This is the second in a multi-part series about a recent photowalk in Georgetown, one of the most dense parts of Chennai, and virtually the only area to retain its colonial identifier. In a couple of days I hope to also post about the flower market, and the colorful photography opportunities it offered.
But first a few words about street photography in Chennai. This is a great city for it, because people are so open to being photographed. Unfortunately, that can also be a drawback because sometimes you get “stuck” because everyone wants their picture taken! And there are some who feel that true “street photography” involves catching candid moments, snapshots where the subjects are unaware they are being photographed. But in Chennai, you end up with a lot of posed group photos! Fortunately, we’re not spending money on film these days anymore (most of us, anyway) – but it can slow you down.
This Sunday my photowalk ground to a halt for a good 20 minutes as one group after another insisted I take their picture. Some of the pictures are pretty fun, looking at how people pose for photos. Consider these:
Everyone freezes in place – some with a relaxed smile, but most with a somewhat menacing expression. It’s funny that most adult men don’t smile for the camera.
Even this one is posed. I was walking down the street and this (bicycle) rickshaw operator flagged me down with a big smile. When I went to take the shot, he suddenly became stoic and stared over my right shoulder…
Luckily, I was able to get a few candid shots as well.
These guys saw me fumbling with my camera, but were kind enough to freeze in place for about 30 seconds because they recognized I wanted to capture them as they were:
Finally, there was this man, who appeared completely unaware of his surroundings. I wonder what he was thinking about.