I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. "Sensory overload in a glance" is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really "see" her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.
From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.
Add on goodreads
This is my first photo book review. I love photography and I am from India, so I chose this book to see India through a photographer's eyes.
The photos range from smiling portraits of people to landscapes to crowded streets to common households and slums. These photos show not only the beautiful architecture but also clumsy areas and streets. Debra also covered a few photos of people from different religions. I loved the pic of a tourist taking Taj mahal from his phone. Pictures like Dhobhighat(a place where clothes are hanged after laundry for drying), a boy purchasing something in a grocery, a Muslim lady waiting outside a shop, a woman holding her husband on a bike etc., show the everyday life of people in India. I also loved the photos of the serene Ganga river in the dawn, some forts, Arti in Varanasi, Akshardham temple etc.,
One thing which is unique about this book is Debra, unlike other photographers didn't strive to show only good about India and its culture, but she also focused on normal people like street performers, shopkeepers, people stuck in traffic, busy roads etc., India is very diverse in cultures, traditions, religions and languages. An attempt to capture the essence of the country in one book itself is a brave concept to think about. Debra also mentioned the list of places where she has taken photos marked on a map at the end of the book. This of course, helps people who are not aware of India.
I loved this book but I felt, it would have been great if there are captions to each photo or 2 sentences about the photo. I also felt some of the images seemed repeated, they might not be same but same lake/ river in different angles or photos of flower shops which are alike etc.,
Overall, a good book that I would recommend to any photographer or someone who wants to see the everyday India.
My Rating: 4/5
PS:I have received this book through iread tours and this is my honest opinion on the book.
Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera
"My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.
I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor's favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I'm always looking for the unusual.