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Cookshop in Srinagar





Contest Finalist in Cultures of the World Photo Contest
Peer Award
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Superb Composition
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
All Star

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Behind The Lens

I took the picture in Srinagar. It is the largest city in the indian state Jammu and Kashmir. I was on a travel to Ladakh with my parents in August 1987. We stayed a few days in Srinagar to accomodate for the height (Srinagar is about 1600m above sea level) before moving on to Leh, the capital of Ladakh (about 3500m). After visiting the Sha E Hamdan mosque, we came to a market area which also had several cookshops.
As the picture was taken more than 30 years ago, I do not remember the details, it was probably about noon.
The cookshops had some tentplanes mounted above them shielding them from the sun. On that day the weather was cloudy. Just when I was looking at the cookshops, the sun broke through the clouds and lit the shops in a nice way.
I used a Pentax ME super loaded with a Kodachrome 200 slide film. In those analog days, we had no EXIF data, so I do not remember the details, but probably I had my Tokina AT-X 28-85/3.5-4.5 mounted on the camera.
As we didn't have these kinds of cookshops at home, the whole scene looked very exotic to me. Combined with the nice light, it was a no-brainer.
This is just a scan of the original slide, only some minor clean-ups, like removing dust and noise.
In my camera bag
Nowadays, I use an Olympus E-M1 Mk II with an assortment of lenses. Depending on where I go, I pack my gear. When travelling light (e.g. on a business trip) my minimum setup would be the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 and the Olympus 45mm/1.8. My bread-and-butter lens is a 12-40mm/2.8, but I have lenses starting from an 8mm/1.8 fisheye up to the 50-200/2.8-3.5 FT with an 1.4 converter.
The trip was a guided study tour with a relativly small group of tourists. We had a great tourguide who knew the culture well. Organizing such a tour on your own is rather time consuming. Although on a guided tour, you are basically the typical tourist and do not have much contacts with locals, the organizers know when to be where to see the interesting stuff, so you get lots of impressions in a short amount of time.

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