What were my first impressions of India? Well, I was struck by the amount of people! It was a very different place, with the culture, the food, the different religions. Things were much more visible, people lived their lives more in public and it was just another kind of world. India had, to me, completely different music, different architecture, different food. You’re always kind of hyper-aware of your surroundings because everything is a bit strange and alien and hypnotic. 

The holy river in Varanasi, ghats filled with life, winding alleys and mystical spirituality make this a magical city to indulge from very early morning right through to long after the sun has set. 

Or the mystical Rajasthan, thanks to its splendid palaces: with tangle of winding, glittering, medieval streets, which never seem to lead where you expect them to, scented by incense and roses, with shops and bazaars selling everything from trumpets and temple decorations to silver and saris. Its bustling network of colourful alleyways, busy markets and traditional industries. 

 It was more about trying to find the essence of the place, what was unique. What was it about this place that made it intriguing to me as there is no guarantee that you’re going to make good pictures just because you happen.

The same rules of photography still apply: light and composition and a particular moment. You may be in an incredible place with an incredible story to tell, but you still have to craft it in a certain way.

Joys of my travel in India (March 2013):

"It was my maiden train trip in North India. Embarking at New Delhi, destination Janshi.
Train: New Delhi-Bhopal express.
Departure from New Delhi: 6AM

Everyone is travelling to different destinations and everyone has a story to tell. Everyone on the train has different reasons to travel by train. It is always a journey that we all enjoy than the destination or the means of travel!

I reached reached New Delhi railway station by 5.30 AM. For many, the gates of the train station is their sleeping choice. Getting down from a tuk tuk on a moderate March morning was a chilling experience considering the steamy day times. Local ‘coolies’ ( helpers) approaching like houseflies swarming unprotected sweet meat.

Train pulled up the platform quite on time. For an A/C chair wagon, I had legs space more than sufficient compared to many airlines! It was a 5 hour journey to Janshi which was at a distance of 426km and the train would reach a top speed of about 100km/hour.

While traveling by train is quite convenient as you get free bottled water and breakfast incl. morning chai.

Travellers enjoying their train travel – while some are immersed in reading news papers to keep abreast of what’s happening around the country, others are more relaxed watching Bollywood soaps on their laptops :-)

I just picture this how this would look back home in Europe .....Who wants to miss the joys of Train travel in India?" 

A cleansing bath in Varanasi (March 2013):

"Brace yourself. You're about to enter one of the most blindingly colorful, unrelentingly chaotic and unapologetically indiscreet places on earth. Varanasi takes no prisoners."

Explore. Dream. Discover. 

March 2013, Martin Vogt

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All Photographs © 2014-2020 by MARTIN VOGT 

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Martin Vogt's body of work spans vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – yet always retains a human and nature element.

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