Exploring Street Photography in Hyderabad, India: 10 Essential Tips

When venturing into street photography in Hyderabad, India, it's crucial to have a solid set of tips to create captivating and culturally rich images. Here are some tips to enhance your street photography experience in this vibrant city:

1. Leverage Light and Shadow in Hyderabad's Streets:

- Hyderabad's play of light and shadow adds depth to your photographs. Capture the interplay between sunlight and shadows for visually compelling shots. Shoot early mornings or in the evenings for the best play of light and shadows.

2. Showcase Candid Nizami Culture Moments:


- Highlight the authenticity of Hyderabad's Nizami culture by focusing on candid, unposed moments. From bustling bazaars to serene Irani chai sessions, let the culture shine through. 

The flower market is great to shoot in the morning while, areas around the Charminar are more promising in the evening.

3. Equip Yourself Appropriately for the Hyderabad Scene:


- Choose your gear wisely. Opt for a compact camera or smartphone to blend seamlessly with the local crowd. Utilize a wide-angle lens to encompass the vibrancy of Hyderabad's streets.

I would highly recommend a 35mm or a 50mm. As these lenses are fast (with an aperture of 1.8), they will help you take crisp pictures even in low light conditions.

4. Compose Artfully with Hyderabad's Landmarks:


- Incorporate iconic Hyderabad landmarks such as Charminar or Chowmohalla Palace into your compositions. Utilize composition techniques like the rule of thirds and leading lines to enhance visual appeal.

The pictures that you shoot should give your viewers, a sense of place. To do that try to include some element that shows the place in the background.

5. Assimilate for Authentic Hyderabad Street Photography:


- To capture genuine moments, dress modestly to respect local customs and avoid standing out. This approach enables you to candidly document daily life in Hyderabad.

I always dress like a common man -  no flashy and jazzy clothes. You have to mingle with the crowd and be one of them.

6. Zoom In on Intricate Hyderabad Details:


- Hyderabad's architecture and crafts are replete with intricate details. Zoom in on colorful facades, intricate jewelry, and tantalizing street food to create visually captivating shots.

The secret is to fill the frame. Remember what Robert Capa said - If you are not good enough, you are not close enough.

7. Experiment with Unique Hyderabad Angles:


- Play with angles that showcase Hyderabad's diverse scenes. Capture the energy of bustling street markets from ground level, or savor panoramic views from a rooftop vantage point.

8. Craft a Narrative Around Charminar:


- Narrate the story of Hyderabad's iconic Charminar through your lens. Capture close-ups of its intricate minarets and wide shots of the bustling markets that surround it.

9. Exercise Patience for Nawabi Moments:


- Patience is key to capturing Nawabi moments—whether it's a shopkeeper presenting aromatic biryani or a rickshaw puller navigating the labyrinthine streets of the Old City.

10. Respect Traditions and Seek Consent for Hyderabad Portraits:


- In a city that reveres tradition, always request permission before taking portraits or getting up close to portray the essence of Hyderabad's people.

In my experience, I have found all people in Hyderabad to be warm and friendly. However, some people might not be willing to get photographed due to their religious restrictions. Please respect their opinion and move on.

When delving into street photography in Hyderabad, remember that your photographs have the power to encapsulate the city's rich history, cultural heritage, and daily life. By applying these tips, you'll be able to craft a stunning visual narrative that resonates with both local audiences and the wider world.

If you are a visitor to Hyderabad, I can take you for a private Photowalk. Please feel free to contact me.

Note:  If you want a customized tour anywhere in India focused on Photography, I will be happy to organise it for you. 

If you are a street photographer and want to explore the opportunities in Hyderabad, here are some places you must check out - 

Streets Around Charminar

The most favourite place to hang around for a street photographer is around the Charminar. I have spent countless days here and still waiting for more. Its an unending repository of pictures. 

You can go there on Sunday morning to see and shoot the flea market. You will find several interesting subjects there. 

Macca Masjid which is located adjacent to the Charminar is a great place too. Families come here early morning and feed the pigeons. 

StreetsofHyderabad_136

Gudimalkapur Flower Market

This is one of my most favourite places to shoot.  Flower markets are very vibrant in India.  if you go to any Indian city, You must find the local flower market and visit there.  the flower markets of Kolkata Bangalore and Chennai are very famous.  The market in Hyderabad is also no less. 

Buyers are the resellers who buy the flowers and carry them as far as 50 kilometers and sell them in their local neighborhood in front of temples for Dargah.

 Flowers play a very important role in Indian culture.  they are used to make garlands to offer to the Gods and also used in weddings to exchange them.  women in South India where flowers on their hair.

GudimalkapurFlowerMarket_032

Kothapet Fruit Market

This market is one of the largest in Hyderabad and a lot happening there.  at different times of the year, you will find different fruits being sold here.  if you reach early morning you will also see the process of auctioning.  men and women work together to offload the fruits from the larger vehicles to the ground or the smaller vehicles.  There is a lot of human activity happening here. 

KothapetFruitMarket_001

Laad Bazaar near Charminar

The Laad Bazaar  opposite the Charminar is another interesting place. it is quite crowded in the evening and gives some great opportunities for street photography.

 there are a lot of bangle shops in this area and they attract a lot of customers.  it Is very interesting to observe how the shop owners attract the customers by calling them and inviting them to their shops.


LaadBazaar_008
Monda Market Secunderabad

The Monday market in Secunderabad is another favourite place of mine.  a very interesting thing about this place is the play of light and shadows that you get in the morning.  as the oblique sun rays enter through some of the open areas,  it creates some great opportunities for pictures.

MondaMarketSecunderabad_009

Kumharwada Pottery Hyderabad

This is Potter's town. With the advent of plastic,  the use of clay and clay vessels have plummeted over the years.   Nevertheless,  This small community of potters have survived the test of time.  they get really busy during the festival times  like  Ugadi and Dipawali.  that is the time when a lot of people need traditional earthen vessels.  Also,  now during the Ganpati festival,  they make a lot of eco-friendly Ganpati made of Earth.  though it is more expensive then plaster of Paris,  money eco-conscious citizens are opting for these. 


PotteryKumharwada_038

Jumerat Bazaar

This flea market happens on Thursday morning. another great place for photographers to observe and shoot the human interaction between the buyers and sellers. Here, they sell anything from old artifacts to the latest MacBooks. Of course, a lot of them are stolen or refurbished. You will find a lot of bicycles here.


JumeratBazaar_054

 

Begum Bazaar Hyderabad

Begum Bazar is a community Rajasthani (Marwari) people who migrated here more than a hundred years back and are now settled here. you will find here a lot of very traditional houses and Rajasthani women in their traditional dresses. Some of the houses are very old and colourful. You can shoot the people with some interesting houses in the background.

BegumBazar_013

Karwan Goat Sheep market

This is a relatively unknown place and no photographers go there. I was fortunate to stumble upon this place accidentally and loved the atmosphere. this place has great potential for street photography. this place is located on the way from Golconda to the Charminar. Karwan comes from the word Caravan. This was a very popular route from people travelling between the places.

KarwanSheepMarket_011

If you are a visitor to Hyderabad, I can take you for a private Photowalk. Please feel free to contact me.


Tips for photographers

You need to like walking to become a good Street photographer.

Spend some time observing to understand the human interaction. You will definitely be able to capture better.

Anticipate what is going to happen next.

Have the right settings on your camera according to your anticipation and expectation.

These people here are very friendly and most of them won't bother you. Some people might be curious about why you are taking the pictures and it is absolutely okay for them to ask so.

You can just tell them but this place looks very interesting. If people ask why you are taking their picture, you can tell them that the person looks interesting in the whole environment. You'll never face any problems in Hyderabad.

People are generally very friendly and don't mind getting photographed. be careful when shooting ladies. Some might get offended. it is better to ask them with a smile and gently no one will refuse.

Once they feel that you are harmless, they will give you that space.

 

Best Places to Visit in Hyderabad for Photography HERE

Note:  If you want a customized tour anywhere in India focused on Photography, I will be happy to organise it for you. 


Thanksgiving

Thanks to my friend Rajesh with whom, I have been to these places multiple times, and also to my students who joined me for the several walks we did here.

 

Spend Time Learning Photography, my 5 Day Online Photography Course (only Rs.999/-) will definitely help you .

 

If you are a visitor to Hyderabad, I can take you for a private Photowalk. Please feel free to contact me.


This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.He strives to make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Saurabh Chatterjee

Share with others