It’s always a good feeling to stumble onto something you really like. It might be an author you’d never heard of before, or an indie garage band called something like ‘Sound of One Hand Clapping’…or it could be India’s best up-and-coming Instagrammer. His name is Pravin Tamang, he’s a Delhi local, and he’s quickly building a reputation in travel circles for his stunning portraits and candid street shots. In a platform that’s saturated with travel content, it’s refreshing to see a genuine talent emerge, and did we mention he has ONLY LIKE 1000 FOLLOWERS!? He’s not even appreciated in his own time – basically the van Gogh of hashtags and filters.
We sat down with Pravin and asked him about his passion: how did he get into photography, and why more and more Delhi locals are starting to see their world through a lens.
1. How did you get into photography?
I was missing out on great photo opportunities because I visited incredible places while leading tours all over India/Nepal. I also used to think that I will memorise these moments in my brain – found out pretty soon that it doesn’t work like that. I was also fascinated by the visuals and bought my first film camera and started shooting and loved it immediately.
2. What gear do you use?
I use Leica M9P when I am shooting on the streets. I use Canon 5D Mark 2 when I need fast auto focus and need to use additional lights.
3. What makes India such a photographer’s dream?
People, Places and Atmosphere – Contradicting and yet interacting to each other and that is what makes India click for photographers. India is home to high mountains, deserts, seas, wildlife and cities that are full of character, so you have variety too if you are looking for it. India also have a great divide and contrasts between sprawling cities and simple rural villages, technology and age old tradition, India hangs on to the spirituality and beliefs at one hand and yet very modern in a of lot sense. I think these things makes India a photographers delight and dream.
4. Any tips to get the best shots from Delhi? Agra?
Delhi is amazing. The city has a rich history and a melting pot of culture and tradition. Delhi has pockets where people from different communities live and these pockets are rich in specific culture and food. Old Delhi : Head out on foot for amazing street shots and real daily life. Don’t be afraid to talk to people because they are not afraid to talk to you J. Agra is a city with rich history and there are plenty of beautiful monuments to prove that. Capturing these monuments can be very interesting project – find the symmetry in architecture and look out for juxtaposition. Shoot Taj Mahal either in the morning or evening, the light reflected on white marble and on the water pool is very beautiful. Head down to the river Yamuna and shoot Taj from a very different angle (try and come out of postcard perception).
5. What are the top five places photographers should check out when in-country?
3. Old Delhi
5. Indian Himalayan regions
6. What’s the local photography scene like?
Technology platforms (social/sharing) and affordable equipment (both camera and phones w/ good camera) have changed the photography scene hugely in India. People are more aware of photography now than ever. There are photography groups – sharing and promoting the art. Photo exhibitions and workshops are being organised making the scene very exciting. The younger generations are keen enthusiasts and eager to help as well in almost every city in India.