In this eighty-nine archive story by Kristian Bertel, we learn about taking street photography and portraits in Delhi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Delhi is paradise for street photographers, you will find interesting subjects at every nook and corner of the city with different emotions from cries to the laughter. In this Delhi portrait we see an Indian man preparing potatoes and across time and across cultures, food is one thing that unites us all. Sometimes out of necessity and sometimes simply to enhance flavor, humans generally prepare their food before eating it.
Delhi is paradise for street photographers, you will find interesting subjects at every nook and corner of the city with different emotions from cries to the laughter. In this Delhi portrait we see an Indian man preparing potatoes and across time and across cultures, food is one thing that unites us all. Sometimes out of necessity and sometimes simply to enhance flavor, humans generally prepare their food before eating it.

Delhi street portraiture

Food preparation in India involves the entire spectrum of events from obtaining to eating food and most of the food that we get in raw form is not best to eat as is. So, the first step in food preparation is cleaning the food. The need for this is obvious for things like meats, which can contain harmful bacteria if not cleaned properly. In many cultures, including certain Jewish and Muslim dietary restrictions, meat is deemed unfit to eat if there is blood on it, so the cleaning stage is vital. There are reasons that cultures have such restrictions, where they they are based on rules for survival.

Food preparation in Delhi
Cleaning is just as important for other ingredients as well, including natural fruits, vegetables and grains. Most food products we consume today are not only grown commercially but are treated with pesticides or other chemicals to ensure the survival of the crop. These chemicals should be washed off of produce before consumption. Additionally, dust, natural bacteria and trace chemicals from insects or birds can be found on organic produce and which has been of great interest for the photographer avoding not to get sick while visiting and photographing in India.

Taking street portraits
If you are new to photography the photographer suggests you to start with Connaught Place where you will found hundreds of street hawkers, beggars, pedestrians and tourist making it an ideal place for street photography and you can also head to Delhi where you will find the rustic charm of Delhi's streets, Havelis, food joints that are as old as 100 years, places like chandni chowk, Jama Masjid, Red fort, Daryaganj and Nai Sadak on a sunday may interest you.

A lot of travel photographers are discussing if a 50 mm lens is good for street photography and there are both yes and no depending on a number of factors. If you are asking about 50 mm as a field of view in full-frame terms, then yes it is good. So long as you are photographing the equivalent on smaller formats you will be okay. 50 mm lens for Street photography will have a different effective field of view depending on your camera and sensor or medium. Remember that if you are photographing a micro four thirds camera you’ll want a 25 mm lens, APS-C cameras like Nikon DX, Fuji X series, Sony a6000 series cameras need a 35 mm lens with medium format 6x6 cameras like Hasselblads and Rolleiflex TLRs with an 80 mm lens will equate to a 50 mm FOV also known as Field Of View. The 50 mm field of view is not weak by any means but it is going to be a rather tight in terms of framing if you are working up close or want to provide your subject or subjects with the proper context. Again, it depends on how you’re shooting and the typical distance and distances you work with.

"A lot of street photography purists will say stick to 35 mm or wider because, the closer you are, the better the photograph, but the problem with this is a FOV, and the lens you shoot, is a conscious choice that you are making as the photographer. No one method, lens, FOV or style is going to work for everyone"

Portrait photography at the Crawford Market in India
Honestly the best way for you to find out whether a FOV or lens is well-suited to street photography is to go out and photograph, photograph and photograph in India. The time you spend out and about making photographs is more important than your choice of lens or FOV. Eventually you will settle on one or two focal lengths that just mesh with your style of photographing. By then you should no longer be worrying about whether this lens or this FOV is good or not. "- Me personally, I find 50mm very versatile for my style of street photography. I like to photograph and show the relationships humans have within their environment. That little bit of distance a 50 mm provides works very well for my purposes. Many photographers prefer wider lenses such as the 35 or 28 mm. However, some photographers prefer the 50 mm because of its lack of distortion. Henri Cartier-Bresson, for instance, used the 50 mm exclusively. Look at his work. The 50 is somewhat of a challenge to work with because of its narrower depth of field. I do not recommend it for cameras with APS or Micro Four Thirds sensors. With APS a 35 mm lens will give you the effective coverage of a 50 mm and if you are using a Micro Four Thirds camera, you will need a 25 mm lens", the photographer says.

Read also:  An Indian portrait

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 Indian man 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.