Tuesday, 8 April 2014

POV: A Favorite Staged Photograph

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
It's not often that I stage a photograph, and that it also becomes one of my favorites. But it's exactly what happened during my just completed The Sacred Cities: Varanasi & Vrindavan Photo Expedition-Workshop.

Walling back from a free-for-all photo shoot on the banks of the Yamuna river in Vrindavan, I saw brilliant and powerful ultramarine colored house walls, happily clashing with the remaining drab gray concrete walls of the neighborhood; reminiscent of the houses of Jodhpur's Brahmpuri area, the houses in Chefchaouen (Morocco), or even Reckitt's Blue Laundry Bluing (a traditional laundry whitener).

An elderly widow passing by prompted me to ask her to pose for us,  and showing no hesitation whatsoever, she almost hopped on the side step and sat there...patiently waiting for us to finish taking her photograph. I didn't need to prompt as to how to sit...doing so generally results in people looking awkward, and telling aged people how to pose sometimes causes them discomfort...so I refrain from doing that. My initial thought was that the pose did seem awkward but on reflection, I realized that many elderly women in  India adopt that very pose...the hand over a hip, and the rest of the arm forming a sort of triangle...almost at right angle to the body.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Some time later, an attractive woman (presumably the lady of the house) came over to investigate the commotion outside her home, and while extremely graceful and gracious...she didn't have the photogenic ingredient that the widow had. At least, in my view.

Yes, it does happen...age trumps youth and beauty.