Monday, January 24, 2011

India: Amber Fort Jaipur

Over the weekend, I was in Jaipur for the Ring Ceremony. The next day, I took a trip to the Amber Fort, nearby. I had been there twice before, but this time I was determined to take an elephant ride to the top. The first trip, I refused to pay (900 rupees, about $20), the second trip I got there at 11:30, and the elephants stop working at that time. THIS time I was determined to get there in time, and ride an elephant. I made it!

India: Salil and Aditi, Ring Ceremony in Jaipur

We traveled from Udaipur to Jaipur this weekend, for the formal engagement ceremony for Salil and Aditi. It was a great night...and I tried very hard to capture the evening, despite the fact that I had NO idea what to expect. According to the Salil's father at the time of this posting, they are thrilled with the photos. Whew!

Basically, this is a ceremony where they present each other with engagement rings, and each side of the family brings gifts for the other side. The formal photos were taken on a stage, while a videographer shone a light onto the groups, and filmed at the same time. A photographer was also there to get formal still shots of each group, as well as candids of the crowd.

It was a very different style of shooting than I have seen before. Think of a receiving line, where each guest files onto the stage to congratulate and greet the couple. Before you leave the stage on the other side, you turn and pose for the photographer for several shots. It takes some time, but eventually everyone files across the stage, all the correct groupings of people are documented, and then they move on to the rest of the night. They had a cake cutting, and fed each other, and then a buffet dinner was served.

So, what I was doing, basically, was taking available light shots while everyone was on stage paying attention to the other photographer. It was really hard lugging the camera equipment around, the bag I brought for this trip is the backpack...which although padded and can be carried onto a plane (instead of checked), is REALLY inconvenient to get things out of. Anyway...I think I did pretty well, especially for kinda winging it in a situation I had no prior information about, and no one was thinking about me as a hired photographer.

The official photographer, and the bright light from the video camera.