New Delhi was the gate way to our incredible 2 week Indian street photography adventure covering Judhpur, Kolkata and Varanasi.

The New Delhi Experience: An Attack on the Senses

When we arrived in New Delhi, the initial experience was intense. The smells, the sounds and almost getting hit by everything that passed (bikes, cars, dogs, people, rickshaw etc). The spices and the foreign flavours in the food. The levels of poverty (made even more bewildering when you remember India has it’s own space program). In short, it was an attack on every sense you had.

But it took a surprisingly short time to acclimatise (just over a day) and when you did, a whole new side of Delhi opened up to you. The real trick was slowing down and seeing the individual stories through the chaos. That’s one of the reasons I love the photo below. You’ve got the girl doing her homework, the young man washing on his terrace, the men playing a game – to name a few.

Best locations for New Delhi Street Photography

  1. The Old Town. This covered areas like Chandni Chowk and the Jama Masjid Mosque.
  2. The Train Stations & Railway. Railway stations became a personal favourite of mine during the trip as they were always filled with so many different stories and range of life.

Top Tips for visiting New Delhi

  1. Slow down to witness the stories within the Chaos. This was probably my biggest challenge at the beginning of the trip. But when achieved, it had the biggest impact on my photos.
  2. Talk to the locals. With each state in India having a different language a lot of Indians use English as a way to communicate. From our experience people were extremely hospitable and welcoming to foreigners.
  3. Beware of the Smog. Most of us returned from India with chest infections thanks to pollution levels being at their highest ever. While we were in New Delhi it was reported that breathing air for a single day was equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes. If I went again I’d take a face mask.
  4. Use the Metro. New Delhi has a modern underground system that easily beats being stuck in the honking traffic.

We were only in New Delhi for one night and as it took a day or two to acclimatise I sadly didn’t do much shooting here. Our next stop was Jodhpur (aka the Blue City) which in a sense is where our street photography adventure really kicked off.