I really don’t consider myself as a photographer as much as a traveller. I rarely pick up the camera in my hometown, but when I travel it’s all I do. From dawn till dusk and then after that. My trips are relatively short so I must make the best of the time I have. These photographs from India were taken during November 2006.
Why India? There are few places left in the world that still has that aura of mystique above it. For me India has always been one of those places that has had that something... So, the only way to try to make sense of it all was to go there and see that something myself.
Today India is in the midst of a massive change both ecomically and culturally. During the last 15 years it has been the second fastest-growing country in the world surpassed only by China. By 2040 it will be the the third largest economy in the world. You can see this change clearly in the outskirts of big cities such as Mumbai or Bangalore where new and shiny glass-walled towers rise next to the slums. India is still home to 40 percent of the world's poor. Mohandas Gandhi said 'You must be the change you wish to see in the world' and it seems that millions of Indians are becoming that change.
Many things have changed yet many things stay the same. The 1444 distinct marble pillars that carry the heavy roof of Adinath Jain Temple in Ranakpur will still stand centuries after we are gone. And every night bats leave their nearby cave with no knowledge of actions of men. India is not easily understood and it will get under your skin. Still. I can’t wait to go back…
Tommi Pirnes: "Born -78. My grandfather gave me my first camera. My father photographed. The library gave me books. And the streets keep me walking... I'm just naturally curious about almost anything new and of course when you travel many things are new. When I was 23 realised that I can take a decent picture so, I desided to buy a decent camera. After that my only travel companion has been my M6.
One thing also is a must for me. Film. Photos in media and especially the net have lost much their credibility after Photoshop etc. If I take photographs with a mechanical film camera and print it myself, the final print will hold some of that original photographic truth. Not saying that digital prints would not have that. But I guess you know what I mean? And yes you can debate about truth or photographic truth for eternity. But it's still the way I like to work. I need something I can touch. And believe."
Text and photos © Tommi Pirnes
invited by ulf fågelhammar