Read the biography of photographer Kristian Bertel and see related photographs from his work of photography. This is a photographer biography with images from India.
|Photo of a woman in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. the photo belongs to the photographer's many images from India. Images that range from a variety of travel portraits, landscapes and cityscapes of India.|
Kristian Bertel is an India travel photographer, who was born on April 14, 1980 in Denmark. He grew up in the north west of Denmark and spend his time traveling since early childhood with his family. Originally he is trained as graphic designer from Aarhus Tech, but he took up photography in 2006, and started his photographic career aged 26 taking portraits in the streets of many different countries.
Keen interest in photography theory
Being interested in photography theory, documentary and photojournalism he want to study the impact of photography on life. Along with his passion for photography, he trained his skills by taking lessons and learning from skilled photographers and journalists. In 2007 he attended the Kier Photo Workshop with the press photographer Vagn-Ebbe Kier in digital photography and lighting techniques. Later on he attended Danish School of Media and Journalism. A school, where he trained his ability to find, develop and write a good journalistic story. He was grappling with basic journalistic tools and methods in both theory and practice.
Kristian is mostly known for his series of Indian images, which started as a long-term project on India in 2008. He took pictures of the Indian people and their life conditions. He has specialized in travel photography and his work is published on his website which contains 15 galleries that describe common life in India. Kristian has through the years received recognition for his work from members in numerous photo communities and from photo of the day awards.
The approach to his photography
The approach to his photographs is primarily to tell stories and a curiosity to know more about cultural differencies. With a focus on humanity and diversity, the aim of his documentary photography is often to describe these topics in mainly people and cityscapes. And his imagery is often carried out in portraits, documenting social documentary issues. In the terms of planning what he wanted to see and photograph, when he arrived back in Delhi some years ago, the country's remarkable diversity can actually make it a veritable quagmire when nutting out itineraries. The photographer learned that the best is not to squeeze in too much, as traveling often involve considerable distances and stamina. It is a wise factor in some flexibility, as things do not always run like clockwork in India, and the photographer learned to love what is just in front of him regarding the photography subjects instead of always seeking a train ticket to somewhere else.
The documentary tradition
His images from the northern part of India may represent the documentary tradition of photography, where diversity and culture are themes in his own, and sometimes, melancholic way. His photographs are often carried out in portraits with a strain of sadness.
|Portrait of a man taken in Chandni Chowk in Delhi, India. Old Delhi's bazaars is a headspinning assault on the senses, with a mind-bending array of things to see and an aromatic muddle of flowers, urine, incense, chai, fumes and frying food, all discernible in one whiff.|
Scenery of photographic moments in India
It was in India he particularly learned himself to observe and hunt down the scenery of photographic motives. Captions of the daily life from the neverending stories and neighborhoods of Delhi. His approach to the subjects, is to tell stories, which are not easily forgotten or discarded: Moments from the alleys and the streets. "- One of the many things I'm truly inspired by as a photographer visiting India, are the many fascinating faces which are meeting me wherever I go", he says. Some of the photographer's images also include images of street food vendors. Whatever the time of the day, food vendors are frying, boiling, roasting, peeling, juicing, simmering, mixing or baking some food and drink to lure hungry passers by. One of Things that he learned was exercise caution when eating street food, where he gave himself a couple of days to adjust to the local cuisine, especially if it is not all types of spicy food that he had tried before.
|A view from a local roof top in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Jaipur, the city of victory is chaotic and congested, though it still has a habit of tickling travelers pink. As the gateway to the desert state of Rajasthan it is full of bustling bazaars where cows waddle through streets and rickshaw drivers are finding their customers.|
India trough the lens
Rajasthan in particular was a photographer's favorite destination with all its classic colors of India and its romance wrapped in gaudy royal robes. This diverse state is home to the Rajputs, who claim to originate from the sun, moon and fire, and who have controlled this part of India for more than 1000 years. It was in India's Rajasthan province that the photographer took his famous photo of the Indian and nomadic girl, a photo that can be seen on the photographer's website.
|Family on the outskirts of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. One of the first things travelers are likely to observe about India is how the everyday life is interwined with the spiritual. Like the housewife, who devoutly performs puja prayers each morning at a tiny shrine set up in a corner of the home.|
Field trip through four Indian provinces
He started out his field trip in the chaotic Delhi, shooting portraits in the streets and went to the small mirage town of Mandawa. He stepped into the barren Thar Desert in Rajasthan from the city of Jaisalmer and traveled further on to the blue city of Jodhpur and to the intricate alleyways of Udaipur. Later on he went east to the holy city, Varanasi, situated at the River Ganges. On the outskirts of Varanasi, he was documenting the conditions of the families in a village.
|Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a royal past in India, like the Amber fort. Jaipur beams boldest at dusk, when it is well worth walking to Amber, and much like its founder Jai Singh II, the Pink City is both proud and resilent.|
Learning from the industry's best
In the late 2012, Kristian attended photography lectures at the AU, Aarhus University. The lectures were about different aspects of photography where he saw some of the best pictures in the genres of reportage photography, the staged and the commercial advertising image. Here he got insight into the photo's many features and tools from some of the industry's best, and he learned what lies behind the choice of images that end up in the newspapers. He was amongst others taught by the photojournalists Henrik Kastenskov and Poul Madsen from Bombay Flying Club, an international and award winning multimedia agency.
Mumbai and Maharashtra
In the late 2014 Kristian Bertel was overwhelmed by the Maharashtra state in the western part of India. A photographic journey that had a focus on Mumbai but also the citys Nashik and Aurungabad situated in Maharashtra as well. With a solemn theme on the confronting poverty in India, he ventured into the different areas of Mumbai, including Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums to capture portraits and cityscapes. Mumbai, a highly populated city known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state, that stretches over huge distances. Containing all the beauty and ugliness of the human condition it is an incredible place to photograph especially with street photography. His photo of a Boy in Mumbai, India is amongst some of his new classic photos that portray a melancholy which is seen throughout the photographer's work.
In late 2016 he attended a photographic lecture with Danish photojournalist and photographer Joachim Adrian on the approach to photography and how coincidences and unplanned compositions and moments in photography can have a unique and lively touch to the photographs. During his time as a photographer at the newspaper Politiken he showcased portrait and reportage work and talked about that most photo stories have that one single frame that lifts up and defines the photographic story, the photo that makes a photo essay speak.
Photo essays and editorial assignments
Kristian has traveled to more than 17 countries all over the world. His images, among others have been shown as photo essays online - documenting many aspects of the daily life particularly in India. He works as a freelance photographer and is available for editorial and NGO assignments all over Europe, in Asia, Africa and in the Middle East. For further information and inquiries please:
Contact the photographer