18 February 2016

Making Decisions in Tamil Nadu

There are two different types of environmental or street portraits, (i) interactive (aka "posed") street portraits, and (ii) so-called candid (aka "natural") street portraits. The vast majority of my portraits in Facing the World are interactive portraits, based on well-established rapport, mutual trust and respect, which includes the explicit permission from the subject to snap her or his portrait and upload it to the web, e.g. to Flickr. 

(i) An interactive aka "posed" portrait is generally more than a (candid) snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position which includes a more or less meaningful background. It shows the subject looking directly at the photographer in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer. There is always eye contact between the subject and the viewer:

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Ammamandapam; ghats; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; beggar; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; eye contact; Indian man; face; short grey beard; poor; horizontal; ethnic; modern India; Shaivite devotee; tilaka mark
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Ammamandapam; ghats; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; beggar; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; eye contact; Indian man; grey hair; face; grey beard; poor; horizontal; ethnic; modern India; vibhuti; tilaka mark; white ash on forehead; orange turban; orange robe
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Ammamandapam; ghats; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; beggar; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; eye contact; Indian man; face; white beard; poor; horizontal; ethnic; modern India; orange turban; orange robeMatt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Ammamandapam; ghats; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; beggar; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; eye contact; Indian man; face; poor; horizontal; ethnic; modern India; orange hood
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Ammamandapam; ghats; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; beggar; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; eye contact; Indian man; grey hair; face; grey beard; poor; horizontal; ethnic; modern India; vibhuti; red tilaka mark

























(ii) A so-called candid aka "natural" portrait tends to objectify the photographed, usually unaware subject, is often ethically questionable (e.g. paparazzi) and sometimes merely the symptom of a socially incompetent and/or insecure photographer.
At rare occasions, the shooting of such a portrait might be justified when the subject's eyes are busy with something other than the photographer (e.g. reading a newspaper, examining an object, interacting with third parties):

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; candid; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; orange turban; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite sadhu; old sadhu; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; religion; third eye; reading; studying; newspaper; Tamil language; morning light; focused; Hill of Arunachala; girivalam; giripradakshina; red tilaka mark
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; candid; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite sadhu; old sadhu; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; grey hair; face; religion; white beard; white ash on forehead; third eye; reading; studying; newspaper; Tamil language; morning light; orange shawl; focused; Hill of Arunachala; girivalam; giripradakshina; rudraksha beads; vibhuti; rudraksha mala; red tilaka mark
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; candid; eyeglasses; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite devotee; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; grey hair; face; religion; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; third eye; reading; short grey beard; Shiva; tilaka mark; tripundra; studying; newspaper; Tamil language; morning light; focused; Annamalaiyar Temple; horizontalMatt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; rudraksha beads; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; candid; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite sadhu; old sadhu; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; religion; reading; studying; newspaper; Tamil language; morning light; orange; focused; Hill of Arunachala; girivalam; giripradakshina; orange turban; orange robe; long grey beardMatt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; candid; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite sadhu; old sadhu; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; grey hair; face; religion; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; third eye; reading; red tilaka mark; studying; newspaper; Tamil language; morning light; focused; Hill of Arunachala; girivalam; giripradakshina; plaid




Reactions to candid photography differ between cultures and societies, and even where restrictions on photography are not covered by statute, code, or judicial precedent, there may be resistance to the taking of photographs by individuals. The breach of the social norms can result in opprobrium, danger, and violence, and as such should be noted and respected.


Portrait photographs of Hindu devotees from Tamil Nadu in Matt Hahnewald's
Flickr Album 2016-02a Facing Lively Tamil Nadu

Portrait photographs of sadhus from Nepal in Matt Hahnewald's
Portrait photographs of sadhus from Tamil Nadu in Matt Hahnewald's
Portrait photographs of sadhus from Varanasi in Matt Hahnewald's

Even more ethnic street portraits from all over the world in Matt Hahnewald's
Flickr Albums Facing the World

12 February 2016

Identifying Vaishnavites and Shaivites

Srirangam is an island and a part of the city of Tiruchirappalli aka Trichy, in South India. It is bounded by the Kaveri River aka Cauvery River on one side, and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam River aka Coleroon River on the other side.

Srirangam is home to a significant population of both (i) Vaishnavites (the followers of god Vishnu, the preserver, who worship their god at the 73m high Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple) and (ii) Shaivites (the followers of god Shiva, the destroyer, who worship their god at the nearby Sri Jambukeshwara Temple).

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; South Asia; Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Srirangam; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; photography; colour; yellow; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; eye contact; Indian man; low caste; beggar; dreadlocks; dirty; black beard



























The sacred white ash which is made of burnt dried wood in Āgamic rituals is called vibhuti. Shaivite devotees apply vibhuti mostly as a white patch or as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to please the god Shiva. Three lines of vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows, usually together with a red dot, is called tripundra. Yellow sandalwood paste aka chandanam often completes a sophisticated and impressive vibhuti.

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite sadhu; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; grey hair; face; unkempt hair; Srirangam; Sri Jambukeshwara Temple; long beard; eye contact; religion; orange robe; mala; japa mala; prayer beads; rudraksha mala; mala beads; vibhuti; white ash on forehead
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Shaivite brahmin; old brahmin; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; grey hair; face; Srirangam; Sri Jambukeshwara Temple; eye contact; religion; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; third eye
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; flash fired; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; souvenir salesman; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; black hair; face; Srirangam; Sri Jambukeshwara Temple; eye contact; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; smiling; tilaka; souvenir shop; Tamil man; tripundra; Shiva devotee
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Tamil priest; Hinduism; young priest; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; black hair; face; Srirangam; eye contact; religion; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; third eye; tripundra; tilaka mark; Shiva; handsome; eyeglasses; earrings; Hindu; temple
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Tamil priest; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; grey hair; face; Srirangam; eye contact; religion; vibhuti; white ash on forehead; third eye; bokeh; tripundra; tilaka mark; cross-eyed; Shiva; Sri Jambukeshwara Temple



















































The Vishnu tradition related mark consisting of vertical lines is called urdhva pundra. It is a tilaka mark worn by Vaishnavites to show that they are devotees of Vishnu. It is generally worn on the forehead, but also on other parts of the body. The markings are made either as a daily ritual, or on special occasions, and denote which particular lineage, or sampradaya the devotee belongs to. The different Vaishnava sampradayas each have their own distinctive style of tilaka marks based on the siddhanta of their particular lineage. The general tilaka pattern is of two or more vertical lines resembling the letter U, which commonly represents the foot of Vishnu.

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; Srirangam; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; eye contact; religion; Vaishnavite devotee; Vaishnavite brahmin; old Indian man; eyeglasses; urdhva pundra; Vishnu sign; Vaishnavism; tilaka mark; long beard; orange robe
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; Srirangam; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; eye contact; religion; Indian man; friendly; modern Indian man; eyeglasses; Indian middle class; urdhva pundra; Vishnu sign; Vaishnavite devotee; Vaishnavite pilgrim; Vaishnavism; tilaka mark
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; Srirangam; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; eye contact; religion; Indian man; friendly; modern Indian man; Indian middle class; urdhva pundra; Vishnu sign; Vaishnavite devotee; Vaishnavite pilgrim; Vaishnavism; tilaka mark
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; Asia; South Asia; India; Tamil Nadu; Tiruchirappalli; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Hindu; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; Srirangam; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; eye contact; religion; Indian man; friendly; modern Indian man; white beard; earrings; Indian middle class; urdhva pundra; Vishnu sign; Vaishnavite devotee; Vaishnavite pilgrim; Vaishnavism; tilaka mark


Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; low-angle shot; sun umbrella; South Asia; parasol; Asia; India; mirrored sunglasses; Tamil Nadu; Tiruvannamalai; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; travel; travel destination; Vishnu brahmin; Hinduism; photography; colour; portraiture; person; people; eyes; face; eye contact; religion; tilaka mark; Vishnu sign; Indian man; Vishnu; urdhva pundra; Vaishnavism  
Street portrait photographs of Hindu devotees from Tamil Nadu in Matt Hahnewald's
   
Street portrait photographs of sadhus from Nepal in Matt Hahnewald's
Street portrait photographs of sadhus from Tamil Nadu in Matt Hahnewald's
Street portrait photographs of sadhus from Varanasi in Matt Hahnewald's