Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are photographing a Young woman in Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating site and it is a sumptuous 16th century city palace with courtyards built from red sandstone and abandoned after only 15 years of continuous use, largely due to insufficient fresh water supplies. The photographer visited here as part of a India journey and this young woman was photographed in this historical city, which is located near Agra, India.
Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating site and it is a sumptuous 16th century city palace with courtyards built from red sandstone and abandoned after only 15 years of continuous use, largely due to insufficient fresh water supplies. The photographer visited here as part of a India journey and this young woman was photographed in this historical city, which is located near Agra, India.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on March 23, 2024

Fatehpur Sikri portraiture

Despite two illustrious nearby neighbors, this architectural gem held a unique atmosphere and was well worth seeing in its own right. It was quite busy while he was there, but Fatehpur Sikri is deceptively large and it was possible to take photographs of almost empty buildings, courtyards and water feature by doubling back into previous seen areas. Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city itself was founded as the capital of Mughal Empire in 1571.

Is Fatehpur Sikri worth visiting?

Yes, you should allow another day in Agra and be prepared to experience an eerie abandoned royal Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located at a distance of around 60 kilometers from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is well worth a visit from the magnificent city of Agra.

History of Fatehpur Sikri
Emperor Akbar, serving his role from 1571 to 1585 in Agra and Akbar abandoned it due to a campaign in Punjab and was later completely abandoned in 1610. The khanqah of Sheikh Salim existed earlier at this place. Akbar's son Jahangir was born at the village of Sikri in 1569 and that year Akbar began construction of a religious compound to commemorate the Sheikh who had predicted the birth. After Jahangir's second birthday, he began the construction of a walled city and imperial palace here. The city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri, the 'City of Victory', after Akbar's victorious Gujarat campaign in 1573.

Leisure and luxury to famous residents
Fatehpur Sikri sits on rocky ridge, 3 kilometers in length and 1 kilometer wide and palace city is surrounded by a 6 kilometer wall on three sides with the 4th bordered by a lake. The city is generally organized around this 40 meter high ridge and falls roughly into the shape of a rhombus and the general layout of the ground structures, especially the continuous and compact pattern of gardens and services and facilities that characterized the city leads urban archaeologists to conclude that Fatehpur Sikri was built primarily to afford leisure and luxury to its famous residents.

"The name of the city is derived from the village called 'Sikri' which occupied the spot before. It has been indicated that there was a habitation, temples and commercial centres here before Akbar built his capital. The region was settled by Sungas following their expansion. In 12th century, it was briefly controlled by Sikarwar Rajputs. Mughal emperor Akbar named the city, Fatehabad, with 'Fateh', a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning 'Victorious'. It was later called 'Fatehpur Sikri'"

Women in India
The status of women in India has been subject to many changes over the span of recorded Indian history. Their position in society deteriorated early in India's ancient period, especially in the Indo-Aryan speaking regions and their subordination continued to be reified well into India's early modern period. Practises such as female infanticide, dowry, child marriage and the taboo on widow remarriage, which began in upper-caste Hindu society in Northern India, have had a long duration, proving difficult to root out and in the instance of dowry have spread to all castes, classes and even religions.

The status of women in India is strongly connected to family relations. In India, the family is seen as crucially important and in most of the country, the family unit is patrilineal. Families are usually multi-generational, with the bride moving to live with the in-laws. Families are usually hierarchical, with the elders having authority over the younger generations and men over women.

Contrary to common perception, a large percentage of women in India are actively engaged in traditional and non-traditional work. National data collection agencies accept that statistics seriously understate women's contribution as workers. However, there are far fewer women than men in the paid workforce. In urban India, women participate in the workforce in impressive numbers. For instance, in the software industry 30 percent of the workforce is female.

Photographing portraits in India
Portrait photography is the art of capturing the inherent character of your subject within a photograph. While that quizzical definition covers the basics, portrait photography goes way beyond just clicking pictures of people. Great portrait photography is a result of combining the right technique with an artist's expression.

Taking great portrait photographs is the modern form of the same technique. While it requires much less effort than painting, capturing the expressions and emotions that make up good portrait photography can take time to master. Great portrait photography is as much about following the rules and guidelines as it is about breaking out of the mold. We have put together an exhaustive list of best practices and techniques on how to take good portraits. The location you choose for the portrait shoot is going to be a significant influence on the final results.

"Photographing outdoors in natural light gives the best results but poses many challenges. You would need to plan according to the weather, time of the day and changing lighting and environment conditions as the day progresses. Portraiture photography, first and foremost, is about your artistic expression and technique, which takes a lot of practice to perfect. Once you start understanding the nuances of portrait photography, it is time to invest in a good camera and lens"

See this video from Fatehpur Sikri made by Hindustan Times.

The photographer's own experience about photographing the young woman at Fatehpur Sikri
"- I was fortunate enough to capture the serene beauty of a young woman's face in this photograph. As I walked through Fatehpur Sikri, I noticed the proud yet peaceful expression of the woman. Her deep brown eyes looked out upon the city with an intense yet gentle gaze. It was a unique mix of both strength and grace. The warmth of her features was captivating and I knew I had to capture the moment. I quickly positioned my camera and took multiple photographs. The composition was perfect and the lighting highlighted the woman's stunning features. Her delicate complexion, highlighted by her delicate makeup, was a sight to behold. The glow of her skin was simply remarkable and I could not help but be captivated", the Photographer says.

"- I was struck by her natural grace and expression of softness. There was a sense of peace radiating from her, and I knew that my lens had captured the timeless beauty of the woman in India. The photos I took that day will forever remind me of the beauty that can be found in the people of India. I can only hope that by taking these photos, I was able to capture even a fraction of the beauty that can be found in the face of the people in India. As a photographer, nothing makes me more excited than the promise of capturing the beauty and diversity of the faces in India. From the bright-eyed children playing in the streets to the deeply weathered faces of the elderly, the beauty of India's people is unparalleled. There is no such thing as the best camera for portrayals, as most cameras nowadays can capture great portraits. It's a matter of understanding how to use them efficiently under different lighting and environmental conditions. Even from a distance, I could see her grace", the Photographer says again.

Read also:  Jodhpur – the blue city of India

Jodhpur - the blue city of India

Read also:  Jodhpur - the blue city of India

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 a young woman in Agra. 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.