With the idea of a 2017 India photo tour workshop, I trekked through Kerala, India with a series of talented, local guides by car, bike and foot. It’s an amazing place with infinite opportunities to shoot everything from the local color, to massive terraced tea plantations and Chinese fishing nets, and wild elephants and tigers (which are pretty rare – I didn’t see one).

Map of Cochin, India

My shoot schedule for the first day in India

On the night I arrived, my Cochin guide, Shine, wrote down the next day’s schedule. Two shoots in the morning in Cochin, a four and a half hour drive to Periyar and two more shoots upon my arrival.

I would have posted during my time here but after I left Oman, there was limited 3G and WiFi and a schedule that kept me constantly on the move.

Between the wildlife and scenery, and especially the people, there’s a rhythm to life in India so totally different to anything I’ve experienced before. And now that I’m back in NYC and beginning to sift through my thousands of captures, I’ll write some belated posts with scenes from what might become the target locations of a 2017 Lightroom Guy India photo tour.

Crow on canoe in Cochin, India

Within minutes of walking into the live fish market auctions, I caught this crow keeping an eye out for scraps. The Chinese fishing nets are in the background.

In Cochin, I walked across the street from my hotel at 8AM to find the fish market hopping and an abundance of photo-ops. Weathered faces of fishermen, the auctions, feral cats, crows, and all the fresh fish on display make this a hard place to spend just an hour shooting. And, in fact, I spent nearly two hours here and missed the Ernaculam market (a 150 year old market with thousands of shops that sell everything under the sun and soon be replaced by a modern facility). But such is the dilemma of photographers…

And even during my long drive to Periyar, there was plenty to shoot. I kept stopping my driver, Shafi, and jumping out to catch the fleeting moments. Needless to say, getting to Periyar took much longer than anticipated.

Cochin, India fisherman holding up his catch

Displaying a couple of fish from his morning’s catch.

A cat taking a nap in Cochin, India

After the fish auctions, this cat (the cats all seem to be well fed!) takes a catnap in an unused sugarcane juice stand

Two girls in uniform on their way to school.

I’d barely started the drive to Periyar when I spotted these two uniformed catholic school girls in Mundamveli, just a few kilometers outside of Cochin.

Indians fish everywhere here both for food and for income. From fishing poles to fishing nets and commercial fishing vessels to woven bamboo basket boats, the sea and rivers seem to endlessly provide.

Indian bamboo basket boats, India

At a bridge near Thankikavala, I had Shafi park so I could walk across to get a look at the bamboo basket boats across from a harbor of fishing vessels. In the foreground boat, a husband and wife work together.

Tea plantations in Munnar, India

Lush, green tea plantations abound!

As Shafi fearlessly wound his way toward Periyar along the switchbacks and curves of Route 220, the weather cooled from the humid sea level temps and gave way to the scenery of expansive tea plantations. I hadn’t yet finished my first day here and, like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t stop taking pictures everywhere I looked…