Kashmir is not only the politics of religion, or the politics of nationalism; real people live there, with problems and joys common to people across India. Education, health, livelihood - we rarely hear about these. I spent time in May 2016 travelling many villages in the Lolab valley, 114 kilometers north of Srinagar and very distant from the tourists thronging the Dal lake and its jaded and yet beautiful attractions. My travel essay remain under production, shrouded in a writers fog, till then these selected photographs serve as an inadequate introduction to the wonderful people I met and the insights I gained into what really goes on in the lives of real people.
My Film Cameras
The Pentax 67II is a medium format (120mm) film camera, of which I carry two bodies. There are only 10 exposures in each film after the 20 exposure film was phased out in 2015, and this slows my pace even further, making me even more careful with my composition, enabling me to engage deeply with the subject. Changing the film is an equally measured process, after finding a spot in the shade. This lack of speed is similar in the Olympus OM4-Ti (a beautiful 35mm), though each film roll has a luxurious 36 exposures. By now I use only Kodak film : Tri-X 400 B&W and Portra 400 Color for the Pentax; and Tri-X 400 TX B&W and Portra 400 Color for the Olympus. My favourite and most used Pentax lens is the 90 mm / f2.8; then the 45 mm / f4.0; for the Olympus the 50 mm / f1.2; and then the 24 mm / f2.0.