Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are meeting a boy near the Gandhi Talav in Nashik, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
This is a travel portrait of an Indian boy near the Gandhi Talav, which is a lake located in Nashik, Maharashtra, India. It is the most important place in Panchavati is a 'Ramkund' and it is so called because Lord Rama is believed to have taken bath there. Mortal remains also called 'Asthi' immersed in this 'Kunda', are immediately absorbed in the water.
This is a travel portrait of an Indian boy near the Gandhi Talav, which is a lake located in Nashik, Maharashtra, India. It is the most important place in Panchavati is a 'Ramkund' and it is so called because Lord Rama is believed to have taken bath there. Mortal remains also called 'Asthi' immersed in this 'Kunda', are immediately absorbed in the water.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on March 22, 2024

Gandhi Talav portraiture

A dip in this sacred 'Kunda' is considered very pious. Situated nearby is Gandhi Lake also called 'Gandhi Talav' having a memorable monument made out of white marble, in memory of the Father of the Nation.

Why are eyes important in photography?

With portrait photography, it is important to ensure the eyes are in focus. This is particularly important if photographing with a large aperture, when the depth-of-focus is small. A portrait with the eyes in focus will have more impact, will be more appealing, and the eyes will help draw the viewer into the image.

Dry and low water level
A near-dry Gandhi Talav at Godavari 'Ghats' in the city turned fatal for hundreds of fish recently and a rare opportunity for scores of fishermen who had a catch to remember for days. Since early morning, hundreds of fish were found either dead or floating due to lack of water at Gandhi Talav that has gone dry. No sooner had the news spread than the fishermen got into the act with the help of nets, while the fish found gasping on the edges of the water body were collected with bare hands. Many people had gathered around the place and watched the anglers getting down into the pond in droves and the fish coming out in hundreds. The water level was so low that people were curious and went to the pond and saw many fish floating.

"A dip in this sacred kunda is considered very pious. Situated nearby is Gandhi Lake also called 'Talav' having a memorable monument made out of white marble in Nashik. Lots of pilgrims bath here as the waters of the Godavari River is said to provide liberation of the soul to those whose ashes are immersed in it. The lively fruit and veg market is great to spend some time wandering around and adds to the atmosphere here"

What is a lake?
A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, although, like the much larger oceans, they do form part of the Earth's water cycle. Lakes are distinct from lagoons, which are generally coastal parts of the ocean. Lakes are typically larger and deeper than ponds, which also lie on land, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which usually flow in a channel on land. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.

Seasonal water level variations
A pond is an area filled with water, either natural or artificial, that is smaller than a lake. Ponds are small bodies of freshwater with shallow and still water, mars and aquatic plants. Ponds can be created by a wide variety of natural processes for instance on floodplains as cutoff river channels, by glacial processes, by peatland formation, in coastal dune systems, by beavers or they can simply be isolated depressions such as a kettle hole, vernal pool, prairie pothole or simply natural undulations in undrained land filled by runoff, groundwater or precipitation or all three of these. They can be further divided into four zones, such as vegetation zone, open water, bottom mud and surface film.

The size and depth of ponds often varies greatly with the time of year and many ponds are produced by spring flooding from rivers. Ponds may be freshwater or brackish in nature. Ponds with saltwater, with a direct connection to the sea that maintains full salinity, would normally be regarded as part of the marine environment because they would not support fresh or brackish water organisms, so not really within the realm of freshwater science.

Characteristics of a pond
Ponds are usually by definition quite shallow waterbodies with varying abundances of aquatic plants and animals. Depth, seasonal water level variations, nutrients fluxes, amount of light reaching the ponds, the shape, the presence of visiting large mammals, the composition of any fish communities and salinity can all affect the types of plant and animal communities present. Food webs are based both on free-floating algae and upon aquatic plants. There is usually a diverse array of aquatic life, with a few examples including algae, snails, fish, beetles, water bugs, frogs, turtles, otters and muskrats. Ponds that dry up completely each year are often known as vernal pools. Some ponds are produced by animal activity, including alligator holes and beaver ponds and these add important diversity to landscapes.

Ponds are frequently manmade or expanded beyond their original depths and bounds by anthropogenic causes. Apart from their role as highly biodiverse, fundamentally natural, freshwater ecosystems ponds have had and still have, many uses, including providing water for agriculture, livestock and communities, aiding in habitat restoration, serving as breeding grounds for local and migrating species, decorative components of landscape architecture, flood control basins, general urbanization, interception basins for pollutants and sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.

Eyes that tell a story
When photographing the boy as you see in the picture above, the photographer used the available light in the sitaution. When portrait photographs are composed and captured in a studio, the photographer has control over the lighting of the composition of the subject and can adjust direction and intensity of light. There are many ways to light a subject's face, but there are several common lighting plans which are easy enough to describe. The light this late afternoon in Nashik was amazing, where a soft orange tone lighten by the Sun give the images an afternoon glow.

See this video about Nashik in Maharashtra made by Maharashtra Darshan.

The eyes are the windows to the soul
"- I took this photograph of the boy near the Gandhi Talav was taken on my second trip to India. This boy portrait is one of my typical portraits, where the portraiture or the photography of a person or group of people are displaying the expression, personality and mood of my subjects. Focus on the eyes with their depth, their secrets. Whether weathered or youthful, they reveal resilience. The old man's eyes crinkled with wisdom, the young boy's eyes brimming with dreams. Let them speak to you. Capture their vulnerability, their strength and like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph such as this one is usually the person's face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included", the Photographer says.

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Chawri Bazar Rd portraiture

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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 portrait of a boy in Nashik. 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.