dastodd

12 Jan 2010 824 views
 
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photoblog image Kolkata Life

Kolkata Life

On my next to last day in Kolkata this past week I went down to the flower market at 6:30am to really experience the commotion of the flower sellers and all the various activity. It was a beautiful thing. While I was there I saw this woman at a small stall selling bags so that you could carry any flowers you bought. I had bought a few so I went up to buy a bag. She didn't speak English but was trying to talk to me. She also did not seem to be speaking Bengali and my friend with me had no idea what language it was. I indicated that I wanted to take her picture and she readily agreed. However, right after I took it she asked for money. But I had nothing left except for a 1 Rp coin. I offered it to her and she became angry and seemed insulted that I would offer her so little. In spite of all that, I am quite happy with how the photo turned out. I think she has a really remarkable face.

Now on a down note. The next day at the end of my trip while traveling back through Delhi my camera bag was stolen at the airport along with my camera. It was really heart breaking and I am not sure when I will be able to afford another. In the meantime, I will keep posting photos from the trip. They should last me for a while.

Kolkata Life

On my next to last day in Kolkata this past week I went down to the flower market at 6:30am to really experience the commotion of the flower sellers and all the various activity. It was a beautiful thing. While I was there I saw this woman at a small stall selling bags so that you could carry any flowers you bought. I had bought a few so I went up to buy a bag. She didn't speak English but was trying to talk to me. She also did not seem to be speaking Bengali and my friend with me had no idea what language it was. I indicated that I wanted to take her picture and she readily agreed. However, right after I took it she asked for money. But I had nothing left except for a 1 Rp coin. I offered it to her and she became angry and seemed insulted that I would offer her so little. In spite of all that, I am quite happy with how the photo turned out. I think she has a really remarkable face.

Now on a down note. The next day at the end of my trip while traveling back through Delhi my camera bag was stolen at the airport along with my camera. It was really heart breaking and I am not sure when I will be able to afford another. In the meantime, I will keep posting photos from the trip. They should last me for a while.

comments (74)

  • Ajay
  • India
  • 12 Jan 2010, 00:38
That is really sad to know, Charles. Hope you will have a new camera soon.

A beautiful portrait... no doubt.
Charles Dastodd: thank you, I hope so too. thanks for commenting
That's a striking image, and glad you where able to take it. But remember, they always expect to be rewarded. I once had a Turk run after me because I photographed his camel but didn't pay him... ha ha :0

Too bad about your gear sad
Charles Dastodd: i found that it was sort of hit or miss. sometimes I found people eager for me to take their picture and other times people just stared at me. only a few times did people actually ask me for money in exchange for a picture.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 12 Jan 2010, 01:09
This is a charming portrait Charles
Charles Dastodd: thanks smile
  • Steven
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 01:37
A nice capture of warm colors and a warm smile which is cropped nicely around her face. Sorry to hear about the camera and bag. You must have had a memory card separate from the camera and equipment in order to share this capture.
Charles Dastodd: thanks steven. yes, I was uploading my photos everyday - sometimes multiple times a day - I think I have over 4,000 photos from just a 10 day trip. I only lost 50-100 from the last morning while I was packing and heading to the airport.
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 01:57
Exceptional portrait. I like her brilliantly colored clothing.
Charles Dastodd: thanks! I like the colors as well
I am so sorry your camera was stolen... I would be devastated... sad
Charles Dastodd: thank you. it was devestating
  • Claudia
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 02:40
What a stunning portrait and I love the close up framing of it. Gorgeous golds and oranges too!
Charles Dastodd: thank you Claudia.
  • linerberry
  • New Zealand (Aotearoa)
  • 12 Jan 2010, 02:42
This is quite a remarkable protrait with a great story behind it!
I am so sorry to hear about your camera being stolen...thats horrible!! Hope things sort themselves out soon!
Charles Dastodd: thank you so much for the kind words!
  • bishop
  • Houston
  • 12 Jan 2010, 04:12
I am glad you took this shot before she started insulting you!
As an Indian myself it pains me to know that your camera was stolen at the New Delhi airport. Hope you can get yourself a new one soon.
Charles Dastodd: Thanks for the comment! I don't feel that I was insulted. I realize that there are differences and I always tried to be sensitive to those. But I realize that doesn't always work out smile
Firstly a remarkable portrait, expertly captured with such a photogenic face speaking to me from the pixels.

The unfortunate thing about modern day photography is that we are so vulnerable, as we stroll around with camera bags stuffed full of expensive items. Thieves the world over know that a camera and a lens, some flash cards and other accessories can have a street value of $1,000 and upwards. I've had several occasions when I've felt uncomfortable as certain people have approached me, and one instance in London when it almost turned to violence with four people who wanted my gear.

I'm really sorry to hear that your equipment has been stolen, not least because, if you're anything like me, you become quite attached to specific items, it's not just a camera and a lens.
Charles Dastodd: thank you very much for your lovely comment. It was my first SLR and I had only had it for a month, but I definitely had found a new friend in it so it was indeed painful to lose.
  • B. Thomas
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 04:51
Very nice shot.
Charles Dastodd: thanks!
The beautiful light is matched by the light and heart that's coming through her eyes and smile. Beautiful and warm.
Charles Dastodd: Thanks Stephane. I must say that she had as much light in real life as well which is why I wanted to take her picture.
  • Yvon
  • Orléans France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 05:28
wonderful and lovely portrait
I was in Kolkata, 1 month ago
have a nice day
Charles Dastodd: thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment smile how did you find the city?
  • Zing
  • 12 Jan 2010, 05:45
Beautiful portrait. Sorry to hear about your camera.
Charles Dastodd: thanks for the comment!
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 12 Jan 2010, 05:55
A wonderful portrait and I am so sorry you lost all your gear, I hope you are able to save some money for getting new equipment.
Charles Dastodd: Hi Astrid, thanks for the kind words. I hope so too!
Amazing image, such a great face
Charles Dastodd: Thank you - I agree that her face is incredible
Beautiful portrait. Excellent!
Charles Dastodd: Thank you Olivier
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 12 Jan 2010, 07:22
Really bad luck about the camera sad

great portrait though
Charles Dastodd: Thanks Zed.
I'm so sorry about your camera! That is a terrible loss...This is a lovely portrait though.
Charles Dastodd: Thank you for the comment
  • k@
  • Germany
  • 12 Jan 2010, 08:04
Oh this is superb, what a nice smile and colors are as sweet as her expression !
Charles Dastodd: Thank you so much and thanks for stopping by grin
  • Lili
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 08:16
Very beautiful portrait with very good framing. Colors are great.
sorry for your camera...
Charles Dastodd: Thank you
Clearly a happy soul and a great portrait Charles.
Charles Dastodd: Hi Chad, thanks for the comment
Beautiful portrait. Great detail and crop
Charles Dastodd: Thank you smile
Yes it did! shows that a little initiative towards other people gets beautiful results!

Wow!
Charles Dastodd: thanks smile
  • Sarito
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 12 Jan 2010, 09:48
An excellent portrait..

Really sorry to hear that your camera was stolen.. Hope you can get one soon.

Sarito
Charles Dastodd: thank you. I hope so too
What a heartfelt smile. Grat portrait.
Charles Dastodd: thanks for the comment
  • jpla
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 10:04
Superbe portrait ! JP
Charles Dastodd: Thanks!
Wow what a beautiful colors! People say that the face is the mirror of the soul, and there is something false in her face (her smile is not sincere).
Too bad about your camera!
Charles Dastodd: heh, thanks Armando. I do think there is great depth in this face. I sort of wondered if she might ask for money. I never knew what to expect when people readily offered. Most of the time they just seemed amused to see an American walked around with such a big camera. Kolkata does not get nearly as many tourists as places like Delhi and Mumbai and Goa so I felt like I stood out a bit more.
A great portrait. Sorry to here about the camera. You must have been gutted.
Charles Dastodd: thank you, it was indeed devastating
Such a wonderful portrait!
Charles Dastodd: Thank you so much Richard!!
  • mhelene
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 10:59
A superb portrait !! The expression is very well captured and great colors !
Charles Dastodd: thank you, you are very kind
  • grouser
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 12 Jan 2010, 11:35
Beautiful portrait. Sad story. I had a similar experience with my camera, bag, diary/sketchbook and exposed film stolen off a train in northern India. Often re lived and regretted. At least you have the pictures. Was the memory card separate?
Charles Dastodd: I was uploading my pictures everyday thankfully - I think I took around 4,000 or more. not sure yet how many are actually usable. I only lost a 100 or so on the last day which I had not yet had a chance to upload. thanks for the comment!
:-( I am so sorry about your camera Charles. Funny story and beautiful picture. Looking forward to the rest of the pictures.
Charles Dastodd: thank you so much!
  • crash
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 12:52
ouch! sorry to hear about your stolen gear! wonderful capture here ... great expression!
Charles Dastodd: thanks for the comment smile
Excellent shot Charles but what a sorry tale about your camera.
Charles Dastodd: Hi Brian, thanks for the comment. I do appreciate it.
Beautiful portrait and sometimes hard a photographer's life. Cheers and thank you so much for coming.
Charles Dastodd: That's the part of being an amateur photographer that no one tells you about sad thanks for the comment
Great portrait, so sorry to hear about your camera, it so not fair!
Charles Dastodd: I agree Linda. thanks!
Great portrait, like how the eyes are tack sharp. Sorry about your camera, you could always build a pin holesmile
Charles Dastodd: hah! I may try that if I can't get a new one
  • Dilwenn
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 15:04
Un très beau portrait! Des yeux souriants!
Désolée pour votre matériel!
Charles Dastodd: thanks for the comment smile
  • Shahryar
  • Iran
  • 12 Jan 2010, 15:17
great portrait smile
Charles Dastodd: thank you
  • Diane
  • Canada
  • 12 Jan 2010, 15:32
Oh what a shame to have had your camera stolen! This woman's photo is really terrific. Great job.
Charles Dastodd: yes, Diane, it was really painful. thanks for the comment
  • don
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 16:23
A fine close up of this pleasant looking vendor.
Too bad the financial exchange ended on a sour note. The camera loss is so sad.
Charles Dastodd: it was indeed. the sad thing was that I didn't mind offering her something, I just honestly didn't have anything left in my wallet to give her and I had no way to tell her that I was just not being cheap!
A wonderful close up Charles. Obviously not one of Kolkata's very poorest living on the streets all day long. I have posted a few of my images when I visited Kolkata two years ago.

richard
Charles Dastodd: thanks Richard, I will have a look. the poverty in Kolkata is indeed striking. I think it is surprising that Kolkata is so far behind Delhi and Mumbai since it is the 2nd biggest city in the country.
  • Oscar
  • spain
  • 12 Jan 2010, 16:47
Nice close-up. i like the colours and the light
Charles Dastodd: thank you Oscar!
  • Alan
  • Southampton. UK
  • 12 Jan 2010, 17:11
I'm so sorry to hear about your camera and bag; was it not insured? A very colourful and striking image.
Charles Dastodd: I did not have specific insurance on the camera, but the credit card that purchased my plane tickets should provide some travel insurance. I am looking into it now and hoping for the best.
  • MARIANA
  • Canada
  • 12 Jan 2010, 17:13
wonderful portrait . bravo !
Charles Dastodd: Thank you Mariana!! grin
  • vilas
  • India
  • 12 Jan 2010, 17:39
a superb portrait with minute details are also revealed so nicely that the colors are also seen in their natural form. Great work! Keep-it-up!
Charles Dastodd: thank you very much. I like the colors as well. I think that is what drew me to her.
  • Fabrice
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 18:00
You make stunning portraits, Charles. Honestly.
Very successful!
Charles Dastodd: thank you so much for your kind words smile
What a great portrait, I like the details of her face
Charles Dastodd: thanks!!!
excellent work, framing, lighting and sxpression catching
Charles Dastodd: thanks for the comment and for stopping by smile
  • theys
  • Belgium
  • 12 Jan 2010, 18:23
Beautiful portrait,good shotting!
Charles Dastodd: thank you smile
cracking portrait shot Charles and i think a mono version would be better still, soz to hear about the camera not covered by travel insurance?
Charles Dastodd: Hi Tim, thank you. I may try a B&W and see what I think. I was really drawn to her colors in the first place so that is why I left it. I am waiting to hear about travel insurance but keeping my fingers crossed.
Nice story Charles.. but sorry for the camera... The expression of the bengali lady is lively.. great shot.
Charles Dastodd: thank you so much smile
That is such a shame having your camera stolen. I hope you are able to get another soon.
Charles Dastodd: It was quite painful Bill to lose it after such a short time. I may have to wait a month or more before I know if I can get a new one.
  • Val37
  • Tours
  • 12 Jan 2010, 19:53
A very expressive portrait ! I like the angle ! Very nice shot !
Charles Dastodd: Thanks! I appreciate the feedback smile
  • Aurore
  • Paris
  • 12 Jan 2010, 20:31
What a lovely portrait !! Love it, congrats !!
Charles Dastodd: Thank you Aurore. I really appreciate it as this is about my favorite photo from the trip grin
  • Zeinab
  • Iran
  • 12 Jan 2010, 21:33
Great portrait. Seems that she is happy for being your subject. Lucky you
Charles Dastodd: heh, she was indeed eager for me to take her picture. she had so much energy and joy it seemed
  • eva
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 22:02
a great portrait !
Charles Dastodd: thank you for the comment!
  • kiki
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 22:28
I like the tight centring and the colors ! beautiful portrait !
Thanks for your passage on my page !
Charles Dastodd: thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment!
Charles this is a great story and I am sorry for your loss. This happened to me too while travelling, the photo and money story I mean. They are seasoned professionals aren't they? I do not mind offering money though. I hope you are able to re-purchase your camera gear soon.
Charles Dastodd: yeah, I don't mind offering money either. I just felt bad that I had already spent all the cash in my pocket for the morning. I hadn't expected to need any so early and there were no ATMs around. thanks for commenting.
  • rian
  • United States
  • 13 Jan 2010, 01:24
yikes! talk about highway robbery.. smile but at least you got this great snap.. smile
Charles Dastodd: thanks rian. yeah, I was pleased. I think I got the better end of the deal grin
a powerful portrait. the framing, POV, exposure worked very well here. thanks for sharing your story, too. I'd love to visit India, land of wonders, one day.
lovely portrait..
  • Vikram
  • United States
  • 21 Jan 2010, 07:55
Excellent work! Love the way you have framed it and managed to capture candid expressions!
  • STEED
  • Germany
  • 3 Feb 2010, 07:36
This portrait is excellent....So real....
  • pierrotbischo
  • France
  • 5 Feb 2010, 07:26
très joli portrait
  • JMS*
  • Thailand
  • 16 Feb 2010, 03:37
Des aventures de voyages avec ces aléas et ces bonheurs rencontrés.
Bien beau portrait !
  • Toni
  • United States
  • 16 Feb 2010, 06:00
I'm so sorry to hear about your lost camera and other gear, Charles. You must have just felt so sick when you realized it was gone. You might want to check into buying some used equipment from BH Photo Video or elsewhere until you can get the camera you want...again. Great portrait, though!
  • yz
  • 16 Feb 2010, 08:14
stunning portrait, i like the expression very much and the creative framing
Ce portrait est magnifique....un beau voyage que tu as fait là, et je découvre ce marché aux fleurs somptueux...des guirlandes de soucis, quelle merveille !!! merci pour cette découverte et ce partage
  • Barb
  • United States
  • 18 Feb 2010, 14:08
Exceptional and well framed portrait. The color of her clothing and skin tones are stunning. A winning image.
Unfortunate that this trip and beautiful images cost you your camera and gear.
I can understand your heartbreak, and to know you only had the camera one month.
I do hope good things come your way in acquiring a new camera.
Sorry to hear of the theft Charles sad This is an admirable portrait of a very interesting character.
  • chris
  • United States
  • 22 Feb 2010, 23:38
Superb portrait. Such a lovely open expression and nice soft light.
Very nice portrait with good expression !
Lot of hot colors inside that pic!

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