9th April 2012, 01:54 PM
My wife will probably be making a business trip to Delhi, India in a few months and I'll have to go with her - Well, someone has to carry her bags, don't they?
I've never been there before and am wondering what to take. If I take all my gear there won't be room for the wife! So, I'm thinking Nikon D300s, a decent strobe, a fairly light-weight tripod, a few Cokin Grads and, of course, lots of CF Cards and batteries. But, what glass? I have 24mm, 50mm, 105mm (Macro) & 200mm primes, 10-20mm, 18-200mm & 70-300mm zooms to choose from.
I'm betting a number of you have 'done' this venue, so any advice on where to go, what to see and what to take would be most welcome.
9th April 2012, 02:23 PM
Chris here is my list, 18-200mm 90% of shots in Delhi and country side, 50mm for indoor and close-up (wife), 2 and 3 stop GNG filters. Ditch the strobe, and the tripod, add a monopod with a lightweight ball head, this is a very busy city, be thinking street photography. Of course recharger for camera batteries, and lots of cards, with this setup you will have one lens on camera the other in a pouch of some kind, camera on stick, strap around neck attached to stick, so both hands free to carry bags for wife (everybody happy, wife happy=husband happy). Enjoy
9th April 2012, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the advice Allan, but surely a little tripod for the (hopefully) spectacular sunsets? I'm thinking Black Rapid strap, or is that vulnerable in Delhi? Is it risky walking about with high-end camera gear?
9th April 2012, 05:52 PM
I'd go 10-20mm + 18-200mm + 50mm - the first won't get a lot of use as the 18-200 is so versatile but it might be nice to have for those dramatic shots a 10mm can achieve. The 50mm as Allen said will be great for its bright aperture and for when you want the low depth of field. I'd agree that a Speedlight probably won't be needed and as I sold all my Lee Grads last year because I'd carted them round for a year without ever using them I'd dump them too. If the contrast is so massive then just bracket and sort it with a HDR when you get home.
If you are really brave stick the 24mm on and only take that. I did a similar thing last year when I went to London for a few days and just took a Fuji X100. Yes there were a few times I could have got a different shot with other lenses but I had to work hard for the ones I did take and they are all the better for it...they're on here somewhere if you search them out. A good friend of mine has shot everything on a Leica X1 for two years and swears he has become a better photographer because of it. He has to think very carefully about every shot and is not distracted by wondering which lens might do a scene better justice...his argument is he might choose the wrong one.
Check out his results on the Steve Huff site.
9th April 2012, 06:10 PM
I haven't been to India yet, but I have taken camera gear all over the world, including to a number of developing countries.
Originally Posted by Polar01
Number one piece of advice is to travel light. My motto is "if in doubt, leave it out". Normally I try to limit myself to 3 lenses and one body plus a cheap point & shoot. For filters I will take polarizers and I might take either grads or ND if I am planning to do some shots that require them. Small carbon fibre travel tripod comes along if I plan to be out in more rural areas for landscapes. The cards, batteries for sure. I don't always travel with a recharger, especially on short trips (less than 10 days) as I try to have enough batteries along to allow me to shoot for that length of time without getting near a place to recharge them. I'll also have something to view and back up the images; either a netbook of my ASUS eee Transformer.
Everything fits into my Kata camera backpack, and the tripod straps onto it as well.
For my recent 10 day trip to Florence. I had my 11-16mm, my 24-70mm and my 70-200mm. I did about 80% of my shooting with the 24-70 and the rest of the shots were pretty evenly divided between the other 2 lenses. Polarizers and grad only. I left the charger and tripod at home.
On my 3-1/2 week trip to Namibia last November, I dropped the 11-16mm and took the 80-400mm instead, plus tripod. I had all my filters along, as well as a flash (which I ended up using). The charger came along for that trip for sure. I also had a lot of video gear along too. We were camping and had a pickup truck, so weight and volume were not an issue on the ground, but hauling it around flights and airports was a pain, but worth it in the end.
9th April 2012, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the advice guys.
Robin, I'm not feeling brave, particularly because this will be my only chance in India. I've been to many other countries (some I didn't want to go to!), but never made the sub-continent. So, I'm going for the 3-lens option you suggest.
Manfred, I've got 3 backpacks of varying size but I don't reckon on taking any of them. I think a small pack on my belt just big enough for 2 lenses, NDG's, batteries and cards. I'll sling a tripod over my shoulder. I've just dug out an aging Miranda - all aluminum so it's pretty light, sturdy enough for what I might need there and, if it comes to it, I could leave it behind without shedding any tears.
Last part of the question: What are 'Must See & Must Do' things in and around Delhi? I'll be there for about 10 days.
9th April 2012, 11:13 PM
Check out Frommer's for places to see. Take plenty of cement pills, make sure you get your shots ahead of time and there are some additional pills you will want to have on hand.
Originally Posted by krispix
11th April 2012, 01:19 AM
Sometimes, a man has to make hard decisions, mate...
Originally Posted by krispix
I'd not leave the gear behind!
11th April 2012, 12:05 PM
Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna
I'm with you all the way, but the wife is the reason for going in the first place. So, some sacrifices will be necessary - Perhaps if I don't take any clothes ...?
11th April 2012, 05:44 PM
I won't be in India any time soon so... Yeah, why not leave the clothes behind?
Originally Posted by krispix
11th April 2012, 07:12 PM
Have used this in the past and thought I'd share,
also India is so diverse and rich in so many ways that you'll be bound to regret not taking something!
11th April 2012, 09:45 PM
Congratulations on your upcoming trip. I cannot imagine an area more photogenic than India.
I never travel anywhere without a hotshoe flash which I use regularly both to increase the available light and as fill flash.
One of the problems I have seen in images from India is lack of light on the faces of the people photographed.
BTW: I am very interested in shooting the people in my travels. Although buildings and landscapes are O.K and are often almost a required feature of any trip - it would be disappointing to return from Beijing without shots of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City - people are my main subjects. This is especially true when I am traveling in an area with such picturesque people as you find in India.
Anyway, getting back to the Indian people. Many are dark complexioned and are often wearing turbans or other headgear which shade their faces or eyes. Fill flash would do a lot to improve many of the portraits I have seen of the people of India. The fill flash also provides catchlights in deeply set eyes...
Additionally, your 18-200mm lens, although a very wide focal range, doesn't have a fast aperture at any focal length and is rather slow at the maximum focal range. Bouncing a flash can make all the difference in the world in dimly lit areas and in deep shadow.
A diffuser/reflector like the Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro (www.dembflashproducts.com) can provide natural looking light and by virtue of its tilting FlipIt reflector can be used when there is no ceiling off wbich to bounce the flash...
11th April 2012, 10:36 PM
Having been in India four times I can guaranty you like Richard said a very photogenic place.
But I would have a different approach on camera, lens and so on.
I would think first: What am I going to photograph ?
People ? Landscapes ? Street photography ? Whatever. One should have a plan,a project, a theme, a series planned head. I do know that it is very tempting to take all the stuff - two flashes, reflectors etc etc - but we can't. First the body - mine at least - doesn't hold.
My body complains when I walk 2/3 hours with equipment on my back. So, I must reduce and concentrate on the type of photography I want to do.
This is what happened to me the last time - November 2011 - I was only carrying two cameras (I am mad) with two lens. I was aware that I was going to miss the 70-200 but I couldn't have all with me...
And this choice made me do a different type of photography, which worked very well indeed. I had planned to make street photography and some portraits at the distance. Landscapes yes, with the wide angle or the other.
We would like to go to Myanmar again. The travel would pose the same issue. What would I photograph ?
For the sake of my back and body I have been thinking that a mirror less camera Panasonic Lumix GF3 for example could be an excellent option.
After all, much - much - of the success of our images is where ? On the treatment we apply in the computer.
And it is hard to find the origine of the final product when things are done correctly, isn't it ?
Travel light. No security problems whatsoever unless you trust too much on people. Normal care. Relax. Everyhing will run nicely. Enjoy. It is worth I assure you You are going to like it
11th April 2012, 11:52 PM
I am from India.... now in london from last 6 months & I am also going to my home town(Pune) for 20 days in this month.
First tell me in which month you are going there....?
Because India is very good about weather... there is 4 Months for rain... 4 for summer... and 4 for winter.
You already mention that you are going to Delhi so now its very hot at this time and completely sunny day with temp between 45 to 48 degree. Be ready for that 1st. Its not so easy to shoot in high temp.... be careful about your health.
Now in your 10 days whats your transport there.....? Don't say public ..... its very difficult to travel with all your gears and costly equipments in public transport... but its also best way for best photography, you get good photos there, now 10 days is very short for country like India. You need atlest 3 days to visit Delhi, 1 day to visit Agra.... Beautiful Taj Mahal is there.
Now in 6 days you have decide which type of place you like to visit....? Desert..... then Rajasthan( just search places in google which I mention here) Rajastan is really beautiful state, there you get old forts, colorful city like Jaipur and camal as you best transport.
If you like sea, forts, village life, forest, caves, cold place and night life like London then you have to go Maharashtra.
Dear in India there are different languages, different culture, different life style after every 250 Km. There you get very beautiful photos at every point. Its so colourful country. Now you have to decide where you want to go and what you like to shoot.
Please Reply. I will help you and suggest you best places as per your photographic interest.
12th April 2012, 06:16 PM
Originally Posted by sachinpt
This is just what I was hoping for. Someone from the sub-continent with real on-the-ground experience. Thanks so much for replying.
To begin with we should be arriving 20 September if everything goes to plan. My wife is going to be there on business, so I'll be pretty much tied to Delhi (can always take a day out for the Taj Mahal of course). I hadn't thought about transport, but if you say public transport is to be avoided, then I'll have to think about taxis and walking. I haven't ridden a camel for 40 years and I didn't like it then! I am fully aware that India is a huge place and 10 days will not do it justice, but I'm just piggy-backing on my wife's business trip, so I don't get to call the shots.
I don't want to tie myself down to a particular genre. My personal favourites are landscapes & cityscapes, but I can imagine Delhi would be great for street photography.
My usual trick when visiting somewhere for the first time is to take an organised tour of the City, then make mental notes of places to re-visit later. Does that sound as if it would work?