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Frame the Fair Photography Fair: Pushkar 2019

Every year, in the wintry months of October-November, Pushkar hosts the largest gathering of not just the cattle-rearing tribals, but also of the photographers- old and new, professional and amateurs. The annual Pushkar Fair is one vibrant affair in the otherwise dreary desert town of Pushkar.

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Darshan Negi

The beautiful lake of Pushkar is located in a valley just about 11 kilometers northwest of Ajmer, surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth. Pushkar forms a fascinating location and a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. Turbaned heads of men, and colorful veils and skirts of the women bring alive the arid desertscape. The town transforms and is decorated in its finery for the five-day mela. These events make for memorable experience of the fair while presenting the photographers with some lovely photo opportunities.

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Jeena Bezbora

Chiiz organized the Frame the Fair Photography Festival 2019- Pushkar Chapter with ZEISS Camera Lenses. Here’s looking back at the photography experience enjoyed by the photographers.

Glamping in Pushkar

The desert affair is incomplete without a stay in the camps that are just the right amount of rustic luxury. With bonfires, local entertainment and a healthy dose of photography, these accommodations were specially equipped with a Photographers’ Lounge which was created exclusively for photographers from Chiiz.

chiiz PushkarPhoto by: Prateek Kashyap

Fun at the Mela Ground

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Mukesh Kumar

The Mela Ground is an absolute treat for the photographers. The mela is replete with fun-filled activities like the camel race, livestock competitions, circus, music concerts, amusement rides, snake-charmers, dancers and acrobat performers which makes for a beautiful and out of the ordinary spectacle perfect for photography.

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Jeena Bezbora

Photography Mentors

While Pushkar Mela is a place to explore and click photographs on your own, a mentor guiding you always works on your favour. This year, we had Aman Chotani, a ZEISS ambassador and a travel & lifestyle photographer with us to guide us through the fair. Also on the team of mentors were the talented and popular among photographers, Pratik Talreja, Sonali Devnani and Shweta Malhotra. All of them guided our photographers whenever needed and had loads of fun in the process!

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Afzal Khan

Village Tour to Deomali

The divine tales of the human spirit breathes in the dormant sands of villages like Deomali. Our team of photographers, headed by Aman Chotani, went to stir up the sands of Deomali for stories untold and did they find treasure. Men and women in their variegated costumes welcomed us with dance performances, traditional turbans and the mandatory daal baati churma. The photographers enjoyed and captured the cultural kaleidoscope that was presented to us.

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Akash Dixit

Local Artist- Shaitan Singh

Having become a regular feature in photographs from Pushkar, Shaitan Singh took the avatar of the majestic Lord Shiva for us this time. The photographers documented how a mortal becomes a God in a matter of moments.
chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Akash Dixit

Photography Lounge

A photography lounge was set up in the camp site exclusively for the photographers to interact and network with each other. The photo gallery dedicated to Pushkar and a photo exhibition by Aman Chotani set the tone for conversation around photography. Brands like Wacom, Future Forward, NiSi Filters and ZEISS had set up their respective stalls for the photographers to test their products and have their cameras repaired. Fun and photography conversations ensued.

chiiz pushkarPhoto by: Prateek Kashyap

Pushkar is not just a fair. It is a sensorial experience. There is the soothing Rajasthani music for your ears, delicious cuisine for the epicurean in you and undeniably great visuals for you to capture. It is an experience you can’t miss.

chiiz Photography Cycling Leh
Chiiz Photographers, Photographer's Talk, Travel,

Travel Photography Trip to Leh: Faiz Sikandar

The road that leads to Leh from Manali is a spectacular route that has been an awe-inspiring adventurous excursion for most of the seekers. A Travel Photography Trip to Leh by Nomadic Expeditions took a group of riders on their bicycles to this amazing journey of uphill and downhill escapades. Faiz Sikandar, from Prayagraj, played a major part in this journey as a cyclist as well as a photographer capturing his dream itinerary.

A freelance wedding, lifestyle photographer & a traveler by choice, Faiz Sikandar is more of an offbeat photographer. His images state the simple stories but never fail to bring out the art within them. Faiz is truly a professional photographer people always look out for. Chiiz talks to Faiz about his photography escapades in the mountains. 

How would you define your style of photography? How was this cycling/ travel photography trip to Leh different?

I prefer placing my subjects in a very wide frame which breaks the frame in uneven proportions and that works for me most of the time. This travel photography trip to Leh tested not only my patience but also the patience of the cyclists. It was difficult at times but beautiful all throughout. One of the cyclists felt it was easy while planning the trip; but since I had been to Leh before, but on a motorcycle, I knew mountains are never easy. This time it was engaging, a lot of time we had to wait for the cyclists to cover a certain distance in a day and they surprised us by covering it earlier or disappointed when they couldn’t finish. But the experience was enthralling.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

Learn to take amazing photographs like this in our travel photography workshop to Ladakh.

What difficulties did you experience with regard to photography, while you were on your trip?

It wasn’t difficult at all, the beauty of the landscapes keep you amazed and entertained. The changes in the temperature and climatic conditions and the altitude keeps the adrenaline in you rushing.

The only thing that crossed my mind then was where to place my subject at, since its such a wide scape you see through the EVF, and at times you miss a few shots and sometimes you make some good ones. Part of the game.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

What are your go-to techniques for shooting in the mountains and what are the things that you refrain from?

Shooting in the mountains excites every photographer. As my go-to technique, not only in the mountains, is to have a wide lens with variable focal length and a wide open aperture. Whenever I’m shooting videos, I keep an ND filter handy, I just plug that thing over my lens and start moving the camera.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

I refrain to shoot a lot. In Leh, you don’t know if you’d get electricity to charge your equipment, or to dump your memory card. So planning your day is very important. Speak to your marshal, the driver, the people around, go for small walks to enjoy but shoot only when it’s necessary.

What were the most visually appealing moments of this trip for you?

To start with, the ride began from Himachal Pradesh, it’s anyway very beautiful. On our way to Leh, most visually appealing places were the Ghata loops, More plains, and Tsokar valley & lake.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

With the knowledge that Ladakh is becoming an increasingly common site for photographers, how did you plan to be different from the rest?

The thought that many photographers around any place make the place common is very funny. A photographer is known for his style, his type of images, rest a lot of photographers are just influenced by them. So there might a lot who go there, but very few who’d shoot something new.

What are your takeaways as a photographer from this cycling trip to Leh?

Mr. Pullarwar, an eminent painter/artist, and a cyclist in the group suggested that life is like riding to Leh. You take one step at a time to cover the mightiest distance. That’s my take away from Leh, to keep moving in my genre, one step at a time.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

 

Learn to take amazing photographs like this in our travel photography workshop to Ladakh.

Kumbh Mela
Travel,

Things to Photograph at the Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is a sacred festival held every three years either in Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik or Allahabad. Pilgrims from all over the world undertake this pilgrimage to purge themselves of their sins by taking a holy bath in the Ganges. Like every other festival in India, it is a riot of colors and textures. No wonder it attracts photographers from all over the world, who come to picture this spectacle. Even the great writer, Mark Twain, was  amazed by the sheer force of faith that brings millions of devotees at the designated river bank.

If Mark Twain could not shrug off the magnificence of the Kumbh Mela, who are we to not take to our cameras? It is but inevitable, that a photographer will, at least once, want to capture this great fair through his lens.

However, when surrounded by brilliance, even the best of the human civilization lose their minds and photographers are no different. It is then imperative to have a plan and know which shots to nail and  which to leave for the last. Of course, as a photographer, you have to let your imagination run loose but then, it is also important to know what visual feasts the place has to offer. The timing, as all photographers will agree, is of utmost importance.

Arrival of the Sadhus:

Photo Credits: Sunny Singh

This makes up half the grand visual feast of the Mela. The ritualistic ‘‘Peshwai’’ processions of the various sects of the Sadhus is a sight that should not be missed.  The crystal clear skies provide for the perfect backdrop to showcase the colors and the rich culture of the Indian religious sects.

The Serenity of the Rivers

kumbh

Photo Credits: Prateek Kashyap

The Kumbh is held along the banks of the holy river,Ganga. The mighty Ganges can be really serene and peaceful, providing solace and peace of mind to the lakhs of pilgrims and visitors that flock its banks for a dip. The banks of the river is a sight to behold and becomes a beautiful muse to photographers, especially during the golden and the blue hours.

The Holy Bath

kumbh mela

Photo Credits: Vitthal Jondhale

The one thing that is in the itinerary of every pilgrim and visitor at Kumbh is taking the holy bath at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It is believed that a bath in the holy waters of Sangam can absolve all sins. This event is a huge affair and photographers from all over the world   

The Crowd at the Kumbh Mela

kumbh

Photo Credits: Mukesh Kumar

Even the bare spectacle of a large crowd gathered at a place makes for a great shot. Think of the thousand shots taken from one of the high rises in Mumbai that capture the crowds moving underneath. But the crowd at the Kumbh Mela is quite different; it is a mix of people from various classes of the Indian society. With fascinating details about the diverse identities of the devotees, this shot makes it a treat for photographers. Like Mark Twain had said, the spectacle of millions from different walks of life can be photographed nowhere better.

The Tent City

Kumbh Mela

Photo Credits: Pramil Dwivedi

This makes for an unforgettable picture, especially when the Kumbh Mela is held at Haridwar, as millions of tents set up to accommodate the Sadhus and the Pilgrims can take one’s breath away, if pictured dexterously under the perfect light against the backdrop of the soaring Himalayas.

The Sadhu at the camp in the morning

Photo Credits: Siddharth Rathod

The Sadhus going through their early morning chores of offering prayers to the river or the occasional sacrificial pyres or just a shot of them sipping morning tea in each other’s company is worth getting up early, even in the cold winter mornings.

A portrait of a Naga Sadhu Smoking

Photo Credits: Sumit Goel

This has been photographed countless number of times and is almost a cliche, however, when pictured well, this shot has the power to tell great stories to the viewers of the photo. The swirling smoke emanating from the clay ‘chillums’ of the naked, ash covered Sadhus never gets old and stops people dead in their tracks, at every art gallery they are displayed at. Make sure that you, somehow, always manage to keep the Sadhu’s eyes in focus, for they glow bright with stories untold.

The Sadhus decked in Marigold garlands

Photo Credits: Puja Bansal

The shot of the ash-smeared bodies of the Sadhus, decked in flaming marigold garlands is one that has every photographer in the throes of pain, lest they fail to capture it. The stark contrast of the orange and the yellow of the flowers against the grey bodies of the Sadhus are sure to attract everyone’s attention to your photo.

So, go ahead and click those amazing photos which show the cultural depth of India. The colors, the splendor, the various textures that are a treat to the photographers, are also proof of the medley of colors that represent our country and culture.

 

Utsha Roy is an English Honors student and an aspiring photographer. She hopes to be travelling the world taking pictures and writing stories of the people she meets on the way. She believes that we are all here to tell great stories and it is our duty to make them as colorful and vivid as possible. 

Travel, Uncategorized,

Treks ‘n Rapids: The Number One Adventure Holidays Company in India

Earlier this year, a prestigious business management centre in India conducted an independent market research on ‘Emerging Trends in Adventure Tourism Industry in India’, among the key findings Treks ‘n Rapids was adjudged India’s Number One Adventure Holidays Company. Treks ‘n Rapids was also voted as the Most Trusted Adventure Tourism and Experiential Learning Brand in India, with the highest brand recall. The other key findings of the research were that White Water Rafting came out as the most preferred adventure sport followed by Rock Climbing.

The research was conducted by a team at International Management Institute, New Delhi on a sample base of 357 respondents in the age group of 22 – 28 years, comprising of graduate and postgraduate youth from across India. Various other leading adventure tourism and leisure holiday companies from across India were covered while conducting this market research.

Treks ‘n Rapids, founded by the alumni of Harvard Business School and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS, Mumbai) in 2002 is India’s first 360 degree adventure sports and active holiday brand. The company has been voted Number One Adventure Tourism Company in India on 9 occasions, since its inception, in separate independent market researches conducted by institutions of high repute and credibility. It is also the only Indian brand in the tourism industry to be showcased as a case study in business management by the Harvard Business Review publication.

Also Read: Pushkar Mela – 8 Reasons to Visit Pushkar Fair

The company provides virtually every imaginable service and product related to adventure travel including river rafting on all major rivers of India, trekking expeditions across the Himalayas and Sahyadris, wildlife safaris and birding, aero sports, camping at various exotic locations in India, scuba diving courses, adventure camps for school children, corporate experiential learning programs, astrophotography and bird photography workshops, and an extensive range of international adventure gear. Treks ‘n Rapids operates from New Delhi, Rishikesh and Mumbai in India with plans to expand to other cities.

 

Contributed by: Treks ‘n Rapids

https://treksnrapids.com/

Travel,

Pushkar Mela – 8 Reasons to Visit Pushkar Fair

Pushkar Mela, commonly known as the camel fair is held for a period of five to seven days in the town of Pushkar. According to Hindu scriptures, Pushkar is one of the holiest lakes and is situated approximately eleven kilometers from Ajmer in Rajasthan. The fair is usually celebrated during October- November on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. This annual mela is one of the biggest gatherings of Rajasthan that draws numerous tourists and travelers from all around the world. Here are some of the reasons that make the fair world famous and a must-visit for all those who have not yet been to this fair.

  • Pushkar – One of the largest livestock trading fair in the world 

In this colorful extravaganza, not only do travelers and tourists but also herders and nomads come together in large numbers for selling and buying the livestock. It is the domesticated animal market for the trading of all kinds of livestock and is the largest camel trading fair in the world. It is once in a lifetime experience to see and capture in your camera, thousands of cattle and camels together all adorned in vibrant colors at the same place.

Pic Credits: Haresh Patel

 

  • Collection of some congenial handicrafts and souvenirs for shopaholics 

You can purchase enormous colorful souvenirs and handicrafts from the fair. A number of makeshift stalls are set up in the fair which sells items that will definitely catch your eyes.

Pic Credits: Partha Pratim Saha

  • Hot air balloon-ing 

Indulge in the hot air balloon ride in Pushkar and get a full and wide view of the fair from one of those balloons. Vibrant colors of the balloons and watching the buzzing activities from above will give your eyes an amazing panoramic view. Along with this, you can also try some other astonishing activities like horse riding, bike riding among others.

Pic Credits: Mukesh Kumar

 

  • Desert camping 

One of the best things to enjoy in the Pushkar Mela is the camping experience. Staying together, singing and group dancing with other people will give you an everlasting experience in your hearts and will leave you with some lovely memories.

Pic Credits: Saransh Pithauria

  • Camel cart ride at Pushkar

Camel cart ride is like an add-on for the enjoyment. Do go for a gaily decorated camel cart ride in the fair.

 

Pic Credits: Pranab Basak

 

  • The uncommon and peculiar competitions 

There are some unusual competitions that take place in the Pushkar Mela such as ‘turban tying competition’, ‘matki phod competition’, and  ‘longest mustache competition’, etc. These events enhance the entire experience of the fair, simultaneously gifting amazing opportunities to the photographers to capture.

Pic Credits: Partha Pratim Saha

Also Read : STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: SUBTLE ART OF SHOOTING THE STREETS

  • Delicious Rajasthani cuisine 

It’s a great opportunity for the foodies to satisfy and please their taste buds with all sorts of Rajasthani cuisine along with enjoying all other activities. Kachori, Churma, and many other Rajasthani dishes are a must try at the fair.

Pic Credits: Jastej Reen

 

  • Vibrant culture 

Pic Credits: Chandan Dey

Rajasthan is full of pleasurable activities and the culture is undoubtedly the highlight of the Pushkar Mela. You get to witness the beauty and originality of Rajasthan. Apart from this, it all satisfies your inner wanderlust and the traveler inside you.

Photographers from all around the world give a lot of preference to this fair and come to the Pushkar Mela on a large scale. So much so, that it has become a pilgrimage of sorts to photographers.

 

 

Written By : Urvi Bareja

writer: Urvi BarejaUrvi Bareja is always fascinated by literature and photography. In her spare time, she enjoys eating good food and watching web series.