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Some Essential Gear

For this post, I shall talk about some essential gear. This may seem an odd post when it comes to photography, especially street and landscape photography, but it is not.

This post is geared towards hot weather. Maybe, I shall do a follow up after I return from the hills in January. So, here goes.

On top of the list, as you can see, is the camera, sunglasses and hat. There is the obligatory cup of chai, as you may not get clear water everywhere. Look at that chai. It is in an earthen cup called a 'kullar'. This is the traditional way to drink tea, and is wonderful. The slightly muddy taste adds to the flavour, and for those of you inclined towards religion, it gives you a foretaste of heaven. I took this shot when I was in a little village called Gokul, where the God Krishna first revealed his Divine Nature.

The bright orange cloth, called a 'gamcha' is not a symbol, or sign, that I am a rabid Hindu fundamentalist frothing at the gums at the sight of a Muslim. I have a healthy respect for Muslims. They did give us some beautiful art and architecture. A gancha is a thin cotton cloth. It dries rapidly and this is an advantage. Tie it to your bag, and you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face, or dry your hands and face after washing them.

Now, we move to a strange little shot. This is a selfie of me in a kurta. Going from bottom to top, we start with my shoes. I love my Timberland shoes. Comfy shoes are absolutely essential. I can certify this. I had to abandon two shoots because my friends thought that they were going on a fashionable picnic. Half way through they started to hobble like goblins who had not made their shoes well.

Jeans are good during spring, autumn and winter. Not in summer or during the monsoons. I thought that I would die this year. My trousers had become heavy with sweat. So, I now have two cotton trousers, and am going to buy a pair of linen or khaki ones. Maybe, khadi – a traditional homespun fabric.

You see me wearing a kurta. This is funny bit of clothing, and is worn by men and women in India. They can be short, long, short-sleeved, long-sleeved, cotton, silk, plain, coloured, embroidered etc. What you see me wearing is a short length, cotton, short-sleeved kurta. It is loose and allows me to breathe. I bought this in Mathura for the princely sum of 6 US Dollars. Later, I bought two expensive ones, for 10 US Dollars each. But, they are essential in the hot Indian summer. There is something to be said for tradition.

And then, of course, there is a cap. As you may have noticed, I have a few caps and hats. Never say that photographers are not vain!

What you will see on my right wrist, in this selfie, is a thin steel band called a 'kara'. This tends to slip down from time to time. So, I wear a wrist band to keep in in place.

And finally (though I have yet to experiment with them), I bought two cricketer-sleeves to wear when I wear short sleeved stuff. This is to prevent my skin from becoming burned and tanned. I love my fair, fair skin…. 😉

I tell ya… Never say we photographers are not fashion conscious, or vain. Or that we don't need our fashion accessories!

Profile photo of Rajiv Chopra

I have been in the corporate world all my life, and have decided to take a sabbatical from this world. I am now a budding entrepreneur in my old age. This is wonderful because, apart from giving me the freedom to paint my own canvas, and to choose the canvas, it also gives me the time to do some of the things that I really like to do. These are, to travel, to photograph and to write. I still use a Nikon D 200. I started with B&W film, and this is something that I still love. The things that I am really grateful to the corporate world are, that I got the chance to travel the world, and meet lots of very interesting people. I have, over the years, become very interested in history, physics, culture,conservation, the environment and street food! I love landscapes, street photography, people, macro photography, geometrical shapes

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