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It was no moon day and I heard that there was a fair going on in Ahmedabad's old city. We spontaneously decided to go check it out. I thought it would be a great photographic opportunity to make some telling travel photos. The fair features small hand rotated ferris wheels for the kids and other rides. Not to mention, kids can buy cheap plastic toys and women can get some street jewelry. On reaching the destination, I found it to be incredibly crowded. Though soon it turned out to be fun when the kids seemed to be really attracted to the camera. They all wanted to get their photos taken and seemed excited about it.

I waited and waited more for the shots to get the right light and the right people in at the right time. Later at night, I found this woman with her laahri, a mobile shop with a wooden frame on wheels. The police had moved them up the street since it got late. What caught me to the frame is her expression and the reserved pose. Not to mention, it was contrastingly colorful.

A lot was going on behind the scenes to get these shots.

First and foremost, I was told to not go because of security risks since the Indian Independence Day had just past and the city officials were under alert of threats. On top of that, these fairs are not exactly for you and I type of people. Most of who attend are not as affluent and privileged as us. Not to mention that there are risks of theft and pick pocketing in such large crowds in a small area. But since I was told that there was something like this going, I wanted to go. Nothing could have stopped me from going. So some of my family tagged along. I went and the above photo is one of the results of the time spent at the fair.

Technically, the photo was taken at 35mm, f/5 at 1/100 sec with ISO 100. The more ridiculous part was that (or at least thats what my friends and family thought so) that I wanted to use my flash (Canon's 580EX II) remotely using an umbrella. Hmmmm, you might say! I wanted to do rembrandt style lighting. So the best way to go about that was to have my cousin hold the umbrella with the flash as high as he could…a human light stand. It was a challenge having a big shoot-through umbrella in an extremely crowded street with constant foot and vehicle traffic. We had to orchestrate the whole crowd so that they don't come in our way. Here is a photo of the crowd.


A wide angle lens is so useful in such situations. It was quite an experience. Once I started making photos of the laahris, all of their owners came to me and grabbed us to have their laahris photographed. What a time! Thankfully, everyone returned home safely. Great photos were just a bonus to the whole experience.

You can check out the other photos from the fair at http://www.dhrumildesai.me/gallery/an-indian-fair/.