Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Student + Teacher, Courtyard, Humana People to People India, Rajasthan, India, November 15, 2008

These images are a departure from my usual work, made in subdued lighting and including the environment. My work began this way, moved into a more minimalist viewpoint and has now returned to this form. Just as of this week a new lens was acquired to once again allow me to make images like the ones above. Portraits including the environment will now stand side by side with images lacking any signs of such.

In the above portraits a teacher sits on the same frame as her student, both associated with Humana People to People India. We arrived mid-day and needed to find a place of shade. As we talked in the narrow alley I noticed this courtyard just over a low wall. We asked the residents of the home and they welcomed us without issue. The entrance to the courtyard is to the upper right corner, and the wall is just beyond the baskets and grass/dung packets.

The residents of the house provided the small chair, and one by one the students sat down for their portraits. We would make perhaps four to six exposures of each child, then ask the next to sit down. As we were finishing our work we asked their teacher to join in the session and she did without reluctance. She even sat down in the same chair, in full view of the children and adults as well. The level of dedication always touches me, to see women and men working so diligently on behalf of the little ones.

The portrait of the young girl was made on the sixteenth roll while the latter image was made on the eighteenth roll of this session. A Hasselblad 555 ELD was used with a 120mm lens mounted on a tripod for consistency and stability. The film used was Fuji's Neopan Acros 100 ASA, and a small reflector was placed behind me and to the right with the help of a local volunteer.

Soon we hope that this school will reopen and have plans to help reopen five schools in 2013 with the gracious help of  Humana People to People India. In this way this wonderful teacher can return to her position and this student can once again learn to read and to write in between performing chores for her family.

Any reader interested in taking part of this work may contact me through the following links, input is most welcome.
Halim Ina Photography