Cultural Photography

January 12, 2011

It started with an interest in Tibetan antiques introduced to me by the local flea market. Searches on the internet led me to ebay and while I looked at Tibetan pieces, I stumbled upon antique persian rugs…

These became the love of my life for a few years. I learnt about them and loved them and doted on them. The readings led me to the allied category of ethnic asian textiles – a category that is vast,  underexplored and undervalued. And soon I migrated to collecting Asian textiles.

Any writing on cultural articles invariably explores the cultural identity of its creators ….similarities and differences in the textile are explained through the similarities and differences between the geography. the lifestyle and the traditions of the creating ethnic groups. So it is natural that a lover of antique textiles becomes acquainted with the subject of culture.

And so I combined my other interest – travel – with cultural exploration.

This took me to Tibet, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand,  Indonesia and the great Indian interiors – Kutch, Nagaland, Bundelkhand and more.

I’d experience some of the culture and I’d take back some wonderful cultural articles for my collections. But above all else, I’d enjoy  the conversations and the connections with the local people on the street. So I started taking pictures with a basic point and shoot camera to preserve some of those stories in my memory….

Soon my pictures began to disappoint me, and I realised I needed to learn more about this area. Soon I found great forums to learn photography from …and I’d be up until 2am reading and trying to figure out the subject.

Two years later, I have just understood the basic technicals of this subject and have a long way to go.

But along the way I have enjoyed taking pictures of people I connected with, even if for only a second.

Some of my best images until now are available on http://www.jainamishra.com

Images  of beautiful people, their culture and their cultural art!

jm

Jan 2011

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