Villages in Andhra Pradesh

Last week I worked on a project for HMRI in Hyderabad. There tagline is “Health For All”, something I can appreciate. They provide a variety of service including a 911-like emergency ambulance service and a hotline to get medical advice, connecting you directly with an actual doctor. The hired me to take photographs of their mobile health clinic vans that go to every village in Andhra Pradesh that is further than 3kms from the nearest health clinic. I traveled non-stop from Friday night at 8pm till Wednesday morning at 6am. I would get off one train, get in a car, go to a location shoot, go back to train station, sleep on the train, get off and get in a car, go to a village and shoot. It was a long four and some days.

My assistant from Bombay that I planned on using missed the train from CST station, so I called my friend and great photographer, Shashi Khan, in Hyderabad to see if he could recommend any assistants. An hour before I left Hyderabad he confirmed that Suman, a young photo student, would meet us at the station. He warned me, though, that Suman doesn’t speak much English. Madhu, my contact from HMRI, and I meet Suman and start our journey Saturday evening. Four in the morning comes and we exit the train to meet a driver who takes us to our first village. After a stop for breakfast we arrive around 9am. I told myself I would keep track of all the villages we went to, but I cannot even tell you one. (I really need to get better at recording details surrounding shots, like…the person’s name.) Back in the car and back on the train. The days bled into one long experience that I can hardly differentiate between days and villages.

Fortunately, about an hour before I left Mumbai the package I had been waiting for came. The package contained replacement Cybersync radio slaves for my flashes which made most of these images possible. Also, my mom packed the box full of junk to make me sick and fat (I have a habit of eating all of something before I can move on to something else, which works fine for dinner, but bad for a big box of sweets).

Some of the images I used my Orbis ringflash to light the subject, but some others are bare flash. My assistant worked as my moving light stand. I prefer working this way. The light changes exposure, angle, and distance by voice command. It’s great!

This is mostly what I was doing, showing the team in action. I bounced the flash off the big white van to the right.

More Photos after the Break!

I did not notice until one of the workers pointed it out that she did not have a foot on her right leg. She was walking on it like nothing was wrong.

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