dastodd

18 Mar 2010 629 views
 
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photoblog image Kolkata Life

Kolkata Life

While I was in India I knew I wanted to buy a tabla set. A tabla is a small percussion instrument used in classical Indian music. They come in pairs of different pitches and are played with the palm of your hand and your fingers. You can buy pairs in different sizes. Some larger ones, like the ones in the background here, are easier to play because of the larger surface area. I bought a smaller set since that is all I could fit into my suitcase.

After I picked a pair out they needed to tune the higher pitched one. This happened by inserting several small wooded pegs into the bands around the edge and then sliding them up or down into place in order to get the right pitch. You can see the man here as he puts the pegs into place.

For more portraits in this series click here.

Kolkata Life

While I was in India I knew I wanted to buy a tabla set. A tabla is a small percussion instrument used in classical Indian music. They come in pairs of different pitches and are played with the palm of your hand and your fingers. You can buy pairs in different sizes. Some larger ones, like the ones in the background here, are easier to play because of the larger surface area. I bought a smaller set since that is all I could fit into my suitcase.

After I picked a pair out they needed to tune the higher pitched one. This happened by inserting several small wooded pegs into the bands around the edge and then sliding them up or down into place in order to get the right pitch. You can see the man here as he puts the pegs into place.

For more portraits in this series click here.

comments (31)

  • Elaine-
  • Canada
  • 18 Mar 2010, 00:12
very interesting, but why is the man blonde? lol isn't it in india? sorry was that a racist question, just curious.. neat looking drums...
Charles Dastodd: lol, he's not blonde at all, actually. that is just the light reflecting in his hair. It was near sunset and the sun was low in the sky and shining into the workspace from outside. I think his hair was going grey and the intense light on it just makes him look blonde smile
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 18 Mar 2010, 00:13
Excellent image of the cottage artist at work, Charles.
  • JJ
  • United States
  • 18 Mar 2010, 00:34
Super shot of him doing the tuning, I got a Table set when I was there, but lost it somewhere along the way,
Lovely study of traditional craftsman, the pools of light give it a wonderful ambience.
guess he does not need a spare set of hands, great shot
Interesting musical instrument, Charles. I can imagine the sounds they make as I recall the classical music of India. The sun provided you with great light in this shot.
One of my favorite musical instruments .. nice one !
This is an amazing story with a wonderful photo illustrating it. I would have wanted one of these tabla sets myself! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!
one of the things i love about photographs from India is the clothing - it's also so unique. i love his soft plaid pants.
opps i meant the clothing is 'always' so unique.
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America
  • 18 Mar 2010, 03:52
He's more useful than being ambidextroussmile
Fascinating info, Charles, and nice selective focus on the tabla centrally situated works very well here.
Wow, that is an interesting image and story. I like how the large upside-down one is centered.
I am really enjoying your series on India.
Colors, light and composition are all superb Charles!
  • tede
  • France
  • 18 Mar 2010, 06:25
A true artist who works with feet and hands. Beautiful golden light. Nice day.
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 18 Mar 2010, 07:10
Always like to see a tradesman practice his craft
the light fall in this photo is nice
  • Chris
  • England
  • 18 Mar 2010, 08:18
Great stuff Charles: I'd love to play one of these things
  • Carlib
  • France
  • 18 Mar 2010, 09:56
How intersting!
I didn't know about those instruments!
Good lighting!
Cheers, Charles!
A wonderful portrait of a man at work Charles! The light is superb.
  • Marie
  • France
  • 18 Mar 2010, 10:56
Another wonderful capture ! You have a real talent to capture the scene of the life ! Superb lightning work and I love the warmth tonalities ! Compliments !
It is very interesting as they use their feet to hold ...
Charles Dastodd: yeah, I couldn't believe that he held it like that and just worked so naturally. i was quite impressed smile
  • don
  • United States
  • 18 Mar 2010, 15:50
An interesting shot of this craftsman adjusting the pitch of your drum. I like the detail and natural looking color of the shot. Well done.
Lovely to have such a hand-crafted product, Charles.
  • k@
  • France
  • 18 Mar 2010, 20:48
The light over his face is not the same than the one over his feet and here he is Double man, love this*
  • rian
  • United States
  • 18 Mar 2010, 21:24
it's a groovy 'ol gramps making these instruments.. that's a nice slice of life you captured.. well done.. smile
  • Otto K.
  • United States
  • 18 Mar 2010, 23:57
that's so cool.
Great capture Charles. I can see from the camera details some difficult trade off decisions had to me made with regard to shutter speed vs aperture (I have a Nikon and want to avoid shooting over ISO800 either). I think you chose well.
  • Toni
  • United States
  • 20 Mar 2010, 04:37
That's really fascinating, Charles. Sounds like the trip of a life time.
  • kyungmee
  • United States
  • 20 Mar 2010, 15:21
I like this..fun image & interesting!

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for this photo I'm in a positive comments icon ShMood©
camera NIKON D40
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/80s
aperture f/4.2
sensitivity ISO800
focal length 60.0mm
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