I spent the second part of my project in Rajasthan, India. I was inspired by the faces of the local people so I turned my focus to portraits whilst keeping in mind the brief for my assignment.

A travel photographer who inspires me is Steven McCurry. His most iconic image is of the young Afghan girl which was featured on the front page of National Geographic.

The simple green backdrop accentuates the subjects piercing green eyes, which are the main focus of the image. They draw the viewer closer into the image and create a connection with the subject.

PAKISTAN. Peshawar. 1984. Afghan Girl at Nasir Bagh refugee camp.

PAKISTAN. Peshawar. 1984. Afghan Girl at Nasir Bagh refugee camp.


The images displayed below are from his book, South and South East Asia with Steve McCurry. These images are captured in natural light, free from distracting elements and focus on the use of colour.

Lightroom was used for post production and the original images are also displayed below for comparison.

For these images I used a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8 on a D3100 with a crop sensor and a AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5 zoom lens.

Depth of field.

Bus Driver

Bus driverBus driver

ISO 100 1/500 sec f/1.8

After uploading my images, I was drawn to this one because of the bus drivers glare! I was experimenting with the shallow depth of field and took several shots during the bus ride.

As I was sat at the front of the bus, from this perspective I could include the steering wheel and corner of the windscreen in the composition. By using a shallow depth of field, it allowed me to blur the background and focus on the subject. In addition, the softened yellow tones compliment the drivers yellow jumper.

Regarding my safety, I was not provided a seat belt and there was a red hot metal box beneath my chair that would burn my skin if i touched it! I had to stay alert of oncoming traffic and turning corners. Health & safety is often overlooked in India.

Holy man in red

Hindu in redHindu in red

ISO 100 1/200 sec f/1.8

This subject found me first! He is a Holy man in Jaipur and his hand gesture is called Abhaya mudra which means “have no fear”.

I took a several images of him at different view points and I selected this one as it focuses on his hand gesture. By using the prime lens I could select a small aperture of f/1.8 which helped to create the shallow depth of field.

As he was by the side of the road. I had to stay alert of the passing traffic and pedestrians, for the safety of both myself and the man.

Holy man in yellow

Hindu in yellowHindu in yellow

ISO 100 1/250 sec f/1.8

Another Holy man in a small temple in Jaipur. I particularly like the balance of yellow and red in this composition, as they feature on the subject and the backdrop.

As the sun was setting behind the temple I used a lower shutter speed and kept the low ISO so I did not compromise the quality of the image.

I took a few images from different perspectives. This one was selected due to the sharp focus on the subjects face. Sadly his face was not in focus in one of the images which I composed to include his full body sat on the chair.

There were limited health & safety concerns whilst I was taking photos here as there were no people passing or trip hazards.

Shutter speed.

The Taj

The TajThe Taj

ISO 100 1/3 sec f/16

Sadly tripods are not allowed into The Taj Mahal complex, which was disappointing as I had planned in advance to take images of the crowds against the backdrop of The Taj, using slow shutter speeds. So I had to be resourceful and with a gradual filter attached, I positioned the camera on a bench and had to crouch down to see through the view finder.

I selected this image as there was no camera shake and I like the alternative perspective to the one that is famously captured by everyone that visits. This composition was not the strongest of the images, however i feel it creates the sense of being tucked away from the crowds.

As my camera was resting on a bench, I had to ensure that it was secure whilst taking long exposures, to prevent causing any damage.

Dancing girls

Dancing girlsDancing girls

ISO 200 2.0 sec f/5.0

These entertainers were in the garden of our hotel. To create the sense of movement, I used slow shutter speeds on a zoom lens positioned on two tables, offering different perspectives.

Although this image has slight camera shake, I think it adds to the abstract composition.

Whilst capturing these images, my camera was securely positioned however I had to ensure that it was not knocked over or had any liquids spilt onto it.

Dancing girl

Dancing girlDancing girl

ISO 100 1/30 sec f/1.8

This was a spontaneous shot. After observing this group of people celebrating in the street, I was invited to dance with them! A number of photos had been taken of me, so I took the chance to capture a few images of the girl who was dancing.

I set the camera onto a slower shutter speed, with a wide aperture and used the focus point over the subjects face. This resulted in a shallow depth of field and the movement of her arms and body.

Safety was very important when capturing these images. The group were walking down the centre of the road among passing traffic and pedestrians.

Final five.

Family at Fatehpur

Family at fort_DSC0021

ISO 100 1/640 sec f/1.8

I spotted this family in the shoe deposit area, outside the abandoned city Fatehpur Sikri. This traditional composition frames them all sat on the bench. I especially like the turned face of the lady at the back.

A wide aperture was used so I could let enough light through the lens without increasing the ISO and compromising the quality of the image.

This was a busy area, so whilst capturing the images I had to make sure I didn’t bump into anyone or trip over any shoes.

Sweeping ladies

Sweeping ladiesSweeping ladies

ISO 100 1/500 sec f/2.8

These ladies were sweeping in the Amber Fort near Jaipur. Unfortunately there wasn’t good light in this area so their faces did not appear as bright when I uploaded these images. However, using Lightroom to increase the exposure and saturation helped bring out their faces and the yellow tones.

I chose this perspective as the arches framed the subjects within their environment. As I was stood on some steps, I had to stay alert of passing people and ensure I didn’t trip over whilst shooting.

Opium man

Opium manOpium man

ISO 100 1/1250 sec f/1.8

This gentleman was demonstrating the use of an opium pipe in the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur. The bold colours of red and yellow pop out against the white backdrop.

The image came out darker that expected, so I used Lightroom for post production to increase the exposure of the image.

Apart from keeping aware of passing people, there were no h&s concerns whilst capturing these images.

Man sleeping

Man sleepingMan sleeping

ISO 800 1/400 sec f/1.8

I spotted this gentleman sleeping in an alcove of a doorway in Fatehpur Sikri. The light was very poor so I had to increase the ISO to 800.

The alcove frames the subject who was fast asleep on the stone ledge I feel this is a strong image, which engages the viewer.

This area was quite busy and it was a spontaneous shot so I had be aware of people passing through and of the gentleman who was peacefully sleeping in the corner, unaware that I was taking his photo.

Man in mosque

Man in mosqueMan in mosque

ISO 100 1/250 sec f/1.8

This is my favourite image. It was captured in the entrance of a mosque in Old Delhi.  I took 3 shots of this gentleman and this close up image really focuses on the subjects face and the texture of his skin.

The subject was sat just inside a large doorway which let in the natural daylight. I lowered the shutter speed and used a wide aperture so there was enough light entering through the lens without the need to increase the ISO.

Whilst shooting, I had to stay aware of the many people passing through so I did not bump into anyone and cause damage to them, myself of the camera!


Travel photography really excites me. I like to engage with the subjects and use the images to document the day to day lives of people around the world.

I printed all of the images in gloss as I wanted the colours to pop and to avoid them looking dull. For comparison, I requested samples of Man Sleeping and Man in Mosque in lustre. Due to the dark tones in these images, I think this printing material works well as it appears to add greater depth to the texture of skin and absorbs the brown tones well.

The printed image of Man in Mosque appears slightly over saturated and this has effected the skin tone. I will edit the image before it is printed again.

Using Lightroom, I increased the exposure and saturation so the images were bright enough for printing and the results are visibly better online.

Contact sheets.

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