Guest Photographer Val Jerram – India With Eyes Wide Open

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I so much enjoy featuring the images of friends who share my passion for photography. Our long-time friend Val Jerram is a perfect example. Val is a world traveller of the first order. She’s been everywhere, man! She recently sent me some images from her last visit to India. I’m happy to present them to you here. Val shoots with a high-end point-and-shoot camera; she’s had a variety of them. These are great examples of what can be done with them by someone who reads the manual and has a good pair of eyes for composition and the moment.

Here’s a nice example. This image of a man playing the Sitar seems, at first, not particularly special. It’s nice, but . . . Okay, now look again. Look at the expression on the face of the old man in the background. Knowing Val, I don’t think this was an accidentally excellent shot. Here’s what Val had to say:

This gent Dr A. J. Tha serenaded us and played his sitar, along with a drummer at sunset as the fellow in the background paddled the boat down the Ganges river at sunset and we set our lighted candles to float on the water. There was a hive of activity because they were celebrating the religious festival of Diwale (The Indian equivalent of Christmas).

Sitar Man by Val JerramSounds better coming from Val, eh? Here’s another beautiful image preceeded by Val’s comment:

The picture of the man was taken in a remote village when we went for a walk after breakfast. We had stayed in the local fort which which was being restored and used as a hotel. It was in the province of Rajasthan.

Indian Man at Sunrise by Val JerramExquisite!

And, just to show that she’s not immune the the ‘tourist shot’ here’s one of the Taj Mahal:

Taj Mahal by Val JerramHey, wait a minute! That’s not your average tourist snapshot. That’s a well-thought-out, beautifully composed photograph worthy of exhibition.

Here’s one that Val described as, “A family out for a ride on the outskirts of town.”

Camel and Family by Val JerramNice use of the Rule of Thirds, angular elements and interesting cropping to capture the sense of motion.

This one is my favourite. Eat your heart out, National Geographic! Here’s what Val had to say:

On our ride on camels into the desert we had to take a break for some of our camel drivers to put their prayer mats down and face Mecca.

Camel Drivers by Val JerramOkay, but she didn’t walk over and take a shot of the guys praying, no not Val. That would be far too obvious. They are way up in the corner. Once you start to listen to the image, hearing what it’s about, you can’t stop looking at the fellows praying. It’s a setup job. She’s tricked you. All that beautiful colour and the smiling faces are red herrings.

And here is the talented lady herself:

It can get cool in the desert overnight. On the ride out those long sleeves protected me from the hot sun. The obligatory money pouch is strung around my neck.

Val JerramShe keeps saying that she’s going to take root for a while.

I don’t believe a word of it.

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6 Responses to “Guest Photographer Val Jerram – India With Eyes Wide Open”

  1. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Loved Val’s picture. All of them are great, but the one that spoke to me the most was the 2nd shot, the man with the red head wrap. (I agree that the prayer mats picture is also amazing.)

    Thanks for sharing your friend’s work with us. Looks like a remarkable lady!

  2. Mari Says:

    Monin tru!
    I loved every single picture but my favourites – man with a turban with the sunsetting or rising in the background, the Taj Mahal – Val shows its timelessness and a great angle to shoot from – my kind of frame – yes, worth a place in an art gallery, and the guys sitting around with the camels – sense of fun in the air – even grown men can frolick in the sun…
    Thanks for sharing Val’s awesome shots. Am going to share with my readers too…

  3. MadDog Says:

    Hi Mari,

    Glad you like Val’s images. She has become a very good photographer during the years that I have known her.

    I enjoy sharing the work of my friends with you.


  4. MadDog Says:

    Remarkable – that’s the word. Seems It seems that I have quite a few remarkable women in my life. Most of my male friends are slouches. Go figure.

  5. Sharon Down Says:

    Val, you look like you are enjoying yourself immensely, India is awesome and what better guide than Deb. I can also see why you spent so long in PNG not to mention why you love to dive, the pics are incredible! I can see a coffee table book coming on!

  6. MadDog Says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Val may or may not see your comment here. You might want to duplicate it and send it via email. I don’t know if she follows the comments closely.