The rather lovely people at Digital Photographer magazine have published a jolly splendid Photographer’s Guide to Delhi, written and photographed by an artist recently described by “Which Photographer” magazine as “Arguably the most erudite and charming photographer in South-East Asia“. Probably.
Here’s a brief Travel Photographer’s insider tale for you. When I was photographing the ironing table on the street, which isn’t an uncommon sight in Old Delhi, it was unattended. Just an empty ironing table with a heavy steam iron on top. A local man stepped out of a nearby shop, saw me photographing the ironing table and, quick as a flash and with only a moment’s thought, clearly decided that my image would be lacking the essential human element. So, showing what I thought was pretty impressive levels of generosity, he stepped into the frame, picked up the iron and pretended to be ironing. It wasn’t his iron. It wasn’t even his shop. He was just a passerby who spotted a gurning photographer on the street and thought he’d help make the shot a little more engaging.
He was only there long enough for me to take a couple of shots and for us to exchange laughter about his impromptu modelling. As you can see, he didn’t even remove his bag.
There’s something about that spontaneous, unselfish and gleeful act of generosity that restores your faith in human nature. I promised myself that I’d see that picture of him at the ironing board published one day. And there he is. Making me smile all over again.
There’s my friendly, helpful model in the background. Having just spotted me and decided that my image would lack an essential human element, he stepped up to the plate and into the frame.