Kaithoon Village near Kota, Rajasthan
Kota sarees (saree is the traditional Indian dress for women) rule through summer. Light and airy, these are an excellent protection against the north Indian heat. The ‘real’ Kota sarees are still made as they were 250 years ago, by a tedious, fully manual process, in a village called Kaithoon, 22 km away from Kota city. And how many sarees does Kaithoon weave in a year? Well, it has 1,200 looms, each one producing no more than five sarees a month. That is 60 in a year from one loom or 72,000 from the entire village. The actual figure, however, is closer to 60,000.
The weavers are all Muslim. The women also weave, often better than their husbands. They cover their heads and go about their business cheerfully. The burqha (head dress covering the face) is a rare sight indeed in Kaithoon. Money is also in short supply, and you’ll find the family, their loom and their goat coexist in the one-room-veranda dwellings. The future prospect of the craft lies in the hands of the women, who start inheriting weaving skills in their maiden homes at the age of 10/12 and become fairly skilled at the age of 15 to 16. They usually get married at the age of 18 to 20 but the marriage is strictly within the community and within clusters so that the craft remains limited to the clusters. Miriam, who you see in this picture is one such woman. She works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to create a Kota Saree which would adorn many a beautiful woman. A saree takes 7 to 8 days to make at the minimum, but the wages received by the weavers are insufficient and there are no savings practically.
Kota saris are woven on a traditional throw shuttle pit loom, which consists of a pit. The weaver controls the treadles with his foot placed in the pit and passes the shuttle that contains the weft threads manually across the loom from right to left and left to right through the shed. The main advantage of such a loom is that it occupies very little space and is relatively cheap. But its productivity is low, it is cumbersome to operate and only suitable for narrow width fabrics. There are hundreds of such looms, one existing practically in each household.
My endeavour to try something different photographically, with my DSLR camera. Hope you'll like it.
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Critiques | Translate
delkoo (68) 2009-02-03 1:46
I love the framing of your picture... very unusual and very successful. The light is superb... Great picture!
mesutilgim (81300) 2009-02-03 1:49
Great pov and wonderfull compo.
The smile at her face (which is not easily noticable) shows her respect for what she is doing.
Nice soft colors and very good usefull notes.
liviu (600) 2009-02-03 1:52
you know what? I like miriam, beautiful lady, I like the title, deep title, I like your pov, putting in one word I like your shot!
well done angshuman!
rodgerg (55767) 2009-02-03 2:00
Very niec portrait, scene of everyday's life very well collected. The expression and the glance of the lady are very well colcetd. Tenders colours. An excellent POV and the FG well selectd give a greta depht to the image.
Congratulations for this very nice nad very interseting photowork.
coco (30439) 2009-02-03 2:01
You made a touching work with this wonderful composition and the whole scene. Moreover, she didn't mind of you and she looks really pretty.
Soumyadeb (148) 2009-02-03 2:28
Hi Anshu --
What to say!!! I am already a fan of your photos...
Thanks for educating me...
riclopes (35577) 2009-02-03 2:51
Olá Angshu, I like this one so much. This blur effect makes a wonderful curtain in FG and it surprises me how did you manage to make such a good focus on her perfectly framed face, with all the vertical lines 'dancing' in between you and her. The shining blue wall also makes a nice BG. Congratulations on this superb daily life capture.
feather (51130) 2009-02-03 3:02
This is one case where I think the blurred foreground enhances rather than detracts from the image, as it appears that we are looking through diaphanous material instead of individual threads. You framed the image perfectly so the weaver's face appears through a space and she is very intent on her task, making this an excellent daily life scene. From your note I would guess that a Kota sari is very expensive. What is the material? Silk?
Jeppo (17639) 2009-02-03 3:20
I don't like it....I LOVE IT!!!!
This is a majestic different POV which shows us what's behind a dreamlike Sari!
behind it there's skill...patience...passion...and time.
carper (96) 2009-02-03 3:34
very nice Angshu,
unusual and very nice point of view, good colors and a good photo, very nice photo job here, have a nice day.
mortijo (12828) 2009-02-03 3:43
This is a very ineteresting and beautiful shot. You must have had the camera controls on manual to obtain this result. Extremely well done, my congratulations. The note is highly interesting.
saylan-cb (12738) 2009-02-03 3:45
This is a very beautiful compositions with the colours are wonderful and great capture the light is excellent.
Have a nice day,
limule (4176) 2009-02-03 4:12
Hello Angshu, I like the picture as well as your note.. such a delicate title too ! I am learning many things through this picture.. Geraldine
Floydian (30970) 2009-02-03 5:50
The oof lines in the foregroud are superb here. They bring so much extra in the picture, but never take the attention away from the woman in the background. Maybe because of the colours she is wearing is she still the main attraction here....great shot, creative and very well exposed.
Dpbours (222) 2009-02-03 8:07
The transparency of the woven garnment and lines is just enough to show what we need to see. The colours are subtle, but very nice.
Thank you for sharing!
Bartleby (13532) 2009-02-03 8:26
very well-crafted composition. I like how the eye has togo throught the fabric to reach the focus of attention that is the woman. Great expression too. The blue wall also provides an interesting background.
pauloog (11747) 2009-02-03 11:19
A very good view, showing the weaving and well focused on the lady.
A photo that is not only well executed but also interesting. Very good note. May their life conditions soon improve...
bukitgolfb301 (34916) 2009-02-03 13:02
Hello my dear Prof. Angshuman
I think this is the best shot among recent your photos for these several months. Composition, angle, color management and model are perfect there is no room to complain.
You are great photographer indeed.
I have to keep up with you, I will--
Best regards and thanks for sharing
dip (23528) 2009-02-03 13:32
wonderful image of the woman,excellent point of view and lighting,the colors are natural and the clarity also very good,
very well done,
avene (12675) 2009-02-03 16:06
fantastic photo, I think you have found the best point of view and composition to show the elaborate weawing process, and how airy and light the saree is, the web out out-of-focus threads in the foreground create almost weightless feeling. besides, as Henk says, the foreground still does not distract attention from the woman herself. excellent work, my compliments.
hispic (9619) 2009-02-03 19:07
Hello Angshu Ji,
The beautiful weaver has been superbly caught with a perfect composition and an exquisite shutter speed to give a motion to her hands. The note is also very good and interesting.
Graal (95972) 2009-02-04 0:15
nice portrait of woman, good reportage and interesting informations. Well done photo. I like it.
papagolf21 (83978) 2009-02-04 0:55
Bonjour, mon ami Angshu,
Il faut la patience d'une femme pour exercer ce talent ! il y a de quoi s'y perdre, il faut savoir utiliser toutes ses fonctions mentales pour gérer la machine.
Comme à l'accoutumée, la photo est très bien réalisée et très intéressante.
ChrisJ (95080) 2009-02-04 0:55
A superb daily life scene, of the weaver & the loom. Good sharpness, colour & pov. I like the colour contrast, between the cyan & red. Tfs!
patdeph (35748) 2009-02-04 1:02
this is a splendid and unusual portrait!I love the blurred wire of weaving,they appear like a dream,as your nice title says!The woman's face being in a hole,it was possible to have it sharp,I guess it was not easy to make it correctly!This is superbly framed,and I love the woman's pose and the colours of the photo!Superb!
danos (84275) 2009-02-04 1:13
Congratulations on your new camera.I wish you more and better shots like this one.Nice the portrait of Miriam that is weaving a kota saree,rare we see here in TE scenes like this.I like the excellent management of the lighting conditions as the clear and live colours.Well done.
John_F_Kennedy (42048) 2009-02-04 2:22
Very jice view through all the lines. Another beautiful and well composed shot of work life, wonderful photography.
pierrefonds (55664) 2009-02-04 4:16
You capture well the serious expression of Miriam working the loom. The point of view is showing the way the person is working the fabric on the loom. The details and colors are clear and sharp. The surrounding light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.
CLODO (29706) 2009-02-04 12:06
I like the frame made by the threads and the sharp portrait of the woman at work. Fainted colors add to the quietness.
josepmarin (57617) 2009-02-04 13:01
This weaver concentrated in her work is very well caught in your capture. I like how she is outlined on the whole image, and the blurry threads in foreground.
It is impressive that she works without rest during the whole week, for our western mentality this is almost inhuman.
Excellent photographic work, and excellent informative note, as usual.
emjleclercq (15780) 2009-02-04 13:14
A beautifull lady seen though the threads of the loom. this makes an original picture, and the best framing for a weaver.
All the best,
zeca (19762) 2009-02-04 21:32
Very good portrait! The point of view is excellent, well enhancing the woman. Well taken!
siolaw (38074) 2009-02-04 23:42
POV is well chosen, in order to get a clear shot at her face in a maze of threads... Good selective focus too, it gives depth.
jafadabret (56501) 2009-02-05 1:03
J'aime beaucoup ce portrait de la femme qui tisse. Le premier plan est occupé par le métier et les fils.
Belle atmosphère !
Beau travail !
sevy (15357) 2009-02-05 2:11
You are right to try new things with the DSLR, it is in this way we can become better and improve skills.
The framing is very interesting with the blurred ropes in first foreground. It helps to put the 3rd dimension in the photo and shows how many ropes there are in this activity.
The blue wall is providing a nice background and we see the woman working. So you got an aesthetic reporter photo.
The only small drawback of this photo is the access to the face of the woman, but with all the ropes, it should have not been possible to get better point of view to make easy the view on the face.
yquem46 (38382) 2009-02-05 7:22
Excellent POV and nice framing of the weaverwoman by the FG strings. Subject standing out on the blue wall
PS Thanks for your comments on my today's post
Kielia (23013) 2009-02-05 8:33
I have the deepest respect for your composition! It is not only looking at the beautiful lady and her amazing art craft, it is also reading your excellent note that really touches me. Thank your for this great work in the best spirit of TE!
AiresSantos (56155) 2009-02-06 2:17
Fine portrait of this lovely woman at work. Great POV, colours and details
Very good photojob and informative note
Have a nice weekend
gpsony (448) 2009-02-06 19:01
A perfectly positioned and shot picture. The DOF and POV are perfect. The colours and contrast are good.
What stands out for me is her expression....her expression. Brillant timing!
I have always wanted to shoot people working in looms. This has inspired me even more.
Atousa (7123) 2009-02-07 1:16
Very interesting shot showing this hardworking woman weaving a beautiful colourful Saree .. your chosen pov n the note are really great .. I thought they are very expensive too but now reading your reply to Kath I got my answer..I have heard " how to wear a Saree " is something that one should learn too as its somehow hard..good job.
cigdom (2592) 2009-02-07 3:25
In his photo y'd captured very nice view of her daily life. Very good portait. Beutfiful details and colours. very well seen and photographed.
Wanda1 (14978) 2009-02-08 22:33
I really like your idea to shoot through the threads blurring them out and focusing on her lovely face. I like that you have caught her in the moment as she is working, and it is great that the colours of her clothing are matching the wonderful background of the turquoise wall.
Bluejeans (64247) 2009-02-09 13:25
Hello my friend ,
Que lindíssima foto de uma grande beleza de cores e movimento da moça , bom enquadramento da foto , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
bmukherjee (1512) 2009-02-10 18:35
Fantastic composition, and intriguing note!
However, a couple minor corrections on your info: the headdress is called a hijab, and not a burqa. The burqa covers from head to toe, while the hijab is more like the Hindu ghunghat or ghumta that our great-grandmothers wore a century ago. Also, the arabic form of Miriam is Maryam. Miriam is the Jewish (Hebrew) transliteration. Nevertheless, both are the same references to the Virgin Mary - a popular figure in all Abrahamic religions.
Apart from that, the info on Kota saris is fascinating.
Didi (55441) 2009-02-14 3:09
Well done for this soft scene with a good framing.
Very good expression of the lady; good picture quality.
vinicio (23415) 2009-02-14 7:07
What a beautiful portrait and image full of fascinating colors and atmosphere, very good result Angshu, compliments.
partha (14020) 2009-02-15 8:43
Hi Angshu da,
As per my view this is a well documented shot. Very straight and simple yet storytelling. U have judiciously placed the face of girl in the right position and used the foreground cleverly.
And the information is very much helpful.
Merline (0) 2009-02-19 6:14
the title could not be better...there is a dreamy, unusual mood here, how delicate her hands and her intent expression. Beautiful light. Yet it is such harsh conditions that we could not devine from the photograph. So thank you too for the most interesting and moving note.
And congratulations on your new toy, very promising start indeed !
laxpix (686) 2009-03-07 23:44
Nice shot with so much feeling.
mikeo (12129) 2009-03-18 13:33
You have very great gallery and I had problem with choosing 1st one to comment:) My choise is "Miriam..." Very simple shot taken from daily life, but I like it a lot! So cool composition and great POV with blurred foreground... I love these horizontal and vertical lines, all these so cool colours and great title!
Really great job! TFS and greetings from Poland,
RedDevil (1217) 2009-04-01 1:21
hello friend, how are things going?
excellent POV chosen and harmony in the colors.
everlasting (14496) 2009-04-23 1:32
Do you know that I missed this, only thanks to your link today I am here. An excellent daily life scene with very informatative note. I think the blurred foreground of the threads enhances the image. the composition is perfect we see the weaver's face through the space.
Felip (3907) 2009-04-23 11:53
Very well chosen POV, that gives us an unique perspective.
Timing is great as colours and light...how do you do to achieve those soft tones?
- Copyright: Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) (55035)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-10-30
- Categories: Daily Life, Artwork, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), Canon 18 - 55mm / f 3.5 - 5.6
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/30 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Rajasthan, The Circuit Lesser Known
- Theme(s): traditions .., My Pictures, My Favourites [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-02-03 1:37
- Favorites: 1 [view]