I am blogging this week for the News Photographers Association of Canada.
See fullposts here.
Wow. I’m working as an international journalist. How romantic. Traveling the world, camera in tow. How prolific. I’m living the dream and running free. Enjoy the journey, I keep hearing. You enjoy the journey; I just want to take pictures. Moving, still, audio, multimedia. I’m sick of the debate. I just want to run away and tell stories. Wait, I’ve already run away. Now what about the stories? Well to be honest, I’m having a hell of a time wrapping my head around this place. Everything seems like a story, yet nothing seems like a story. I better get on that.
Today was another exciting day at the office. Try to contain yourself while reading this blog. I dare you.
I spent the day waiting for the Internet to arrive at my new place. She stood me up. The candle is still melting; I’m still waiting. I had hoped to spend at least part of the day visiting an ngo that I hope to hook up with for a story. But there’s always tomorrow.
Today was certainly a new day. A dog day, if you will.
This fine sunny Tuesday marks a week in India. When I reflect on the past seven days they feel like a month. That being said, I’ve figured out the basics: what’s up is down (light switches), what’s left is right (steering wheels). In fact, a lot was accomplished, and I am one modem away from having officially set up shop. Ready to roll. Bring on the assignments. Oh wait. Obama’s not in India…hmmm. Maybe they’ll come in a few days. I’ll keep you updated.
Day one. Get bearings. Find cell phone.
Everything I’ve read was true. The congestion, the smog, the traffic, the touts, the beggars, the beautiful women in saris, the men drinking chai, the smell of samosas frying, people yelling, and horns honking. What I didn’t picture was myself fitting somewhere within that scene.
My first 24 hours has been an interesting mix of culture shock, excitement, and relief in that order.
Let’s start with the culture shock.
Today I awoke, and Natalie Alcoba (see her blog here) the writer I am traveling with and I decided to take a walk since we were still on North American time, and the sun was just rising. Late last night we arrived in India, and cabbed it to an area of New Delhi called Karol Bagh, a section of Delhi populated with shops, and a plethora of people.
Natalie and I walked our way through the dusty streets as the sun rose creating streaks of light down long straight alley like roads. Most people went about their business, and we worked hard not to get run over. My close call was a bus, Natalie’s a motorcycle. I like her odds on that one. The real culture shock set in when we were walking back to our temporary hotel and a woman threw a used sanitary napkin at my shoe as part of what I can only assume was a scam set up with the many young shoeshiners on the street. I have heard feces being used in a similar fashion, but that one honestly cough me off guard.
Onto excitement. The great cell phone hunt.
Natalie and I spent the rest of the morning, into the late afternoon on a search for a cellular. After a long rickshaw ride, we went from shop to shop trying to haggle our way into the best deal. By lunch we felt defeated and took a break over some mutton, and chicken, then back at it. Eventually we both walked away phone in hands ready to attempt tomorrows venture, find a place to call home for a while and set up shop.
Back in Karol Bagh we went on a hunt for food and a beer. No dice on the beer, but some great samosas and aloo tikki.
Day one complete, and onto the next adventure. My goal is to up and running for freelance assignments in a weeks time.
I’ve had quite a few inquiries and with 10 days to go before I head to India to start my freelance career I thought I’d share the gear I plan to take along with me. I’m trying to keep my load as light as possible, but also want to make sure I have everything I need to get the job done properly. Happy New Year!
(2) Canon 5d Mark II and 6 batteries
(1)Canon HV20 video camera with twoneil adapter and 3 batteries
(1)Canon G7 with underwater housing with 3 batteries
(1)Canon 24 1.4
(1)Canon 50 1.2
(1)Canon 135 2.0
(1)Nikon 35 1.4 for the HV20
(1)Rode Video Mic
(1)Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Mic
(1)Sony MDR-7506 headphones
(1)Zoom H4 Audio Recorder
(1)Sennheiser EW112P bodypack lavalier kit
(1)15″ Macbook Pro 2.8 GHz w/4GB ram
(1) Drobo with 4 terabytes
(1)250 gig LaCie Rugged Drive
(1)Canon 580ex speedlite
(1)Canon STE2 Transmitter
(4)SanDisk Extreme 16 gig cards
(2)Sandisk 16 gig SD cards
(2)XLR mic cords
(1)Manfrotto Modosteady 585