The rainy season in West Bengal lasts from July to the end of September, with rainfall peaking in August. The rain does bring relief from the city's heavy pollution, which otherwise sees regular smog and haze.
Global - Travel Tips

These 3 tips will help you take better travel photos

Photo by Jon Nicholson

Global - Travel Tips These 3 tips will help you take better travel photos

Photos are one of the best ways to remember your travel adventures...and show off to your friends on Instagram.

Chris Woolfrey
Chris Woolfrey

Here are three simple tips, from three professional photographers, that will help you drastically improve your shots.

Get involved with the locals

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The hutongs or alleyways between courtyard houses in downtown Beijing are facing a threat from the city's constant construction. The word hutong is said to hark back to the gap between rows of tents of nomad warriors when Beijing was a Mongol capital in the 13th century. Photo by Adrian Bradshaw / Alamy

Adrian Bradshaw

Adrian Bradshaw

Agency
Alamy

The hutongs or alleyways between courtyard houses in downtown Beijing are facing a threat from the city's constant construction. The word hutong is said to hark back to the gap between rows of tents of nomad warriors when Beijing was a Mongol capital in the 13th century.

Adrian Bradshaw has lived in China for almost 30 years. When traveling in exotic locations, he says, you've got to be confident and willing to get in among the hustle and bustle of daily life.

"Getting on my bicycle with a small camera and a willingness to engage with the sometimes gruff, sometimes hilarious but (almost) always friendly and accommodating people of this huge city has brought me many great encounters in Beijing.

"Big cameras and a standoff or furtive approach don't work here, where any foreigner - particularly anyone resembling a journalist - will stick out from a mile off and therefore be treated with caution."

Don't wait for the sun

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Rickshaw pullers in Kolkata earn less than $8 a day, with no earnings at all if they are ill or take a day off. Most are from the poverty-ridden state of Bihar, illiterate and otherwise unskilled, so the work is an essential source of income to support their families back home. Photo by Jon Nicholson

Jon Nicholson

Jon Nicholson

Nikon D3X

Aperture
ƒ/2.8
Exposure
1/200
ISO
400
Focal
27 mm

Rickshaw pullers in Kolkata earn less than $8 a day, with no earnings at all if they are ill or take a day off. Most are from the poverty-ridden state of Bihar, illiterate and otherwise unskilled, so the work is an essential source of income to support their families back home.

Actually, look for the rain. So says photographer Jon Nicholson.

"Going to Kolkata to shoot two stories at the same time – on trams and rickshaws in the monsoon – gave me the time to wait. Sometimes, just when you think the heavens are going to open, the sun comes out. So I shot the tram story and then rushed out to find the rickshaws at the first rumble of thunder.

"It was too hot for a jacket, so I just walked in the rain without my coat on.  The man in the photo stopped his rickshaw to ask if I was mad. Everybody else was sheltering from the rain. Then, I took the guy's photo.

Consider the angle

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"It's a typical Amsterdam scene: a woman riding her bike over a canal bridge. This shot is even quite sober; you see bikes with flowers on them or people with their dog in the basket. But I like this photo because it shows the Amsterdam female spirit. She is a proud woman in one of the nicest cities in the world, where most of the traffic downtown is by bike." Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

"It's a typical Amsterdam scene: a woman riding her bike over a canal bridge. This shot is even quite sober; you see bikes with flowers on them or people with their dog in the basket. But I like this photo because it shows the Amsterdam female spirit. She is a proud woman in one of the nicest cities in the world, where most of the traffic downtown is by bike."

Sometimes, what seems like a simple photo becomes so much stronger if you take it from a slightly different angle, says Jurjen Drenth.

"I try to catch cyclists at different places in the city but I liked this spot, where I could just stand and wait with the old canal houses as a background, so you know instantly you are in Amsterdam. I also liked the bridge as they have to climb a bit and, with a tele lens, it gives a nice image. The hill looks more hilly, while the cyclist is sharp and the background less so, putting the accent on the foreground.

"To make this effect stronger, I stood at the lower street level. It's quite a simple photo but there are some subtle details that make it a better picture. This is a typical Amsterdam girl on her cycle (above), with music on her earphones (very comfortable) and a box on her bike (very practical). I also like the way the leopard design on her trousers matches her bike. Not a really good color combination, though: in Dutch, we say it 'curses'.”

 

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