night & day

In November 2015 I led a group of 14 people in the first ever Photo Tour for the leading luxury tour operator KUONI This new type of photographic holiday embraced all levels of photographic skill and combined the best of KUONI's award winning itinerary with special prearranged photo opportunities and one to one tuition. Throughout the tour, which travelled to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi, we were joined by one of KUONI's most knowledgable guides Vikram Rathore This Steller Story shows some of the images I captured during the tour Join us in Vietnam in 2017 ALL PICTURES made with the Olympus OMD EM1 camera

Come and see the exhibition in London For private view tickets visit

As I'm sure someone much more notable than I must have said at some time before, a portrait is a glimpse of someone's life a sense of who they are, which they gift to you, the photographer. It's mostly down to the subject, what you end up with. Who we are, how we carry ourselves, how respectful or gentle we are, how we appear to them, plays a big part in what they give us. Many people talk of visiting India using phrases like 'life changing' and 'epiphany'. Of course I was moved by the scale of the poverty, which to be fair, we only glimpsed a fraction of. Had we actually walked through the slums of Delhi, I think we would have witnessed another level of deprivation. Perhaps its too soon to say, I doubt the visit will change my life but I do hope that my immersion, even if just for 2 weeks, in this very different culture, will improve my understanding of humanity All the same, it was an incredible journey, and it felt like a real journey as opposed to the usual trip or holiday. I've enjoyed shooting street portraits for a few years now, mostly in Europe. For me, they not only show others who I saw and met, but what I liked, what struck me as beautiful. Sometimes these 'meetings' are fleeting and sometimes not so brief. Of course, when you share a language and know someone well, you can get behind the layers and fronts we put up for strangers. But the human brain works fast, blindin, and sometimes I think a person can decide to gift you with a profoundly true vision of themselves within just a few seconds, And it's in this regard I found India to be quite unlike anywhere I've been before. I was expecting the people to be amazing, I was expecting to be impressed by their humanity, their joy for life amidst seemingly impossible circumstances, and that's exactly what I saw. But what surprised me was the sheer unadulterated honesty they gave me and my lens and how their gifts seem to take on an extra level of depth and sincerity I've not seen in the street portraits I've made of Europeans. With modern day travel, some places, let's face it, can be a tad 'forgettable'. India is quite the opposite and for photographers, it's a special country. It almost seems obligatory these days for photographers or commentators to explain what's behind their pictures. Often this practice seems to be more about giving the work more validity in the 'serious' world of art photography. These pictures have no design or agenda, they are simply my collection of the most visually interesting people and scenes I came across, my edit of the experience. What I try to do when making portraits is to show whatever that person wants to give me and if I'm lucky, that can be quite a lot. Not quite straight documents, I usually try to capture the 'nicer side' of people's characters, but even if they're somehow resisting my charms, a serious demeanour can still make for an arresting image.

Our guide Vikram S Rathore Join me on future photo tours and workshops #peoplewatching #india #blackandwhite #colour #landscape #travel #travelphotography #portraits

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