20 November 2016

Rocking the Rickshaw in Calcutta

Calcutta aka Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial and cultural centre of East India. The dirty and chaotic megacity with her suburbs has a population of c. 15 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India (after Bombay and Delhi).

Old-fashioned human-drawn rickshaws pulled by wiry coolies are still commonplace. Many migrants from rural Bengal and Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, are involved in rickshaw pulling; most of them are pavement-dwellers who live very hard lives. No rickshaw puller owns a rickshaw; they rent their rickshaws for c. 250 rupees (c. US$ 3.60) per shift. A rickshaw puller’s daily routine begins at 06:00 and ends at 21:00 at night. On his best day he can earn not more than 500 rupees (c. US$ 7.30), but this is rare and it is not uncommon to earn nothing despite a fifteen hour long shift. In order to save some money the rickshaw pullers sleep under the rickshaw, or for around 1,000 rupees per month, together with a dozen other men in a dera, a combination of garage, repair shop and dormitory, without water and toilets; Hindu and Muslim rickshaw pullers often share the same room. Most of them have no pilot licenses and are aged above 50.

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; depth of field; outside; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; beard; Muslim beard; rickshaw; human-drawn rickshaw; rickshaw puller; pavement dweller; rickshaw coolie; pulled rickshaw; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; dignity; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; Indian man; posing; authentic; rugged; bad teeth; white; bell; turban; smiling; grinning; right hand
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; depth of field; outside; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; Muslim prayer bump; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; beard; Muslim beard; rickshaw; human-drawn rickshaw; rickshaw puller; pavement dweller; rickshaw coolie; pulled rickshaw; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; dignity; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; Indian man; posing; authentic; rugged; manly

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; depth of field; outside; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; white beard; unshaved; rickshaw; human-drawn rickshaw; rickshaw puller; pavement dweller; rickshaw coolie; pulled rickshaw; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; dignity; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; Indian man; posing; authentic
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; depth of field; outside; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; unshaved; rickshaw; human-drawn rickshaw; rickshaw puller; pavement dweller; rickshaw coolie; pulled rickshaw; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; dignity; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; Indian man; posing; authentic; rugged; old man

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; depth of field; outside; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; unshaved; rickshaw; human-drawn rickshaw; rickshaw puller; pavement dweller; rickshaw coolie; pulled rickshaw; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; Indian man; posing; authentic; rugged; moustache; bandana; checkered shirt; smiling; teeth; checkered headscarf; stubbly
Many rickshaw pullers supplement their meagre income by acting as touts, pimps and guides. They will show you almost all the wonders of Calcutta...

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; fantastic; favourite; superior; magnificent; interesting; inspirational; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; double portrait; portraiture; street; outside; colourful; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; mouth; red lips; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; emotion; fun; environmental portrait; Hijra people; genderqueer; transgender; third gender; khwaja sira; cross-dresser; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; jewellery; two persons; sexual ambiguity; ambiguous; sexually ambiguous person; posing; authentic; incredible; elegant; sophisticated; gorgeous; fabulous; exotic; sensual; awesome; adorable; charming; fascinating; necklace; earrings; bindi; lighting

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; vibrant; brilliant; breathtaking; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; fill flash fired; built-in pop-up flash; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; red; outside; colourful; human head; human face; human eyes; red lips; facial expression; eye contact; makeup; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; relationship; emotion; Hijra people; genderqueer; transgender; third gender; khwaja sira; cross-dresser; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; jewellery; one person; adult; sexual ambiguity; beautiful; ambiguous; sexually ambiguous person; posing; authentic; seductive; gorgeous; fabulous; attractive; sensual; stunning; adorable; bindi; eye makeup; hair

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; fill flash fired; built-in pop-up flash; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; green; outside; colourful; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; human eyes; mouth; facial expression; eye contact; dupatta; headscarf; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; fun; Hijra people; genderqueer; transgender; third gender; khwaja sira; cross-dresser; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; adult; sexual ambiguity; beautiful; ambiguous; sexually ambiguous person; posing; authentic; grinning; fabulous; attractive; awesome; adorable; charming; classy; fascinating
...during the day and at night,

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; dynamic; lively; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; excellent; magnificent; vibrant; breathtaking; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; street; half-length portrait; en face; outdoor; colour; colourful; real people; human head; human face; human eyes; beautiful eyes; red lips; right hand; facial expression; eye contact; makeup; bubble blowing; bubble wand; sunglasses; body language; gesture; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; fun; travel; modern woman; Indian woman; beauty; Maidan; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; young adult; posing; authentic; gorgeous; fabulous; attractive; bewitching; angelic; charming; classy; fascinating

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; vibrant; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; outside; colour; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; eye makeup; red lips; beautiful hair; young woman; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; emotion; travel; Calcutta; West Bengali; India; one person; female; beauty; young adult; posing; attitude; authentic; smiling; beautiful; incredible; gorgeous; fabulous; attractive; soulful; adorable; angelic; fascinating; nightshot; Esplanade; flash fired; built-in pop-up flash; nose ring jewellery; earrings; Bengali woman; lipstick; sensual; bindi; breathtaking; divine; eyelashes; lips; modern India
... even throwing in a few interesting Hindu temples (e.g. Kalighat Temple, Dakshineshwar Temple),

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; lively; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; interesting; inspirational; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; flash fired; built-in pop-up flash; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; outside; colour; character; personality; fun; real people; human; human head; human face; forehead; tilaka; tika; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; travel; religion; Hinduism; tradition; temple; Hindu priest; pujari; puja; Brahmin; Kalighat Temple; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; old man; authentic; smiling; grinning; smiling eyes
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; dynamic; lively; outstanding; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; inspirational; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; outdoor; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; fun; environmental portrait; travel; religion; Hinduism; tradition; devotee; pilgrim; Nimtolla Ghat; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; one person; male; adult; posing; authentic; smiling; grinning; happy; friendly; relaxed; awesome; red robe; eyeglasses; tilaka; forehead; old man; white beard
... and less holy neigbourhood markets (e.g. New Market, Flower Market).

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; Calcutta; New Market; bazaar; headshot; en face; front view; outdoor; colour; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; mouth; facial expression; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; environmental portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; India; one person; male; ethnic; eye contact; posing; incredible; exotic; Indian man; fashion; eye makeup; West Bengal; smiling; attractive; red lips; basketmaker; LGBT community; unshaved; adult; gorgeous; fabulous; fascinating; enthralling; spectacular; interesting; breathtaking; brown

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; Calcutta; New Market; bazaar; headshot; en face; front view; outdoor; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; mouth; facial expression; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; henna-dyed beard; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; India; tradition; one person; male; ethnic; eye contact; posing; incredible; exotic; henna; Indian man; Muslim man; taqiyah; white Islamic skull cap; henna beard; fashion; West Bengal; Islam; fabric merchant; friendly; smiling
Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; depth of field; outside; sunshine; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; Muslim beard; black beard; green turban; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; Islam; Muslim; Afghan; shoe merchant; market; one person; male; adult; posing; authentic; powerful; manly; New Market; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; overweight
Street portrait photographs from Calcutta in Matt Hahnewald's