Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Passion for Photography

What are you passionate about? Not counting family, what makes your heart sing, makes you smile when no one is looking?

These thoughts crossed my mind while I was processing my Timeless India portfolio for the Review Santa Fe event in June. It was so exciting for me to convert the colorful images to black and white, exciting to tweak the sliders to give them the look of an antique plate. And looking at these people once again on my screen excited me. I touched the screen where the little girl's face looked up at me and I recalled being in her village in Rajasthan. I fell back into my chair and grinned from ear to ear remembering an exchange with the Gujurati Hijaras.

What I love about travel photography is that is gathers all the things I feel most passionate about: experiencing something new, meeting people from cultures very different from mine, making photographs and later processing them, then sharing the experience with others. This is my raison d'etre'.

Let me tell you a little bit about the hijaras of India. For the most part they are eunuchs, but some are transvestites who have opted into this way of life. The hijaras in the photograph below (I have posted both the color photo and the black and white version from Timeless India) had low voices so we assumed that they fell into the latter category. They are considered to be auspicious people and are welcome at weddings and births to offer their powerful blessings - for a fee, of course. Lisl Dennis and I offered these two hijaras twice their normal fee to sit and pose for us - 40 cents! - for the honor to have them sit for a moment on the stoop of a shop in a small village in Gujarat. I love their gestures and the intense eye contact. The moment we finished photographing them, the Muslim call to prayer wafted through the village and I realized...I am living my dream; this is such a glorious moment.

Tell me one of your glorious moments!

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