I was walking around this marketplace in Jaipur, camera in hand, clicking randomly when I saw the mother and her child. But somehow I didn't think it right to intrude. The child was obviously very sick and the mother must be distraught. I looked away but not before making fleeting eye contact with the mother. I roamed around for half an hour and then wandered back to this spot. And this time I looked, she was looking right at me. She knew what I wanted and nodded meaning to say 'if you want to you may click'. It was an approval of the strangest kind for me. Here she was in the most unfortunate of conditions and yet she had the magnanimity to consent for a strager to photograph her.
My job wasn't done though. This was a very low light situation late in the evening. And to make matters worse, there was a constant stream of traffic whizzing past between me and her. I took about 4 shots in 5 minutes, waiting for a break in the traffic. This one was shot at ISO 320 with a wide open aperture.
Needless to say, this was was deeply moving experience for me.
Critiques | Translate
kinginexile (2598) 2004-09-29 23:40
yes, very strong and superb shot, too bad with the moped behind, it just does not belong in the pix.
Please, tell us you put a few rupees in that cup....
bibiweb (8) 2004-09-29 23:52
Great shot and a very moving story. I've come accross scenes like this during my various trips and I fully understand your first feeling about "not wanting to intrude".
MKING (3054) 2004-09-29 23:53
I think the moped is a good inclusion-- whether wanted or not. It's part of the reality of the situation; it was an area of dense traffic. In any case, it's almost symbollic of everyone else's neglect for this woman and child-- just streaming past attending to their own tasks. The depth of field-- given your limited options due to the light-- is gorgeous. Both mother and child pop out from their surrounds.
mimi (2325) 2004-09-30 0:15
Beautiful shot, Avishek. Her look is so hard and penetrating while the kid doesn't notice you at all. The guy moving past on the moped, not seeing the scene at all, adds so much. Did you consider cropping to the left to get rid of the Sprite bottles? I might. They're so bright, and the cool green distracts, in my opinion, from the rest of the warm tones in the shot.
iNNOCENt (271) 2004-09-30 0:30
Yeah, great shot! Although it demonstrates poverty, this shot is of quite positive mood. The poses and facial expressions are rather relaxed and not angry. I like those bottles of Sprite in the composition - it adds some contrast of different generations/societies. I'm not sure if I like a blurred object in the background - it disturbs the overall calmness a bit. However, from your comment it seems that there was no way to avoid it.
Thank you for sharing, beautiful work!
danielswalsh (13599) 2004-09-30 0:35
Fantastic photo Avis, with a very touching story.
Your results are superb- you have really outdone yourself with this one!
The depth of field is great, and I really like the movement behind the mother and daughter. Such as life, passing them by as they wait in their time of need- seemingly unnoticed.
Great job Avis!
flydragon (0) 2004-09-30 2:46
verry strong and so sad picture
i like the point of view and the color
something disturb me here
the sprite bottle and white bag
maciekda (19895) 2004-09-30 3:24
very good picture again Avishek, very well composed and good use of shallow dof. what surprises me here is amount of purple fringing around this white plastic bag, which is overexposed here - i'd measure the light on it. anyway, it is a small flaw, good work definitely
clodreno (0) 2004-09-30 3:28
a lovely image Avishek.I simply like a lot the way she is looking at you. The motorcycle speeding in the background is a +. I don't think the image would have the same impact without it.
your framing is also interesting..
eleparc (24063) 2004-09-30 3:55
great note avishek! i like this horizontal frame very much and the blur of the motobike in the background gives a sense of isolation to the scene...As if she and her kid were in a world of their own, which they probably are as you explained. havin,g read your note it is an even more moving shot... well done;-)
alainh (35583) 2004-09-30 4:40
Photo tres forte, tres dure, et tres belle à la fois.
ces regards sont terribles (dure pour la mere, perdu pour l'enfant).
Excellent travail de composition avec ce flou des gens qui passent devant cette scène.
la présence occidentale et ses bouteilles de soda sont un plus.
enfin cette prise à raz du sol est géniale.
Une photo terriblement belle.
christina (2040) 2004-09-30 5:04
Beautiful shot! te story is moving and interesting. It is funy how total strangers make a connectionin tis big world. Goog work, DOF, and point of view!
jhm (140070) 2004-09-30 5:52
I see a very sadly photo, Avishek. The look is so hard and penetrating, maybe ask for food, it small girl is not concerned. Excellent daily life picture, the colours are really, good composition too.
alimo3 (6854) 2004-09-30 6:55
nice shot ,i like the balance between people and the movement .
to bad for the bag and botles.
naxius (16685) 2004-09-30 7:07
Very interesting photo you hqve published here Avishek and I am astonished to see the great colors you have. I like the motion man on his bike on the right part.
hispic (9652) 2004-09-30 7:58
I was riveted to this photograph ten minutes or more, cannot find words it is too sad. this was deeply moving me.
pridel (233) 2004-09-30 12:51
very beautiful and sad photograph.
the glance of the mother is very strong and the child seems very weakened.
the two bottles and the bag are in their place
you wrote a very emotive note.
oochappan (16981) 2004-09-30 17:04
The border was a little bit distracting when I saw the thumb but once open it's OK but still not necessairy for such a good portrait. Leaving the lady and her child in their natural environment, to avoid the almost studio-photo portraits I appreciate very much as you take the viewer into real life making the scene so much more tangible.
For the rest simply a high quality-photo with all the marks of sharpness, DOF balanced clear colors but most for the perfect natural presentation of the subject in the spirit of TE touching the moment as it is. Outstanding by patience and personal view.
jbweasle (9373) 2004-09-30 17:10
A very touching picture of life on the streets of India. I think all inclusions in the picture should be there because they are. The bottles, the bag, the shoe, the moped. The photo is more real because of them. This is not a set up picture, this is life as it is.
kikvel (4784) 2004-09-30 21:50
great shot Avishek!
Strong contents showing human reality.
I like the motion blur as well.
manny (21833) 2004-10-01 5:59
Superb photography! Avishek, your note is very interesting and VERY true of me too. Sometimes consent are given in the most unusual way. Sometimes, beautiful pictures are made from the most unexpected places, during the most unexpected time.
Beautiful colors and very good timing. Need I say more? EXCELLENT!
tgdusty (385) 2004-10-03 7:06
Poerfull statement from the lady's eyes,
wellcomposed, not sure about the moped
elihesamian (26149) 2004-10-04 5:25
great work,excellent POV,real colors,effective & I like it alot.
I'm now out of Tehran,a short connection:)
xmpcray (36) 2004-10-05 5:52
Excellent picture...like time just stood still for the 2...
annaw (90) 2004-10-08 10:50
An extremely emotional photograph, well captured. The look in the mother's eye, the lone shoe off to the right side, and the little girl's skinny leg stand out for me. Very sad photograph. I also spent time in India, and wheneverI forget about the poverty and how much we waste in the West, I need to remind myself and get back on track. I will use this photo for that purpose. Good work, and I definitely understand how hard it must have been to take this picture.
scalerman (26900) 2004-10-08 13:48
Powerful photograph. I can't add anything that the others haven't already said, but pts.
rabani (9645) 2004-10-11 21:11
You have a very moving still here Avi.Great work you are making. Keep it up and show us what is really India.
piozac (2065) 2004-10-13 12:41
This is a very serious piece of photography Avishek! Your composition is extraordinary. You've cought a very interesting scene as well.
Very well done!
ste (872) 2004-10-14 17:49
sad reality! I go soon to India and I do not know if I could take such photographs. I also think that these photographs must denounce misery for esperer a day one cannot be pilot for it more
KevRyan (22952) 2004-12-31 6:20
A very strong picture which captures well the speed and business of Indian life and it's stillness. You show the stength of human character and also the weakness of a society in which individual lives can seem to mean so little. Speed and stillness, strength and fragility, modernity and the ancient - I really like this picture just as it is.
I also like your words which describe so well the sensitive photographer's dilemna.
summersun (4978) 2005-02-21 5:04
wow . such a sad and beautiful photo. the kid ( who's as small as a baby) really looks miserable.
I like the movement in the back and the colors on the wall and clothes.
Jeppe (18654) 2005-03-10 15:40
Hi Avishek - Yes I can understand why this photo your personal favorite - the look you got from the mother and the skinny child gives a true feeling of poorness - the blurred trafic actually adds extra to image - not need to aviod that - thanks and congratulation.
nghai (0) 2005-07-28 7:18
This one is really touchy. The eyes of the mother reveal so much about her,the child & their sorry state of affairs. The scooter in the backdrop adds a Slice-of-the-life touch to the picture.
fiedziu (1764) 2005-08-06 7:58
ballyna (1689) 2005-08-11 7:52
this is so good,her eye-touch with your camera is very pretty;we can read her lifeline there.and the motorcyclist is adding the pic there like a conflict between the modern and the primitive.if I were u,I would have cropped from the upper part a little bit more until the ending point of the tin plate.congratulations,
faubry (35405) 2005-09-21 5:11
very interesting shot, poor people from india!! the little boy is too thin...and the woman regard!!!
good colors, i like this composition daily life, sorry for the bag who disturb...
rajhema (1871) 2006-06-08 9:38
It is indeed moving Avishek. Your narration is lively and the picture says a 1000 words. baby's attention in its own world with the mother very attentive to the surroundings in a busy street environment explain the protection she is giving to her child.
Very well taken and colors are vibrant. Informative capture.
ein22 (478) 2007-01-18 7:32
A very intimate look at povery. This is not like some really in your face charity advertisment, it's real life. I really hope you tipped her for making such a beautiful photograph. I know it's risky to tip in India because then you have 20 000 beggars instantly wanting money. But I do hope something was given to the mother to help her child on your behalf.
Thank you for this really nice photo.
lucianm (0) 2008-10-15 5:01
I love your portraits, just looked randomly at a few.
For this one in particular the note impressed me most. I can feel her nodding.
eskay001 (106) 2008-11-03 19:06
A really good photo and even better story behind the picture. The mother and child are always in integrated unit and tell people a lot when they are together.
The movement blur at the right of the picture, though thrown out of focus with f1.4, is still distracting. What about your other pictures? Or can you somehow crop this area a little?
clicking4fun (1) 2009-03-15 9:20
so sad! isnt it! and i completely agree to ur feeling of "not to intrude". Sigh! I had similar problem in taking a picture of an old woman playing accordion in a busy glasgow street during xmas. Although she was in a much better shape than this poor old lady and the child, I had problems in taking close potrait of her. I cud feel she didnot like me taking her snap, but I could not resist, as the caption was already in my mind. Eventually had to take one from far and crop it afterwards as I donot have a big zoom lens!
- Copyright: Avishek Chakravarty (avis2avis) (4264)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-09-25
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D70, Nikkor AF 50mm/1.4D
- Exposure: f/1.4, 1/30 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Mother and Child, Your own most Favorite photo !, Mothers of the World [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2004-09-29 23:25
- Favorites: 7 [view]