Ethnotek Raja 30L Review. There’s a Reason We Love Rolltops

“I noticed that these are all rolltops,” is what a rep from a manufacturer told me when he came by my apartment and into my office. It’s no lie, rolltop backpacks are my favorite camera bags. That’s for great reason. In fact, most of the staff like rolltops because they let us travel or accommodate lots of gear. But I’ve been in search of the perfect bag. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. But with a few fixes, the Ethnotek Raja 30L could easily be that bag. It combines my fervent love of ethics with fashion and durability better than most other bags on the market.

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Pritham D’Souza Illustrates Hope With a New Lockdown Series

Quarantine Tribe, Pritham D'Souza

“The lockdown made me realise how we take everything for granted,” reflects Indian professional photographer Pritham D’Souza about the recent couple of years we’ve been through. Not having used a camera for three months during this period, he decided to shake up his routine. Quarantine Tribe was born out of a desire to provide hope in times of distress and disarray. Pritham tells us how he collaborated to create these images, and why hope is always just around the corner.

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Masks Are Still Important Shows Sandeep MV’s New Series

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” says commercial photographer Sandeep MV about whether masks are still something we need to wear in public. And rightly so given the rise in cases worldwide, especially in the USA and India. The manner in which the pandemic in India personally affected Sandeep MV got him thinking about creating a Covid-19 related photoshoot. Highlighting their importance but keeping it eye-catching, he produced a slightly off-beat yet relevant set of images.

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Shivam Pandey Found Many Interesting Stories Among Rural Farmers

“It’s just the matter of making them feel you can connect to them,” says Indian photographer Shivam Pandey on how he approached farmers in his village when capturing their daily routines. The pandemic had him move back to his village in Uttar Pradesh, but that didn’t stop him from looking for creative outlets. ‘Farmers of India‘ was a photo series that came to life after he moved back in with his parents.

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Aditya Kinjawadekar Photographed a 360° Image of the Milky Way

“Shrinking of dark locations is a valid concern,” says young Aditya Kinjawadekar of India about the alarming rate at which night skies are being taken over by light pollution due. He took some time out of his busy university schedule to connect with us about his amazing 360° Milky Way image for this interview. This shot scored a lot of reactions on Reddit a few months ago among the astrophotography community.

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Auroville: David Klammer Shares the Truth About a “Utopian City” in India

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“Confusion, simple confusion,” writes German photographer David Klammer. He’s referring to his first impressions when he arrived in a land like no other. Auroville, located in the Tamil Nadu state of India, is described as an experimental city. Many outside of Auroville believe it’s a real-world utopia. After 20 years of photographing this interesting, somewhat cryptic city, Klammer shares the reality of his experience.

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Kunal Shah Captures the Astonishing Beauty of India’s Birdlife

All images by Kunal Shah. Used with permission. For more stories like this, subscribe to the Phoblographer.

“It’s a very tiny bird, the size of a sparrow, and I photographed him on a hill near my house in Pune,” the wildlife photographer Kunal Shah remembers of his recent encounter with a male Red Avadavat, also known as the Strawberry Finch, during the breeding season. “The name appropriately describes the bird, as the bright red color and those white spots make it look exactly like a strawberry.” 

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Looking for Something Fresh? Look at the Unique Work of Madhur Dhingra

All images by Madhur Dhingra. Used with permission.

“Black and white images hold inside them a strange sort of mystery which is totally absent in color imagery,” says Indian photographer Madhur Dhingra. Whether or not you agree with his words, there’s one thing you cannot doubt: his work, unique in its presentation, is full of mystery. Dhingra is a street photographer offering a fresh twist on an otherwise tired genre. Unconventional, his photography stands out from the pack, delivering an aesthetic that holds you for longer than a fleeting moment. We were truly in awe of his style, and excited to dig deeper into his process and 22-year relationship with the craft we love so much.

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Travel Photography: How to Keep the Dignity of Your Subjects

As exciting as travel photography is, there’s a way to approach and protect the dignity of your subjects.

I’ve been exploring the world for the better part of four years. Being able to combine photography and travel is a dream come true for me; discovering new lands, cultures, and experiences is fantastic. But as I leave my world and invite myself into the world of others, there are certain measures I take to be respectful – especially in countries less privileged than mine. Sadly, I see many photographers fail to apply the same approach, and whether they realize it or not, the dignity of their subject is often lost.

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The Golden Hues of the Haldi Festival Are Perfect for Documentary Photography

This colorful collection shows us why the Haldi Festival is a golden opportunity for documentary photography.

Festivals and community events are among the favorite subjects of documentary photographers for a good number of reasons. Not only do they serve as windows to various cultures and beliefs around the world, but also reveal different aspects of humanity. In her collection of photos of the Haldi Festival, however, Navi Mumbai-based photographer Akshaya B. also shows us that festivals are perfect for those who want to explore and play with vivid hues in their photography. If you’re looking to add some color in your work, this Indian festival is nothing short of a golden opportunity!

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The Phoblographer’s Favorite Cities for Street Photography

The world is full of amazing places to shoot street photography. Here are some of my favorite cities from around the globe to practice the candid artform.

Diversity is a beautiful thing. Different cultures, attitudes, and values make the world go round. It’s because of our varied approaches to life that street photography can flourish. So much compelling content can be created because of the fact there’s an abundance of things to learn about the world. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting many nations, and almost all of them have provided me with their own unique experience. Some incredibly inspiring, and some, not so much. But while there’s a conversation to be had about the uneventful cities, I want to share with you some of the best!

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The Guide to Travel Photography for the Non-Gear Head

“I want to explore the world doing travel photography.” That’s the dream of many aspiring photographers; but it requires hard work and to do it well, it’s less about the photos and more about the preparation.

Travel photography is simply amazing. You get to see beautiful parts of the world, experience new cultures and create amazing photographs. And I know many of our readers would love nothing more than to be a globetrotting tog – I want to help you get there. This guide is designed to give you the full realities of travel photography. It’s here to help you with planning, navigating and of course, making great photos.

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Shawn Jacob Stephen Introduces Us to the Toda Tribe of the Nilgiris

All photos by Shawn Jacob Stephen. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We’ve been following a lot of subcultures and tribes as of late, as we find it fascinating to see a slice of their life through the lens of documentary photographers. Such series takes us to places that many of us have possibly never heard of, and tell us about the vibrant life of its people. The latest of these is the portrait project of Indian photographer Shawn Jacob Stephen, who introduces us to the Toda Tribe of his hometown in the Nilgiris District in Southern India.

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Prasat Vedvikhyat Showcases the Star-Studded Nights of Maharashtra

 All images by Prasat Vedvikhyat. Used with Creative Commons permission.

The night sky is never short of fascinating sights to capture, making it a favorite subject of photographers around the world. Mumbai-based Prasat Vedvikhyat joins our roster of creatives who have been charmed by the stars and their timeless beauty. In his set, titled To Infinity…And Beyond, we see the familiar display of the distant Milky Way galaxy and the hypnotic celestial dance, set against some landmarks of Maharashtra.

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Trupal Pandya Documents the Folklore and Culture of the Last Aryans

All images by Trupal Pandya. Used with permission.

If our past features have hinted on the growing interest of New York-based photographer Trupal Pandya in documenting the way of life in places unfamiliar to most of us, this body of work will definitely cement it. Today, we bring you his fascinating portraits of the Brokpa, a tribe that rose to popularity as the last of the pure Aryan bloodline, being descendants of the lost soldiers of Alexander the Great.

Being born and raised in India, a country surrounded by rich cultural diversity, we can say that the curiosity for different cultures and tribes around the world is innate in Trupal. Previously, he introduced us to the last living headhunters of the Konyak Naga tribe of the Nagaland province in Northeast India. This time, we place the spotlight on the Brokpa, another of India’s fascinating tribes, whose claim to fame comes from being the “last Aryans”.

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Vikas Vasudev Shows the Faces of a Forgotten Land

All images by Vikas Vasudev. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Among the travel advice that we are often told is to make a genuine connection with the locals for unique experiences. It can be pretty intimidating at first, especially when you travel to big cities or set out on your own for the first time. But if you’re a photographer, overcoming your shyness and apprehension can set you up for an interesting project and keepsake of your trip. Today’s travel and portrait snaps by Mumbai-based Vikas Vasudev proves to be an inspiring example.

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Yakub Merchant’s Street Photography Emphasizes People Through Their Windows

All images by Yakub Merchant. Used with Creative Commons Permission.

Do you ever wonder how many of the personal projects you find most interesting were sparked by a spontaneous idea? I sometimes do, and today’s featured set of portraits is definitely a case in point. Taken by London-based photographer Yakub Merchant while on assignment, it was most likely just an idea he shelved for later as he was shooting for work. While Yakub was working as a still photographer on a film set in India, he noticed all these people watching the scenes from a vantage point in their homes. As I imagine it, Yakub took interest and began taking their portraits in between shots, eventually ending up with a nice collection for an aptly titled set called Windows.

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Andrei Duman: Travel Photography and Forming Connections With Your Subjects

All images by Andrei Duman. Used with permission.

Photographer Andrei Duman has been shooting photos since he was very young. He started out with travel and was always fascinated by the fact that one could go from place to place within a few hours. Along the way, he studied the works of different photographers and the ways they went about getting their photos. Perhaps this has helped influence the way Andrei approaches his subjects and the way he gets his images. For Andrei, it's always been about human connection and ensuring it's there even before he picks up the camera to his eye.

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The Flower Men of Malik Ghat Shows Off a Rarely Seen Side of Indian Culture

Feature image pulled from Kickstarter video, all credit to Ken Hermann. 

Ken Hermann is a photographer based out of Copenhagen, who while on a trip to India came across a sight he couldn’t help but be fascinated with. The Flower Men on the Malik Ghat Market are skilled men who carry flowers to markets wearing interesting and beautiful dress-like outfits.“When I first visited Calcutta and flower market, I was fascinated by the flower sellers and the way they wear the flowers on – as big robes,” says photographer Ken Herrmann in our interview about this project. “Also the way they treat the flowers, cuddling them and caress them, I think was interesting.” It is a sight to behold and from the moment he saw it, Hermann wanted to share this sight with the rest of the world. For his portraits of these Flower Men, Hermann decided to go a different direction from your standard travel photography look, instead opting to feature the Flower Men in more of a staged portrait setting. Allowing him to really focus on and show the unique beauty of each of the 40 Flower Men he has chosen to feature.

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