India is overwhelming. It crams every person, action, idea into one frame, confusing and overwhelming you so that you see everything and nothing at the same time. It’s hard to focus on small moments, everyday actions.
On the train from Hampi to Varanasi I got to thinking about the photographers “rule of thirds” and the objects and shapes we choose to give attention to, put in the foreground, bring into focus, offer up to the world through our pixilated platforms.
My mental musings probably had something to do with the fact that I spent a good 24 hours of my 48 trip, staring through three metal bars, watching the many scenes play out before me.
I noticed how easily bright, bold strong lines instantly command attention.
How dirty, small, dark shades often unnoticed and fall off the frame.
How small actions never get given a platform.
As in life.
So I decided to photograph what I could see happening “between the lines”, to let the bars break up the image, offering a platform to the people in the shadows, highlighting the small moments and the everyday actions that go unnoticed and unrecorded.
I love how these images capture moments and people I might never have given attention to.
Slithers of life.
Here are some of my personal favourites…
Early morning stretches before the long train ride.
A sadu walks the line.
Travel cases decorate the platform.
An old woman walks the platform, lost in contemplation it seems.
Why does this man occupy so little space on this empty platform, this empty bench?
A childish moment.
A barber offers a shave in a slum on the outskirts of the station.
The man on the railway bridge.
It’s a wonder these small pups aren’t squashed in the mass stampedes that happen when the trains arrive.
A woman negotiates heavy bus and truck traffic at a busy railway crossing.
Small moment. Children play in the hay in the agricultural areas of India.
Daily constitutionals: Two locals go about their daily ablutions as do millions of Indian people, in the open or on the railway lines.
A man enjoys the last rays of afternoon sun.
One of the many kiosks on the station platforms selling water and food for the long journeys.