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Author Topic: India?  (Read 22618 times)
dilip
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2008, 01:28:11 PM »
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One thing that does concern me is my MacBook laptop. I don't want to carry it around as my backpack is already weighty (1Ds 3, 35L, 17-40L, 24-70L, 70-200L 2.8 IS plus the possibility of a 400D).

As we're going to be staying in 'cheap' accommodation I'm a bit worried about leaving it in my room (not dorms). What're peoples thoughts?
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On my last trip to India, I stayed in both the lap of luxury and stuff closer to the fleabag end of things.  Travelling by train at night is a good call, but it's not always the best sleep.  Be sure to shake out any bedding that they give you, I almost impaled myself with a dead wasp.  Getting stung by an already dead wasp would simply have added insult to the injury.

In the lower end places I took the same precautions that I did in the higher end places.  My camera stuff was put into my backpack, which was put into a pacsafe and chained to something relatively unmovable. The laptop was in the bag too, but it was separately chained to something else unmovable using a laptop locking cable.

On the train I ensured I had the lower bunk, made sure my bag was chained up under it, and slept with my camera wedged between me and the wall (and under covers).

Theft is usually an act of convenience, people take the easy stuff and move along. Just like the rest of the world. I know some people who have had ranscaked rooms (touch wood, it's never happened to me) and if something was hard to take because it was chained up, it wasn't taken. The important thing to realise is that it wasn't damaged either, just moved around.

Personally I think the best advice is as follows: pack as light as you can. Take as little as you can get away with. I made do with essentially a wide lens and figured that if I couldn't get close enough, I would either crop or do without.  it certainly made travelling around a lot easier.  I liked having the laptop though. It allowed a certain amount of culling of photos.

--dilip
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Andy M
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2008, 02:12:28 PM »
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...if you want to show off your purchases or the thickness of your wallet, then take all your toys with you...What are we trying to do - create our own Getty in a single trip?

Rob C
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So you think I should take my cars and watch collection too?

I've specifically taken photos of my big house and beautiful wife too, as well as carrying my bank statements with me just so that I can make everybody I meet that little bit more envious.
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Andy M
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2008, 02:14:22 PM »
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Buy two or three hyperdrive space units (recently reviewed on this site) and carry one in your camera bag.
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My wishing to take my laptop is so that I don't have a mountain of files to process once I get back. The PP side of photography isn't something I particularly enjoy, so doing it in small chunks is much more preferable to having to process them in their thousands in one go.

Thanks for the advice
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Andy M
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 02:22:58 PM »
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Personally I think the best advice is as follows: pack as light as you can. Take as little as you can get away with. I made do with essentially a wide lens and figured that if I couldn't get close enough, I would either crop or do without.  it certainly made travelling around a lot easier.  I liked having the laptop though. It allowed a certain amount of culling of photos.

--dilip
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Thanks for the advice dilip. I've travelled quite extensively around Asia so I'm not too fazed by the prospect of night trains etc. One thing I'm not looking forward to is the apparent physical contact from touts and people trying to scam.

Reading a few of the posts on [a href=\"http://www.indiamike.com/]http://www.indiamike.com/[/url] it appears people in Delhi/Bombay/ Agra are less reticent about making physical contact to get your attention that those people of SE Asia for example. I'm no prude, and actually enjoy the odd cheeky tout vying for business, but I'm not sure about people being physical.

Any thoughts?
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Philmar
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2008, 04:42:28 PM »
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A friend and I have (on a whim) booked to travel to India for 3 weeks from mid-February. Both keen photographers the route we've provisionally marked in the sand is:

Delhi --> Agra --> Varanasi --> Khajuraho --> Bundi --> Udaipur --> Jaipur (we may scrap Jaipur)  --> Pushkar --> Delhi

I'd be very interested to hear if anybody has travelled in these areas, and if so, what were your thoughts?
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Spend more time outside of Delhi. It is the least interesting place on your list. One could easily spend a month in Delhi and take some great photos but I wouldn't do it at the expense of the places you hope to cover in 3 weeeks.
I'd save Agra for the next to last few days. The Taj truly is one of the world's wonders and will pale the rest of the trip. Don't do it first. Varanasi is a fantastic photo op.
I did a similar trip  - but had 4 weeks. Just the same I skipped Khajuraho because travel to and from it would have eaten 2 days of the itinerary.
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« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2008, 10:23:03 AM »
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Thanks for the advice dilip. I've travelled quite extensively around Asia so I'm not too fazed by the prospect of night trains etc. One thing I'm not looking forward to is the apparent physical contact from touts and people trying to scam.

Reading a few of the posts on http://www.indiamike.com/ it appears people in Delhi/Bombay/ Agra are less reticent about making physical contact to get your attention that those people of SE Asia for example. I'm no prude, and actually enjoy the odd cheeky tout vying for business, but I'm not sure about people being physical.

Any thoughts?
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Ah, memories.

We were on a exec trip in 2006.  We arrived in Delhi late Saturday night, checked in to our hotel and washed our dry throats with some tall Kingfisher's in the hotel bar.  Wakeup was 0530, for a 0700 departure down to Agra.  The rest of the hotel experience is a story in and of itself, which involves a drunk Indian man questioning the three American executives manhood and subsequently offering us our selection of high priced Delhi professional women.  

Anyways, we depart Delhi and plan to eat a late breakfast on the road at a place called the Country Inn.  Now, I have no clue where I was when we stopped there -- considering the night in the hotel bar and the 24 hours of travel -- but just before the Country Inn, there were men standing on the side of the road with trained bears.  One executive exclaimed "Let me out! I want to take pictures!"  The driver ground the car to a halt, and the executive got out.

As the executive was shooting pictures, our handler became agitated - it seemed every animal tout on this stretch of highway smelled blood and was descending on our vehicle.  Within mere moments the panopoly of Indian animal delights was putting on what amounted to a roadside circus performance.  My boss, who was talking with the handler, became quite concerened and asked me to go fetch the executive, who now had a snake handler, some guy with what looked like large rats, bears, monkeys, and some type of large chained up sloth-thing.  As I ran out of the vehicle, I told the executive it was time to go, and our handler was worried about how much it would cost us to buy ourselves out of this situation.

As we try and return to the vehicle (a whopping 6 feet from us), the touts descend in.  One guy, about 5'6" and 180 pounds, starts demanding 10,000 rupees from me for "photo sight fee".   As I get into the car, he inserts himself between the door and the door jamb, yelling in the loudest Hindi I've heard yet, grabbing at my pants.  

On the other side of the car, 6 men have pressed themselves against the glass and are screaming unintelligible things, some English, some Hindi, and I'm pretty sure I heard some Urdu in there as well, but my memory isn't exactly tack sharp on that.  They are slapping the windows and demanding money, while a guy with a monkey is standing in front of the car blocking our path.  It bears mentioning that the monkey is screaming, or at least pantomiming, on the end of its chain.

Our handler starts screaming back at the man in my door jamb, while our driver is laying on the horn and revving the throttle of the Toyota minibus.  The executive hands over 5 1000 rupee notes, and the man kicks the side of our van.  We depart with such fury that the tires squeal on the hot, late morning pavement.  

This entire event was approximately 5 minutes, no more.  

Breakfast was very quiet, with all of us equally speechless at what happened, until my boss said "Well, at least the screaming monkey wasn't throwing feces".

Good times.

Cheers,

-Andrew

post post edits - grammar.
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Andy M
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« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2008, 12:13:42 PM »
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"Well, at least the screaming monkey wasn't throwing feces".

Good times.

Cheers,

-Andrew

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Fantastic!
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« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2008, 07:24:50 AM »
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India - My view from very recent travel...

A few days ago I just completed travel Delhi - Varanasi - Agra - Jaipur and am now on visit to Sweden. On return to Asia again mid next week, I will again visit India for my good Indian friend's traditional wedding near Vishakhapatnam. For some clear reasons I dread going back through India...

Having been to now 37 countries and lived in 9 I do have some impression of travel from different countries. This includes travels and living in countries both rich and very poor, and indeed worse off countries than India. On this basis my view is that India is THE prime country where people constantly have tried rip me off and had me pay too much. This happens all the time. It frank feels tiring and insulting and requires constant being on alert to reduce such cheating.

When first arriving to Delhi at late at night I was fortunate that I walked out of the right exit to prepayed taxis. Those are fixed priced taxis. Of course, since I was foreigner the driver when dropping me off gave the face of expecting tip. I gave him 100 rupee which was smallest I had but way too much since the drive cost 300 something. If you get same type of driver in such minivan, do be cautious not to keep your head near roof in van since you will hit it hard when he bounce over speed bump or similar.

Stay away from Suncity Hotel in Delhi. It was over 50 USD and way too much for the standard they provided. It was a cold room and I used bed cover and blankets from two beds to keep me warm. Bathroom was colder. A look at www.tripadvisor.com will show reviews of hotels in Delhi that frank for none under 100 USD seem much good at all. Luxury hotels in Delhi charge around 200 USD to 500 USD. It beats me why they ask so much for such hotels in Delhi, because frank the city seem worse dump than even Cairo was and I paid 80 USD at Ramses Hilton in Cairo!, although that was a few years ago. Fact is that they ask for higher prices at hotels in Delhi than in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which far beats me.

I would advise against taking trains in India. Because my prepaid reservation had failed to reach the hotel in Delhi I was late to train station. Being directed wrongly to a "place around the corner" to exchange my e-ticket to a boarding ticket, by someone at gate to train station claiming he was officer, I found myself at travel agent about 10 minutes away and missed my train to Varanasi. Obvious I was not pleased and rather upset; asking them blunt "what the h*** I was doing there". Seems they work this way to rip off tourists and in getting business. Obvious "their man" at train station had made a silly misstake send me there. In fact I later heard there was warning also in Varanasi newpaper of similar frauds in Varanasi. Not only foreigners are subjects. My good Indian friend tells me that them themselves also frequent get ripped off and cheated as well.

In Varanasi it is worth staying at the guest houses at the gaths, or you will waste time going back and fourth. The guest houses also seem cheaper. I stayed at Ajays Guest House since others were full. Obvious I was made to pay too much there also, around 60 USD, whereas one website showed their rate as 12-30 USD, see here http://www.hostelz.com/hotel/65599-Ajay-Guest-House. My Indian friend helped me book it on phone. Be cautious when they ask of what is your budget. Also do not book boats from hotel. I was charged 500 rupee by the hotel for boat two hours, while speaking to boat owners after I found out they normally charge 100 rupee per hour.  It is frank difficult to catch all ways they try cheat, rip off and ask for too high prices, because they do so constant and at all times, and frank it is also difficult to know when indeed they offer a real and genuine deal. Do bear in mind that I am a person who have travel many places, nevertheless I clearly state this of India.

I did get a cool room at Ajays, perhaps because I paid more than others staying there.... It was the Mahujaray room at top in one tower with cupola and balcony around the tower. Definently not luxury, but cool. View from roof top of Ajay's were excellent for photography both in evening and morning. I would also advise trying photograph genuine spirutual people early mornings, while at day it seem there are people dressed up as spirutual and to cheat tourists of money with not only letting them take their photo, but even as "priests" showing the rituals with prayers in Hind at water... also praying for dontaions. Frank I never seen such lowness in all my travels global.

I frequent point out cheat because they also ask too much. Paying 100 rupee for someone in India to get to take their photo is way too much and is western price levels. This is India. It is a developing country, not rich. Why should we pay so much for taking their photo? 100 rupee is around 2.5 USD. If we pay so much they will keep that up as their job rather than proper respected work, which perhaps is what has happened in the tourist places I visited. Instead I tried always carry a stack of 10 rupee bills in my wallet, and to give them one or two, or when they pushed for more maybe one or two more. They are cheating us, just treat them same in return when that happens and be firm, but polite, just repeat your words... It is better we encourage them to do proper jobs in poor countries rather, because that will enable help themselves out from poverty. Donations will only make them more dependent.

Sure enough, when I stayed in Agra also cheated, I had made pre-reservation at hotel. Check in was no problem. But arriving late I sat in resturant with a beer and reception called me saying "Sir, we wish to confirm your rate of 3000 rupees for the room". I had learnt some of Indians at this point of my travels and replied that "I will check my emails in computer in morning of our agreed rate, and we will speak of rate at that time". Obvious they tried make me agree of 3000 on phone but I insisted check it in my computer. Honest though, although I had failed to get rate in emails, I did have a print from their website with their published rates starting at 2000 rupees. When checking out next morning I let them add up my bills and tell me the full amount. I then used my very surprice look straight into their face and said "what is this???". They said "Sir rate is 3000 for the room". I said "what?" "I was told 2000". Then I showed my print out (which actually was hotel contact info and room rates copied from their website), and it was taken to manager. Sure enough, I paid 2000 rupees for that room and they were very polite after "their misstake"...

As I said above, I have been to lots of places; remote and big cities in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, even Egypt where I lived more than one year. I also lived in Shanghai one year and have been to remote places in China that before my visit had never seen a foreigner. Sure, people have ripped me off and cheated me on travels before, but never as bad as the Indians. I find this experience of India very horrible.

Now, lets not pull all of them over one edge. I have an Indian that is a very good friend. As another example, a taxi driver in Delhi was very honest and regained my business for a second long drive there because he was so. Another one was asking me for 450 rupee to take me from domestic terminal to Radisson. He said it was 12km Sir. This sounded too expensive to me. Thus I called my Indian friend when we were driving in the car. He lives in Delhi, and told me normal rate for government taxis (such as I was in) is 6-7 rupee per km. I told this to driver, who was chess mate but still tried argue. At Radisson I told him here is 100 rupee which is already too much and not to rip people off in this shitty way. Then I was off for my tea that cost around 300 rupee. That is life. I honest feel wrong to be ripped off by such people, no matter if price is small or big.

Anyone who pays too much in countries such as India should be aware of that they also do harm to other travelers who come later, and who will have to pay western prices for much less qualities than we get in western countries. In my opinion that is clear wrong and not fair.

Ok, Taj Mahal. They do not permit triods and made me place it in locked storage. Even that did not help. They did not accept me carry my camera backpack into Taj. In fact I later heard they do not even permit ladies purses and that you are not permitted to walk close to the buildings to shoot close ups. I usually travel with short time on my hand, so I only had one morning there. Of course I do not trust putting my camera gear in their lockers, even when they give me the key. I started walk towards riksha to bring me to hotel when a gentleman approached me and said he could take me to river for 800 rupee for some very good views for photograph. I said no. Then in riksha I changed my mind and returned because sunrise was happening and I would have lost the light going back. I said to him, I accept pay 400 rupee. He said ok. His name was Don. Ask for him, and away from guards at entrance. But do pay the entrance fee to Taj first, or perhaps else they will put him out of business. He was really great. He knew exactly what me as a photographer was looking for. He took me to great views of Taj from river. The sunrise had some fog and excellent light. He said it is that way each morning. I do not know, but that morning felt like spectacular. He had a small boat with boatman standby for me to cross the river. I was the only person photographing or sightseeing there. On return he asked me to pay the boatman 200 rupee, I did not even bargain. Don delivered excellent and well worth the cost for the photos I took. He suggested where I should stand for best views and clearly knew this for best reflections of Taj Mahal in water etc. A boy showed up with camel, I paid extra, only one USD for three photos (the boy with camel was outside his arrangements). There was also a neighbouring government building which he said cost 500 rupee to get into,because had to pay off the people living there, yet like it would give very good view of Taj and the river. He was right. Up in that tower he asked for that money to give to them. He propably kept some. I did not mind, because what he gave me was truly excellent. I think in total I paid around 30 USD to him and his friends for all. That is way too much in India, but I did so for what he provided; it indeed was truly excellent. Please ask for him if you visit. He will deliver. No, I after back to hotel I never returned to see Taj Mahal on inside. I would not bother with such restrictions so as to make proper photography impossible, and there were lots of tourists entering which I did not want in photos either.

Driver with car Delhi - Agra cost me 4500, driver with car Jaipur - Delhi cost me 4000 rupee. Local tourist bus between Agra - Jaipur cost 180 rupee or something. Contrasts? Different means of travel, different classes of transport in India.... I do much recommend this place to stay in Jaipur http://www.umaidbhawan.com, a very nice and not too much $. I found this place rather awesome. There are numerous fortresses to see in Jaipur, but they all seem to open at around 9am. I only entered one, a tad late for sunset, but the building I wanted shoot it from was restricted anyways. I did capture early sunrise at Jal Mahal which was nice. Hawa Mahal was on otherhand  a disappointment since the color of the building at current does not look as nice as some of photos I have seen. It seemed in Rajasthan though that people cheated less, while of course they asked for too high price when I went to shop local artifacts.

As far as to visiting India again after my return to Asia, I do not think so. Why? I do not like being cheated or ripped off. I can find better photographic opportunities in remote areas of China, in Vietnam and so many other places where people treat me much nicer and with respect and kindness beyond what I found in India. I have been to Angkor Wat twice, very lovely, much thanks to the English run Peave of Angkor Villa and Dave there being a photographer himself. Of course, I expect where my friend is from near Vishakapatnam to be different  from Delhi, Varanasi, Agra etc, because propably not yet so much torn by tourist dollars.

Now for my return I need find a hotel in Delhi that do not charge too much and is clean and decent and good place to hang around at during one day (no plan for me to visit places in Delhi for me due the treatment I received in Delhi already). I prefer a hotel for less than 100 USD... any recommendatons??? Heck if I can find luxury one for less than 200 USD I may pick that... in a way to simply just avoid hasstles of people in Delhi. Near airport is my preferrence since I fly in early one morning and out very early next.

Hope Helps + Thanks.  

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 07:53:12 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
Andy M
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2008, 08:40:56 AM »
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Regrettably my plans for India have had to be put on hold. My mother-in-law passed away this week and my wife and I are now back in her home country of Thailand.

eBookers, and Eithad airline, were exceptionally unhelpful in me attempting to alter my tickets - £1.5k down the drain...
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2008, 09:20:28 AM »
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Regrettably my plans for India have had to be put on hold. My mother-in-law passed away this week and my wife and I are now back in her home country of Thailand.

eBookers, and Eithad airline, were exceptionally unhelpful in me attempting to alter my tickets - £1.5k down the drain...
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Andy

Very sorry to hear of your misfortune. Indeed my very sincere condolances. I was in Bangkok and Thailand first time one week ago. Since long ago though I much admire Thai people for their kindness, friendliness and much good virtues.

God bless,
Anders
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2008, 11:20:03 AM »
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Regrettably my plans for India have had to be put on hold. My mother-in-law passed away this week and my wife and I are now back in her home country of Thailand.

eBookers, and Eithad airline, were exceptionally unhelpful in me attempting to alter my tickets - £1.5k down the drain...
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That´s very sad news, man; I hope that when you all get past this painful time you will find fresh happiness in due course.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2008, 11:30:33 AM »
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Anders HK

If you get back to Vizag (as Vizagapatam  was once know for short) you must go to the top of the Dolphin´s Nose, just across the water to what was Scindia´s shipyard and also opposite the side of that great big school known as St Aloysius.

Should you go just out of town to Waltair, carry on to the shore at Lawson´s Bay - I used to swim there as a child; the backdrop just over the beach road was a large piece of red, deeply cut hill that would, had I but know it then, have made a very nice photographic subject. Probably all buildings now.

Memories - ah, Futt Futt, way before your swinging 60s pill and all that political correctness stuff that was to follow... had you but known such times you would have been able to see with a different, broader vision.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 11:44:41 AM by Rob C » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2008, 10:34:52 PM »
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Forget the laptop.  You're taking too much technology already.  Take more cards or a portable hard disk storage device.

To shoot India and not do street photography is to miss the point altogether.  Although India has wonderfully challenging architectural subjects, the really challenging and rewarding subject is Indians.

For cheap accommodation, find "Guest Houses".  They're inexpensive accommodation for traveling bureaucrats.

On theft:  I've traveled in over fifty countries and while I do take sensible precautions,  the only place I've had photo gear stolen was in London, England.  
Once, riding a motorcycle in Colombo with my Pentax Spotmatic around my neck, the 85mm Super-Muliticoated Takumar T1.8  came unscrewed and dropped onto the gas tank and off onto the asphalt.  My wife, riding pillion, yelled "Your lens fell off!"  And I said "Forget it.  Even if we found it, it'd be useless."  Imagine our surprise a few moments later and stalled in traffic, two young boys ran up to us, one bearing the lens, the other the lens cap.  The lens, while dented, works fine.  I still have it.
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2008, 10:47:26 PM »
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Forget the laptop.  You're taking too much technology already.  Take more cards or a portable hard disk storage device.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=175385\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Really? I find the laptop essential to view what I had shot that day in case I needed to return the next for any vital shot that I later find out that I screwed up. The LCD screen is too small to judge focus sharpness, slight movement or even slight flare. I like looking at my RAWs on a laptop screen later that evening. Plus the laptop has other uses too. Internet. You can process a RAW file should you need to print a photo of someone you promised a shot. Some people are too poor to even own a photo of themselves or their family.
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2008, 11:46:03 PM »
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Anders HK

If you get back to Vizag (as Vizagapatam  was once know for short) you must go to the top of the Dolphin´s Nose, just across the water to what was Scindia´s shipyard and also opposite the side of that great big school known as St Aloysius.

Should you go just out of town to Waltair, carry on to the shore at Lawson´s Bay - I used to swim there as a child; the backdrop just over the beach road was a large piece of red, deeply cut hill that would, had I but know it then, have made a very nice photographic subject. Probably all buildings now.

Memories - ah, Futt Futt, way before your swinging 60s pill and all that political correctness stuff that was to follow... had you but known such times you would have been able to see with a different, broader vision.

Rob C
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Rob

I will arrive Vishakhapatnam at 8am on Friday. My friends cousin will meet me and show me Vizak in morning. Will ask him about your suggestions. My friend has suggested that I first look at town/beach and then take bus to Aruku to look in afternoon and early morning. Then to my friends wedding Saturday mid day. Do you know of Aruku? My friend says it is nice, but I have found very little on internet.

Hopefully down by Vizak should be less touristy and better (more genuine) people photo opportunities...

Thanks!

Regards
Anders
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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2008, 12:15:06 AM »
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Andy

Very sorry to hear of your misfortune. Indeed my very sincere condolances. I was in Bangkok and Thailand first time one week ago. Since long ago though I much admire Thai people for their kindness, friendliness and much good virtues.

God bless,
Anders
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That´s very sad news, man; I hope that when you all get past this painful time you will find fresh happiness in due course.

Rob C
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Many many thanks guys
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2008, 08:54:15 PM »
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Hello -  

I'm sorry that Andy took a family loss in place of his India trip.

I've read this thread with great interest because I will be planning a very similar trip - three weeks on India ground over the upcoming winter holidays, along with my seasoned traveller teenage daughter and new girlfriend.  I'm the only one who is interested photography goals for this trip, so will be negotiating those pre-dawn rises and such.  Part motivation for this trip has been seeing photos from young Joey Lawrence.  I'm a one-daypack + camera bag fleabag kind of traveler, and figure no trip is complete without a night slept on the ground as do locals.  My far-out fantasy is to rent three scooters for a week and go from village to village in the foothills, but life loss may be less valued there and a truck may flatten my daughter.  The scooter thing is more of a fanatical joke that a serious pursuit.  I'll look into the places folks have mentioned, but have fingered Dehli>Varanasi> North? > Pushkar > home via Dehli.  I'll put more energy into planning after a short trip starting tomorrow through Chile & Argentina.

- thanks for the thoughtful words found here, RalphE
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usathyan
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2008, 08:29:38 AM »
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Quote from: Andy M
A friend and I have (on a whim) booked to travel to India for 3 weeks from mid-February. Both keen photographers the route we've provisionally marked in the sand is:

Delhi --> Agra --> Varanasi --> Khajuraho --> Bundi --> Udaipur --> Jaipur (we may scrap Jaipur)  --> Pushkar --> Delhi

I'd be very interested to hear if anybody has travelled in these areas, and if so, what were your thoughts?

Two thoughts:

1. 3 Weeks is too short to cover all of these places like a photographers. As a tourist - it is ok.

2. Get a fixer or local guide. Especially someone who is a photographer or some interest in photography.
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Umesh Bhatt
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reburns
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2008, 05:34:15 PM »
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Quote from: usathyan
Two thoughts:
1. 3 Weeks is too short to cover all of these places like a photographers. As a tourist - it is ok.
2. Get a fixer or local guide. Especially someone who is a photographer or some interest in photography.

Umesh, I'm going to guess that you are from India and relocated to NJ, glancing at your gallery.  (Very nice).  My time is limited by my daughter's high school vacation, unless I send her back alone!.  I do not have a concrete plan, but am attracted to Varanasi, Pushkar and wouldn't mind staying but a few days in a meditation ashram.  My first reaction is to skip the Taj to avoid crowds.  I encourage your budget-minded input.  For tonight, I gotta work, I missed out on tonight's flight to Santiago for a week climbing & flyfishing because I didn't meet a work goal.  Cheers.
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reburns
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2009, 03:27:53 PM »
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Trip report:  3 weeks in India.

Hello, I applied some feedback from this thread, and just returned fro three weeks in India.  I took a new camera body, four lenses, a stobist style umbrella and mini-stand, a 00-series Gitzo and Vosonic backup drive.  I appreciated having and used all of those.  I travelled with one backpack for wool t-shirts and sweaters and the tripods, plus a shoulder camera bag.  Everything could be carried onto airplanes.  I tend to travel "ambitiously", and we did Dehli > Rishikesh > Haridwar > Jaipur > Pushkar > Udaipur > Siana > Ranakpur > Udaipur > Varanasi.  From that my personal favorites were Haridwar, Pushkar, and Varanasi.  For my druthers, I would skip Ranakpur and Jaipur.

I would like to make a personal recommendation.  The young hardworking photographer, www.joeyl.com referred me to a teenager resident in Varanasi to guide me around and set up photoshoots.  Contact this guy Raju Om at: raju7pinki "at" yahoo.co.in   091.9919374353

I did not find the reported hassles traveling in India.  Yes, there were some plane delays and things like that, but I found the people to be gentle and friendly.  

Cheers, Ralph
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