In this eighty-third archive story by Kristian Bertel, we portray an Indian man in the Umerkhadi area of Mumbai in Maharashtra, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Umerkhadi is a densely populated region towards the eastern shore of of downtown Mumbai that the photographer, took pictures of during one of his journeys to India. The lively Umerkhadi area is located south of Mazgaon in Mumbai, India and it is a good place for portrait photography that the photographer also is telling about in this arhive story.
Umerkhadi is a densely populated region towards the eastern shore of of downtown Mumbai that the photographer, took pictures of during one of his journeys to India. The lively Umerkhadi area is located south of Mazgaon in Mumbai, India and it is a good place for portrait photography that the photographer also is telling about in this arhive story.

Umerkhadi Rd portraiture

Umerkhadi was once a creek separating the island of Bombay from Mazagaon until it was reclaimed in the 17th century. In the area you will find the Sandhurst Road, which is the is the closest suburban railhead and the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport to the north. You will also find the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station in the south.

First impressions of Mumbai
Ever since the photo walk in Umerkhadi area of Mumbai the photographer's new pictures have been taken in Mumbai on the Indian Subcontinent. Travelers tend to regard time spent in Umerkhadi and Mumbai as a rite of passage to be survived rather than savoured. Mumbai is the powerhouse of Indian business, industry and trade, and the source of its most seductive media images, the Maharashtran capital can be a compelling place to spend time. When you travel in Umerkhadi or any other place in Mumbai and whether or not you find the experience enjoyable, however, will depend largely on how well you handle the heat, humidity, traffic fumes and relentless crowds of India's most dynamic, Westernized city. First impressions of Mumbai tend to be dominated by its chronic shortage of space. Crammed onto a narrow spit of land that curls from the swamp-ridden coast into the Arabian Sea, the city is technically an island, connected to the mainland by bridges and narrow causeways. In less than five hundred years, it has metamorphosed from an aboriginal fishing settlement into a megalopolis of more than sixteen million people and India's largest city and one of the biggest urban sprawls on the planet. Being swept along broad boulevards by endless streams of commuters, or jostled by coolies and hand-cart pullers in the teeming bazaars, you'll continually feel as if Mumbai is about to burst at the seams.

Mumbai, a conglomeration of seven islands
The cosmopolitan metropolis, earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state. Mumbai was originally a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline which over time were joined to form the island city of Bombay. The island was in turn joined with the neighbouring island of Salsette to form Greater Bombay. The city has an estimated metropolitan population of 21 million counted in 2005, making it one of the world's most populous cities. Mumbai is undoubtedly the commercial capital of India and is one of the predominant port cities in the country. Mumbai's nature as the most eclectic and cosmopolitan Indian city is symbolized in the presence of Bollywood within the city, the centre of the globally-influential Hindi film and television industries. It is also home to India's largest slum population.

"Mumbai is a city built in successive waves of migrations. The neighborhoods acquired their character from the communities that settled there first. These neighborhoods are too numerous to list and there is no commonly accepted way to group these neighborhoods into larger districts. But roughly, from the south to the north, this is how the city developed"

Catch light in portraits
As a photographer and traveler it is naturally to photograph good photographs in India A very popular technique in portraiture – a catch light is a spark of light in your subject's eyes. This spark will help you to draw your viewer's attention to your subject's eyes, making them full of life and, well, sparkling. To create a catch light, all you need is a source of bright light to reflect in your subject's eyes. This source can be artificial, like a flash, or natural, like sunlight. In this archive story, the photographer has focus on creating catch light in portraits using natural light. To create a catch light in an indoor location in Umerkhadi or another place in India, all you need to do is to make sure there is a visible source of light, which will be reflected in your subject's eyes. Position your subject near an open window or door, during daylight, and make sure there is a direct line between the source of light and the subject, without blocking objects like furniture. Your subject does not have to look directly into the source, as it might be too dazzling or uncomfortable. The important thing is that the light source must be visible as a reflection in the subject’s eyes. The closer your subject is to the light source open window or door the larger and more dominant the spark of catch light will seem. Think carefully about the location of your subject to the light source, as that will not only affect the size and visibility of the catchlight in the subject’s eyes, it will also control the entire ollumination of the subject's face on the street in India.

For achieving the best results in an outdoor shooting, all you need to do is aim your subject to look at the largest light source which is the sky. Do not instruct the subject to gaze at the sun, even for a brief moment, as it can lead to pain and damage to his or her eyes. If you do not want to stage your subject in India or if there is a language barrier, a great technique of aiming your subject’s gaze up, is by simply positioning yourself a bit above your subject. While they gaze it your lens, the sky behind you will reflect in their eyes. This is why the photographer is photographing many of his India outdoor portraits at a position, which is a bit higher than his subject. "- On a sunny day, I recommend positioning your subject in the shade, as gazing at sunny skies might be uncomfortable", the Photographer says.

Read also:  Hanuman Ji

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 Mumbai. 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.