Dispatches: Zdravstvujtye Namaste

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Red Square_2009_1670

Reminiscing continues here on the JSP blog this week….

I’m all for finding photographic opportunities close to home, a la Stuart Sipahigil.

That said, whenever it comes to end of October, I can’t help but think back to one of my most relished trips. Back in 2009, right around this time of year, I was returning from a work-led excursion to Russia (Moscow, Kazan, Saratov) and India (Mumbai, Chandigharh, Baddi), with a quick, 24-hour stop off in Paris. It was one of the most amazing travel and personal experiences of my life.

Heading into the trip, I remember I was actually nervous. I had never been so far from home, going into such uncharted territories and people. Armed with my travel guides, multiple of anti-infection shots and malaraia drugs, and my Canon 20D, I was certainly looking forward to the adventure.

And an adventure it was. New people, new foods (still regret not trying horse in Kazan – hey, it’s accepted there!), new places I never thought I’d get to. I stood in Red Square in dawn’s early light and was the only person on the planet there at time. I stood in the middle of Chor Bazaar in Mumbai thinking I never expected to ever, ever, EVER be in such an exotic place (and remember, I had already been to Bora Bora…)

I had many takeaways from this trip but one that really stands out is the people. Beautiful light, beautiful people, interesting portraits.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Russian Soldier_2009_2013_MG_1683

Some street photography as well…locals and tourists, in Red Square, throwing coins into Lobnoye Mesto or Place of Skulls. The GUM department store facade is in the background.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Lobnoye mesto_2009_MG_1654

Walking Saratov

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Dan In Saratov_2009 2013_2425

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Mother Russia_2013_2436

The second leg of our trip took us through a brief layover in Turkey, and then onto India. We landed about 4:30 in the morning, and could see the smoke still lingering over the city. Gathered our gear, headed to our hotel, the Taj Mahal – the same one hit by the terrorists in 2008. Getting out of the taxi around 7 a.m., dropping our gear, and heading out for a look around. My lens kept fogging up because of the humidity, but I was able to grab one of my favorite shots – of the Gateway To India – ever.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Gateway to India_2009 2013_2836

Again, the warm people and smiling faces…

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Mechant Girl_2009 2013_2934

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Merchant_2009 2013_MG_2990

Later we would head to Baddi, at the base of the Himalayas. I watched this woman direct her 10 head of cattle through a mountain lake. Like something out of the magazine with the yellow border, in real life…

Shepard woman3_bw_MG_3488

Two places, as different as can be, on one two-week adventure. So while the air gets cooler and the witches, goblins and Jersey Devils start to chatter at this time of year, my thoughts often to back to one of my favorite adventures of all time.

Close to home is good…really, really far from home is pretty special too sometimes.

Beautiful light is universal.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013

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