If you fancy a job profile that says ‘Travel Photographer’, you really do not need to go running to Iceland, Antarctica, Norway, Indonesia or any of those destinations. While we agree that these are some of the most photogenic destinations in the world, you need to look closer to home to get your dream photography portfolio. It would be sans burning a lot of money, for India is a country that will surprise you with both its diversity and beauty.
Here is a low-down on India’s most photogenic experiences; some basic lenses apart from your camera kit lens and you can be off on a mission. Needless to say, you will have plenty of surprises coming your way.
Manipur’s Loktak Lake
Manipur’s claim to glory, this lake is worth all the hype and attention. While it is labelled as the largest freshwater lake in the Northeast, it is also a haven for landscape photographers. This lake also is quite rich in terms of biodiversity and is tagged under the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance. Monsoons are the perfect time to visit the lake, for it turns gregariously green; watch out for the road conditions though.
Hemis’ Snow Leopard
Like all good things, the perfect shots also come much patience and hard work. If you wish to make wildlife photography whilst you travel as your forte, a trip to Ladakh’s Hemis National Park is for you. This turf is home to the ever elusive snow leopards, also known as the Ghosts of the Mountains; a shot of those is your ticket to a certain fandom in the photographers’ community. Gear up for hours, even weeks, of camping in the remote, wilderness of the Himalayas if you are besotted with the idea. You can also join one of the customised photography tours to make it a slightly more comfortable experience.
Uttarakhand’s Valley of Flowers
There is no skipping Uttarakhand if you fancy a portfolio as a travel photographer. A trip to the Valley of Flowers here is as good as to the alpine meadows of Switzerland that the world keeps running to. And again, like all good things, this one needs some ardent efforts as the best landscape start rolling as you go higher. Some trekking experience will come quite handy here.
Arunachal’s Apatani Tribe
Well, a good travel photography portfolio cannot be bereft of people. The human element is an essential, for travel photography is much more than landscapes, wildlife, and adventures. Head to Arunachal Pradesh for some great portrait shots, especially because it is home to the Apatani tribe. While they are quite famous, and much photographed, do remember that the state is home to a vibrant 26 tribes as well; enough to stoke your imagination.
Ladakh’s Pangong Tso
Oh yes, I have been to most of the stunning places in the country, yet could not find something that can match the grandeur of this high altitude, Himalayan lake. This is a place that can put all photo-editing softwares to shame, for you will not need to use any. Its blue water is as blue as it looks in the photos; this is also where you can try yourself at some astro-photography, for there is nothing as clear as the sky in Ladakh.
Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch
The White Rann, while relentlessly hot, even in the winter months is another delight for photographers. A sunset on this salt marsh is the stuff that the best sunsets are made of, and capturing one is quite perfect for a travel photographer’s folio. You can plan your trip around the annual Rann Utsav, for this is also when you can go on a camel safari and more photography opportunities.
Kashmir’s Hazratbal Mosque
This mosque in Srinagar is a photographer’s fantasy. It has snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas for its backdrop and is a stunner to look at. While it is a place of much reverence for the followers of Islam, it is also a huge draw for shutterbugs from across the world. You will know why when you set your eyes on it for the first time.
Kashmir’s Nishat Bagh
I think our lives would feel quite better if it was always autumn in Kashmir. Plus, less of political turmoil of course. An afternoon walk in Srinagar’s Nishat Bagh will make a poet out of you, so do keep a steady hand on your camera lest you forget using it. You will get to walk through heaps of chinar leaves, wondering if you ever want to go back. Autumn is also the time when you can capture the saffron farms turning, well, saffron, here.
Gujarat’s Gir Forest National Park
There is nothing that can equal the thrill of looking at a full-grown lion, roaming free in the jungle. If you have spent most of your childhood, watching documentaries about lions on Nat Geo, Gir National Park is where you can live it all. It is home to the regal Asiatic lions, and will get you quite close to them in their natural habitat.
Dawki’s Umngot River
Dawki, as a tiny village in the Indian state of Meghalaya, basks in a fame that has been luring photographers from across the world. If you are waiting for your perfect shot and instant glory as a travel photographer, book your tickets to Meghalaya. Umngot flows between Bangladesh and India, and often has nationals and guards from both the nations on its banks. Its turquoise green water is astoundingly transparent, making the sight of its riverbed captured against boats quite a thing for the camera lovers.