Some Essential Photographic Gear

For this post, I shall talk about some essential gear. This may seem an odd post when it comes to photography, especially street and landscape photography, but it is not.

This post is geared towards hot weather. Maybe, I shall do a follow up after I return from the hills in January. So, here goes.

Nikon And Gear
Nikon And Gear

On top of the list, as you can see, is the camera, sunglasses and hat. There is the obligatory cup of chai, as you may not get clear water everywhere. Look at that chai. It is in an earthen cup called a ‘kullar’. This is the traditional way to drink tea, and is wonderful. The slightly muddy taste adds to the flavour, and for those of you inclined towards religion, it gives you a foretaste of heaven. I took this shot when I was in a little village called Gokul, where the God Krishna first revealed his Divine Nature.

The bright orange cloth, called a ‘gamcha’ is not a symbol, or sign, that I am a rabid Hindu fundamentalist frothing at the gums at the sight of a Muslim. I have a healthy respect for Muslims. They did give us some beautiful art and architecture. A gancha is a thin cotton cloth. It dries rapidly and this is an advantage. Tie it to your bag, and you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face, or dry your hands and face after washing them.

Selfie In A Kurta
Selfie In A Kurta

Now, we move to a strange little shot. This is a selfie of me in a kurta. Going from bottom to top, we start with my shoes. I love my Timberland shoes. Comfy shoes are absolutely essential. I can certify this. I had to abandon two shoots because my friends thought that they were going on a fashionable picnic. Half way through they started to hobble like goblins who had not made their shoes well.

Jeans are good during spring, autumn and winter. Not in summer or during the monsoons. I thought that I would die this year. My trousers had become heavy with sweat. So, I now have two cotton trousers, and am going to buy a pair of linen or khaki ones. Maybe, khadi – a traditional homespun fabric.

You see me wearing a kurta. This is funny bit of clothing, and is worn by men and women in India. They can be short, long, short-sleeved, long-sleeved, cotton, silk, plain, coloured, embroidered etc. What you see me wearing is a short length, cotton, short-sleeved kurta. It is loose and allows me to breathe. I bought this in Mathura for the princely sum of 6 US Dollars. Later, I bought two expensive ones, for 10 US Dollars each. But, they are essential in the hot Indian summer. There is something to be said for tradition.

And then, of course, there is a cap. As you may have noticed, I have a few caps and hats. Never say that photographers are not vain!

What you will see on my right wrist, in this selfie, is a thin steel band called a ‘kara’. This tends to slip down from time to time. So, I wear a wrist band to keep in in place.

Some Essential Gear?
Some Essential Gear?

And finally (though I have yet to experiment with them), I bought two cricketer-sleeves to wear when I wear short sleeved stuff. This is to prevent my skin from becoming burned and tanned. I love my fair, fair skin…. 😉

I tell ya… Never say we photographers are not fashion conscious, or vain. Or that we don’t need our fashion accessories!

13 Comments

    1. Actually, the sleeves are quite cool. Strange, yes?
      Cricketers wear them these days, and those chaps are on the field for a full five days, if they are playing the real, traditional version of a Test Match.
      I don’t know if you are familiar with the game, though

    1. Oh the ‘kara’ is something that Sikhs, and some Punjabis, wear. Punjabis are people from the state of Punjab in North India. The ‘kara’ is a religious symbol. Sikhs must wear it. For the rest, you can choose to wear it or not. I use a Lowepro sling bag. The strap goes diagonally across my chest. It is not very elegant to look at, but it allows me to swng the bag across when i want to access the bag. I was shooting with B&W film that day, and used a Manfrotto shoulder bag. This is a new bag, and i must say that i like it a lot. In

  1. I love the gear and the attire! I was going to comment about the orange towel but you covered that nicely! I love the sunglasses just in case you need to go incognito. This is an interesting post! I love your sense of humor! 😀

    1. Thanks! And yes, good old chai is essential. You have no idea about how many chats I have had with people over a friendly cup of chai. It opens up channels of communication in ways that are mysterious. It does not work that way with tea drunk out of fancy bone china cups!

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