In this twenty-third archive story by Kristian Bertel, we learn what is behind an intimate portrait taken in Chawri Bazar Rd in Old Delhi, India. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
A photograph of an elderly Indian man with a hardened expression on his face was portrayed in Old Delhi, India. For the photographer these salient photographic moments offer some rare visages of India, a vast land that is most examined only through news reports of insurrection, poverty and famine. Rather than viewing the Indian culture as an indistinguishable whole, the photographer carefully focuses on the varied life journeys and life of the people he has encountered.
A photograph of an elderly Indian man with a hardened expression on his face was portrayed in Old Delhi, India. For the photographer these salient photographic moments offer some rare visages of India, a vast land that is most examined only through news reports of insurrection, poverty and famine. Rather than viewing the Indian culture as an indistinguishable whole, the photographer carefully focuses on the varied life journeys and life of the people he has encountered.

Chawri Bazar Rd portraiture

Chawri Bazar is a specialized wholesale market of brass, copper and paper products. Established in 1840, with a hardware market, it was the first wholesale market of Old Delhi it lies to the west of Jama Masjid in Delhi. It can be reached by taking the street just near the middle projection of Jama Masjid's western rear wall. It was accessible via the Chawri Bazar underground station of the Delhi Metro. The street is named after a Marathi word chawri, which means meeting place.

Chawri Bazar a very busy road in Delhi, India
The street got this name mainly because here a sabha or meeting would take place in front of a noble's house and he would try settling the disputes before it would reach the emperor. A second reason is probably that a gathering used to get organized when a respected dancer performed and showed the finer nuances of her skill. The whole ambience of the street however got changed after the 1857 war when British destroyed many huge mansions of the nobles. Built of Lakhori bricks, a small canon is placed over the gateways of both the buildings.

Today, Chawri Bazar is a very busy road as labourers with their laden backs, cars, rickshaws, scooters and walkers almost battle for the passage during the peak market hours. Again it is also a wholesale market but you will be allowed to purchase a brass or copper idol of Lord Vishnu, Buddha and others. The shops also keep many useful items like jewelry boxes, vases, pots and oil lamps. However, at present Chawri Bazar is more known as the wholesale market of paper products than copper or brass. From beautiful wedding cards to attractive wallpapers to nice greetings to any types of papers required for any use, everything is available here in retail as well as in wholesale. Though the whole process is very exhausting but it will be a day to remember, as you will definitely enjoy it. Chawri Bazar is a road which have Jama Masjid on one end and Hauz Quazi on the other end. Now there is a metro station at Hauz Quazi by the name of Chawri Bazar. Nai Sarak which is famous for Books and Ladies Garments joins it at Bad-shah Bulla. Besides Nai Sarak there is another way through Ballimaran which connects Chawri Bazar to Chandni Chowk. Old Delhi is a walled city of Delhi, India, was founded as Shahjahanabad by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1639. It remained the capital of the Mughals until the end of the Mughal dynasty. It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.

Portrait of an elderly Indian man
Many people will avoid picking up a camera because they think they do not have an eye for photography. Contrary to popular belief, it does not take talent to capture a solid portrait. It takes skill and the motivation necessary to master those skills. Portrait photography can be dealt with as an equation with just a set of rules and guidelines, it is possible to take jaw dropping, natural light portraits. And there are many portraits that can be taken in India as the photographer has done. India, now home to 1.2 billion people, is projected in about a decade to become the world’s most populous country. The share of India's population ages fifty and older relatively small at sixteen percent, but notes that India will experience rapid growth among this age group. As India's population ages, the nation will face a shrinking pool of working-age people to support the elderly population. By one measure, nearly one-half fortyfive percent of India's disease burden is projected to be borne by older adults in fifteen years, when the population age groups with high levels of chronic conditions will represent a much greater share of the total population. Across the Indian states, there is a substantial variation in the type of living arrangement, particularly in the proportion of elderly persons living alone. The percentage of those living alone or with spouse is as high as fortyfive percent in several other Indian provinces. This indicates that with a demographic transition under way and youth migrating out for economic reasons, there will be a drastic change in the living arrangements of the elderly in rural and urban areas in India. "- Picking up a camera for the first time and pointing it at a subject can be quite overwhelming. Further, when shooting outdoors, consciousness of the direction of light is intrinsic. To achieve the best lighting, I can recommend to have the subject face the light source. For instance, using the beam of light coming from the ends of the street in narrow alleys or the light coming from the large opening in storefronts or garages. The above image of the Indian man was taken a late afternoon at the Chawri Bazar Rd in Delhi. In the case of open fields, as it did on this road, the light oftentimes comes from above head. In instances like that, tilting the subjects face slightly upward towards the light has proven to be affective. With the topic of light in portrait photography there are two important things to keep in mind. Just like artificial light is very directional, natural light needs to be this way too", the photographer says.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an intimate portrait in Delhi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.