I know many of you have already seen the photo below of the Taj Mahal. It’s one the most famous photos I’ve taken of India. It is related to the daily photo…
Daily Photo – The Rest of the India Story
So, I took the photo above from across a slow-moving river. After shooting, I explored a bit more as the sun was setting, then returned to the same spot, rotating the camera about 45 degrees to the right. This is what I saw.
In the distance, you can see how it is a layer of smoke in the air. This is where families come from all over the Agra area to burn the bodies of recently deceased loved ones. They then throw some ashes in the river to begin the cycle again. Indians come from all over the area to visit this river, see the Taj Mahal, and visit other local temples. It’s a very peaceful place… I hope this photo helps to describe the general feeling of the place.
New Secret Project Goes Live Soon – Get Ready!
I’ve been up late at night for several weeks working on a really cool new project that I can’t wait to share with everyone here. I’ll be releasing it in one week, so stay tuned. Here is a little tease of some of the behind-the-scenes stuff below.
Daily Photo – The Guardian of the Tomb
I sometimes mistakenly call the Taj Mahal a “temple”. There is a fleet of people ready to jump down my throat and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that it is most certainly a tomb. Of course, whenever I do call it a temple, these are all honest mistakes; I’m always a bit flummoxed as to why people get so agitated,
Anyway, besides all that mess, I thought you might enjoy this photo I grabbed of one of the gentleman guards of the tomb. I slipped on my 70-200mm lens (See my NIkon 70-200mm Review) to get both the guard and the tomb compressed in the background. I was a little worried that he would see me lurking about, aiming a giant lens at his head. So, I took shots quickly then moved on… I had no burning desire to make a guy like that angry.
Comments on the Site
We have thousands of posts here and other subpages. Comments get sprinkled in all over the place every day. I do my best to respond, so please do not take it personally if I can’t get back and answer a question. I was thinking about hiring someone to do it for me – but that seems kinda strange… so I’ll just keep trying to do my best!
I noticed a sour grape over on the About Me page. I always leave up negative and critical comments (unless they are outright offensive). We run about 99% positive around here, but I’m always open to dissenting opinions, as in this one from “TRC” below:
Submitted on 2010/04/20 at 7:21pm
sorry, but your photos look way to clarified and contrasted that it completely defeats the purpose of SLR photography. . . . . .
If i wanted wanted a shot that has every thing sharp in it, i’d use a point and shoot.
Where is the shallow depth of field, its like you’ve maxed out the clarity levels in every photo and crushed the blacks in every photo. . . . .
You photos look crap.
Daily Photo – Doors of India
India is filled with all sorts of amazing temples and fine examples of Mughal architecture. When visiting the famous places, there are often a lot of “periphery” buildings that are quite empty. The crowds flock to the centers of these places, but all kinds of little treasures wait around the edges. I think being a photographer (beginner or advanced) helps you to enjoy the other bits as much as the major bits.
The only problem, if it can be considered a problem, is that you are constantly over-stimulated by any place that is remotely interesting! There is a bit of sensory-overload, but I guess there are worse things in life!
More Adventures in Hans Zimmer’s Studio Coming Soon
Watch this space for three more photos from Hans’ amazing studio coming up soon. I’ve had a chance to process more photos, and I’ll be releasing them very soon!
You can see the first set of photos here in “The Secret Lair of Hans Zimmer“.
New Print Available – Hindu Ascent
There is a new Limited Edition Numbered Print available. It is called “Hindu Ascent”. This was taken as this old woman, who has never cut her hair, ascended hundreds of steps on her daily pilgrimage to a Hindu shrine.
Daily Photo – The Purple Portal
When I was in Agra, I wandered around the streets surrounding the Taj Mahal for a few hours. The textures and details everywhere are an absolute field-day for photographers! There is so much to see and capture… it was totally overwhelming trying to grab all of that, while still thinking about getting into the Taj Mahal for another full slate of shooting!
So many of the little homes here are richly painted in every possible shade in the most interesting textures and shapes. This is one of many little snaps I got while walking around.
A Collection of Art
I try to share a bunch of inspirational art links throughout the week. I drop these into Twitter from time to time. I need to update this page with new stuff, but you will find a bunch of cool inspiration art on the “Things I’ve Found That Inspire Me” page.
Daily Photo – The Mighty Temple
I can’t wait to get back to India for more photography. I shot nonstop while I was there, but I feel like I did not take enough! As you may know, I process these images out-of-order, and I still have plenty to go through, but the pile is thinning with each ensuing week!
This is a beautiful and huge temple in Agra, India. I was there in the morning, barefoot, and it was quite cool and arid. I felt a little strange running around a temple, barefooted, holding my giant camera… but it was really fun! These wonderful old temples have countless angles and compositions of interest. I did my best from this vantage to capture the grandeur of the fort.
Tokyo Workshop Details
Everyone that subscribed to the free newsletter got early notice of this, and now everyone can see at on the weekend Tokyo Workshop page. It should have all the info you need, in case you live there or are looking for an excuse to pop over to Japan in the Spring!
Maybe I Won’t Go to London!
Well, of course I still will, but this article entitled “Photographers to lose copyright and right to photograph in public” gave me pause. What’s going on? If bureaucrats make these kind of decisions, it makes you wonder about all their decisions, eh? Of course, as a die-hard Libertarian, I’ve been saying this sort of thing for years….
Daily Photo – Floating Through the Temple
While in the north of India, I visited this Hindu temple. It was beautiful and decadent inside. I can’t even imagine what it used to look like back in the day. The walls supposedly had inlaid jewels and other precious stones. Despite time, it is still impressive.
Another Nice Workshop Review
Thanks for all the nice emails and tweets everyone; I’m glad you had a good time. That is right, I still have no plans for future workshops, but I do appreciate all the feedback and kind requests.
Chris Stamper wrote an HDR Workshop Review on his blog that was very nice. Thanks Chris – I am happy you enjoyed it! Keep up the good HDR work and fight the good fight for us!
Nikon D3S Review Continues
I have a Nikon D3S still on loan from BorrowLenses.com, and I’m putting together some images for my Nikon D3S Review. I don’t have it finished yet…. these things take a while, but, so far, I am very impressed!
The Taj Mahal from Akbar’s Palace
This image below was made with some textures from my Textures Tutorial. This is the only time that I “color” photos. Many times, I think people might think that I “paint” on top of my photos, but I do not. Sometimes, however, when I have an image that came out, ummm, a little more boring that it should be, I will give it a texture treatment. Maybe you are like me, and, on occasion, you take what you think will be a great shot. Then, you get home, and it just came out sort of boring.. that is always a bummer feeling. To get around that, I often use textures that I have collected from around the world.
Akbar’s palace has about one-tenth the number of visitors of the Taj Mahal, and it is almost just as stunning for photography. There are so many interesting and fun compositions, you just can’t go wrong. I recommend a full day here and a full day in and around the Taj Mahal. Besides these two major locations, the city streets, alleys, and everything in between are also highly recommended!
Amazon Sold Out in the UK
I know from looking at the website and newsletter stats what incredible fans we have in London and all over the UK. I can’t thank you enough… I hope you are enjoying the website, and I know you will enjoy the book when you finally get it. We need to do a celebratory photowalk over there eh? !!
[EDIT - I understand it is sold out in Canada too. Thanks cool Canadiens!]
My article on Scott Kelby’s Blog “Being an Artist Sucks. Being an artist is awesome.”
I wrote this long piece recently for Kelby’s blog. I’d like to thank RC Conception for helping to make this happen. It gave me a great chance to write a longer-format piece. I think there are many people here that will find it of use, perhaps. Please drop your comments over there on Kelby’s blog, and I’ll be sure to read them!
Daily Photo – Guarding the Portal
I really wanted to see what was on the other side of these little doors. I imagined scenes from “The Fall” inside there (has anyone seen that movie??). I tried to negotiate with this gentleman, but he just bobbed his head like he didn’t understand. I would have offered him my own shoes, but I left them on the other side of the temple with a young boy.
I never got inside, but we did exchange some pleasant conversation, even though we never really understood a single word.
Book Parties Announced!
More details to come soon, but save the dates and come RSVP on Facebook! I’ll be signing books, meeting you, and hanging out. I hope you can make it! Don’t worry about coming alone… you’ll make friends with the nice people there soon enough!
- New York City – Dec 14th – Secret Location in Manhattan to be announced – Visit Facebook Event Page and say “Attending” or “Maybe”!
- Austin – Dec 9th – The Driskill Hotel – includes Photowalk and $500 prize! – Visit Facebook Event Page and say “Attending” or “Maybe”!
- Chicago – Jan 2nd – the swanky Hotel Sax – Visit Facebook Event Page and say “Attending” or “Maybe”!
The Timeless Tomb
The Taj Mahal is an awesome place. I mentioned it last night in the live video chat (thanks to those of you that could make it — we should have a recording up soon). I spent the day taking photos of the place, and I was dog-tired when it was all done. Plus, my feet were hella dirty. You have to take off your shoes there. It turned out, actually, to keep me pretty cool. It was a very hot day; the marble was nice and cool on my feet.
I obviously used a special texture treatment on this one — if you’d like to find out more, there is indeed a “Textures Tutorial” here on the site.
Here is a wonderful scene from India. I am sure that people here find these women to be rather commonplace and uninteresting, but I thought all their little movements were photo-worthy. I’m sure they thought I was a nut following them around, so I tried to remain fairly clandestine, so as to not to interrupt their natural behavior. I sort of felt like I was tracking wild animals in their native habitat. That sounds strange, I’m sure!
Yes, I used a texture on this one from one of the texture tutorial packages. Note that I won’t do this for everyone, but I wanted to point you to my friend Scotty Graham’s blog in Indonesia, who is re-selling these textures. If you buy from there, he is donating his profits to children that suffered from the earthquakes in Sumatra. Anyway, as you can tell, he’s a nice guy, and his site is certainly worth a visit!