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore.  The size of the temple (many people attend after 6 pm) and the fact that the “festival of dolls” (Golu) is ongoing may account for some of the extra traffic, but all over Chennai people are preparing and serving food from roadside stands, selling fresh fruits and vegetables, selling strands of flowers, and many of the small shops are open for business.  Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:

It turns out that this makes for great street photography, depending on your camera. Most vendors have some sort of light, which affects some of the photos – but a little post-processing can keep the lights from being too harsh. Here are some of the favorite photos we took.

jewelry stall

Wanted to buy from this guy just because he seemed so sad…

mylapore street stall


The woman above was sitting next to her cart, which was filled with Golu dolls and small knick-knacks.


Some photos are better in black and white, but the one above is definitely best in color!

Bus Stop

The folks getting on the bus don’t seem to trust the white guy with the big camera, do they?

bus in chennai

People heading home on a crowded bus. In Chennai, the buses don’t have windows.

Selling Smoke for Luck

This man goes to different vendors and to passersby, and exposes them to the smoke (smells like incense) wafting from his burner. For this he expects a few rupees. The Indian photographers walking with us told us the smoke brings luck. Well, it seems to work for this man, anyway…

Fruit Stands

Amazing colors at night.

Frame and Picture Shop

This man sells religious photos.

Streets at Night

Hole in the Wall

This couple is visiting a real “hole in the wall” restaurant. Literally, the family in the home inside is selling prepared meals to passersby. I wonder how the food is? Below another “hole in the wall” – the Indian equivalent of a 7-11, where goods and money are passed through a small hole in the wire.

Convenience Store

Selling Trinkets

This man is trying to persuade the woman to buy one of his little toy swings.

Golu Doll Salesman

This man stops me and insists I take a photo of him with one of his dolls.

Taking Home the Groceries

Her shopping done for the night, this woman heads to the bus stop. Barefoot.

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