Since our first days in Tahiti, I had been obsessed with getting a perfect picture of the abandoned hotel at Tahara’a. But, in the blink of an eye, our two-month stay was nearing its end, and a combination of temperamental weather and other holiday occupations limited the time I could dedicate to photography.
Eventually I got two pleasing photos of the hotel.
One is taken from the hills of Arue in the afternoon light, and the other, from Lafayette Beach on an early morning.
The hotel has had many names over the years, but I like “Hotel Tahara’a” the most.
Growing up in Mauritius where over half the population are of Indian descent and being used to Indo-Mauritian customs give you a sense of familiarity with India. Countless travel shows and documentaries, and the ability to google any information you need about the country further reinforce the sentiment. My trip to Hyderabad and New Delhi earlier this month taught me that India was much more than I had imagined.
When you’re there, India is about having spicy dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it is about being bewildered by the cacophony and chaotic flow of cars, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, and pedestrians, and wondering how anyone managed to navigate that; and, it is about watching your Indian hosts use English to converse because India is so vast that they do not even speak the same language and that it will never be possible for you—a foreigner—to know India fully.
But India was not all new experiences. The hospitality, especially, was reminiscent of life in Mauritius: the casual way the hotel receptionist offered to walk three miles to the mall after her shift to make a purchase for me, the fact that our hosts kept turning up at 1.30pm when we had agreed to meet at 12.30pm, and when we became worried about missing our flight because they insisted on making a detour for us to visit Taj Mahal followed by a night tour of New Delhi and a stop at the famous Haldiram’s for aloo paratha and butter milk.
As I copied files off the D200 into my photos folder, I realised that I had not taken a single shot with the Nikon since January. Looking back at the keepers, I’m glad I forced myself to shoot the Farnborough Airshow 2014 fly-bys.
This picture was taken with the D200 and a vintage manual Sirius 70-210mm f/4-5.6. I had to check the metering frequently because the lighting kept changing. The trick, I found, was to spot-meter on the clouds at +2 EV — as per the zone system — and to let the exposure in the rest of the frame take care of itself.