Read the biography of photographer Kristian Bertel and see related photographs from his work of photography. On journeys stretching over different states in the northern part of India, where he has been depicting the range of variety of travel portraits, landscapes and cityscapes. From the barren and golden landscapes of the Thar desert to the dusty and overcrowded streets of Delhi, this photographer biography is a written bio of the photographer including images and memorable travel photographs primarily from the India regions of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in India.

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For the photographer there are essentially two approaches that can be taken in a photographic portraiture and that is the environmental and the candid approach. Each has been used over time for different reasons for cultural understanding and the candid approach is where people are photographed without their knowledge going about their daily business. Whilst this approach of candid photography has given the world superb and important images of people in various situations.

For the photographer there are essentially two approaches that can be taken in a photographic portraiture and that is the environmental and the candid approach. Each has been used over time for different reasons for cultural understanding and the candid approach is where people are photographed without their knowledge going about their daily business. Whilst this approach of candid photography has given the world superb and important images of people in various situations.






Biography



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.



While using the light in India, the positioning of the camera can be changed to give the desired effects. Such as facing the subject from the same point of light source will produce high key effects with least shadows. There are many different techniques for portrait photography as he uses and it is often desirable for him to capture the subject's eyes and face in sharp focus while allowing other less important elements to be rendered in a soft focus.

While using the light in India, the positioning of the camera can be changed to give the desired effects. Such as facing the subject from the same point of light source will produce high key effects with least shadows. There are many different techniques for portrait photography as he uses and it is often desirable for him to capture the subject's eyes and face in sharp focus while allowing other less important elements to be rendered in a soft focus.



Scenery of photographic moments in India
It was in India he particularly learned himself to observe and hunt down the scenery of photographic motives. At other times, portraits of individual features might be the focus of a composition such as the hands or eyes. Additionally another style such as head shot has come out of the portraiture technique and has become a style on its own. It is becoming a major form of portraiture as these techniques become more widely understood and used by the photographer through his journey in India as with the portrait of a man taken in Chandni Chowk. In middle of Old Delhi's bazaars, which was 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.Captions of the daily life from the never ending 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.



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 and it is interesting legends that have founded and made Jaipur as the city it still is today. In this photograph a view from a local roof top can be seen.

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 and it is interesting legends that have founded and made Jaipur as the city it still is today. In this photograph a view from a local roof top can be seen.



Jaipur, a colorful landmark in India
Jaipur is the 3 million capital Rajasthan and is also known as the pink city because of its pink painted facades. Jaipur is the perfect example of Rajasthani architecture, with beautiful palaces, chaotic markets and winding buildings. The best way to get around Rajasthan on foot or for out-of-town attractions is to hire a rickshaw driver. The pink old town itself is a sight. We fight through the dense traffic of bicycles, pedestrians, rickshaws, mopeds, cars, buses and of course cows through the old town along the pink glowing facades. Many of the houses are lovingly decorated with paintings or stained glass windows. In many small shops goods of all kinds are offered, in front of the shops are goats and cows and eat the trash on the street. But not only the pink cityscape, but above all the beautiful buildings make Jaipur one of the most popular travel destinations in India. Here is a list of the best sights in Jaipur. The Hawa Mahal also called Palace of the Winds is probably the most famous building and landmark of Jaipur. With its pink color, the Hawa Mahal blends perfectly into the colorful cityscape. Even from the outside, the Hawa Mahal is beautiful to look at. The five-storey building has 953 ornately decorated windows and balconies. But inside the Hawa Mahal is a real eye-catcher with the small pavilions and stained glass windows. An absolute must when visiting Jaipur. The Jal Mahal is a water palace on the city limits of Jaipur. From the promenade of the lake you can best view the water palace. As far as the photographer knows it is currently closed for restoration. Nevertheless, there can be no question of a leisurely walk along the lakeside promenade. Here, teeming with salespeople, street performers and begging children cling to our heels. Of course Rajasthan can of course also Jaipur with a beautiful city palace. Part of the city palace is still inhabited by the Maharaja. In order to inform the visitors about its presence, two flags are hoisted. If there is only one flag to see, then the Maharaja is traveling, as was the case with our visit. The city palace itself is quite nice to see, but in my opinion not very spectacular, especially if you were previously in Amber or Jodhpur. There are a few exhibits of weapons, clothing and jewelry. On the palace grounds is truly a highlight. There are four gates in total, namely the lotus, peacock, wave and sun gates, all of which are beautiful. The opinions about Jaipur are very different among India travelers.

Jaipur certainly does not harbor either the most magnificent palace or the largest temple, yet the city itself does. The pink façades shine in the smog of the early morning hours and welcome its visitors. You can also combine a trip to Jaipur with a visit to Amber and its Amber-colored palace. Actually, the Palace of the Winds is known mainly for the one shot, which makes the palace look more or less like a huge wall. But it is worthwhile to explore this narrow palace and to feel a bit about how the harem ladies were given a glimpse into the life of the city. A possibly unique, airy, beautiful castle with bay windows and always new views.

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.



What the photographer likes about the environmental approach in photography is because it depicts the subject in their environment such as their work and  social life. Environmental pictures can have good historical and social significance such as this family on the outskirts of Varanasi in 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.

What the photographer likes about the environmental approach in photography is because it depicts the subject in their environment such as their work and social life. Environmental pictures can have good historical and social significance such as this family on the outskirts of Varanasi in 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. With New Delhi, Delhi is the capital of the country with 18 million inhabitants and many attractions to discover. On the one hand you will find traditional oriental flair in Old Delhi, with its narrow streets, colorful bazaars, temples and mosques. On the other hand, the 'new' Delhi offers magnificent buildings and wide avenues from the British colonial era. Delhi's most famous and largest building, the Red Fort or the imposing India Gate are just a few of the many sights that tell of the city's eventful history. The classic tour of the Golden Triangle, which consists of Delhi - Agra - Jaipur and usually starts from Delhi. After exploring the colorful capital he went to the small mirage town of Mandawa and the photographer stepped into the barren Thar Desert in Rajasthan from the city of Jaisalmer. Wanting to feel the warm desert wind and historic Maharajah temples in the middle of wide sand dunes he did not want to miss, so he visited the land of the royal sons in the northwest of India necessarily. A trip on the back of a camel through the gold-yellow sand dunes of Jaisalmer will the photographer not forget so fast. and traveled further on to the blue city of Jodhpur, where he immersed himself in the exciting past of the desert cities such as Jodhpur, with its huge fortress Mehrangarh, and to the intricate alleyways of Udaipur and Ranakpur with the ornate marble temple complex directly between the Aravalli Mountains or Udaipur, with the large Maharajah Palace, which is located in the middle of the Pichola Lake.

Another stop in the Golden Triangle is the city of Jaipur, which is also called 'Pink City' due to the many pink buildings. Especially worth seeing is the Amber Fort, eleven kilometers away from Jaipur, with the sparkling Hall of Mirrors. Arrived in Jaipur he found yourself in the state of Rajasthan, which is characterized by mountains, artificial lakes and large desert landscape. All eyes are set on India's landmark, the Taj Mahal, a tomb of the great-mogul Shah Jahan commemorating his deceased wife. 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 is a magnificent fort and one of the stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces that fit like footprints from a royal past in India. Built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble it has four courtyards. It is possible to visit the fortress on elephant-back, but animal welfare groups have criticised the keeping of elephants at Amber because of reports of abuse, and because carrying passengers can cause lasting injuries to the animals.

Amber Fort is a magnificent fort and one of the stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces that fit like footprints from a royal past in India. Built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble it has four courtyards. It is possible to visit the fortress on elephant-back, but animal welfare groups have criticised the keeping of elephants at Amber because of reports of abuse, and because carrying passengers can cause lasting injuries to the animals.



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
The photos above belong to the photographer's many images from India and places over his India journeys, where he has been depicting the range of variety of travel portraits, landscapes and cityscapes of India. 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


Biography of a photographer

A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships and it portrays a person's experience of these life events. A biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality and journeys in India and in many cities such as Jaipur in India. Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Works in diverse media, from literature to film, form the genre known as biography. An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs. An autobiography is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter. Biographical research is defined as a research method that collects and analyses a person's whole life, or portion of a life, through the in-depth and unstructured interview, or sometimes reinforced by semi-structured interview or personal documents. It is a way of viewing social life in procedural terms, rather than static terms. The information can come from history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography or diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials. The central aim of biographical research is producing rich descriptions of persons or conceptualise structural types of actions, which means to understand the action logics or how persons and structures are interlinked in the photographs from India. And this method can be used to understand an individual's life within its social context or understand the cultural phenomena.

Aspects of his India journeys

The photographer has asserted that the lives of great human beings were essential to understanding society and its institutions. While the historical impulse would remain a strong element in early biography, where writers carved out a distinct approach. What emerged was a rather didactic form of biography, which sought to shape the individual character of a reader in the process of defining national character. Bertel's work was unique in its level of research, which involved archival study, eye-witness accounts in the dusty and crowded streets of Delhi and interviews, its robust and attractive narrative, and its honest depiction of all aspects of his India journeys and character, a formula which serves as the basis of biographical literature to this. In recent years, debates have arisen as to whether all biographies are fiction, especially when authors are writing about figures from the past. One can argue that all history is seen through a perspective that is the product of our contemporary society and as a result biographical truths are constantly shifting. So the history biographers write about will not be the way that it happened, it will be the way they remembered it and debates have also arisen concerning the importance of space in life-writing. Digital imaging has raised ethical concerns because of the ease of manipulating digital photographs in post-processing. Many photojournalists have declared they will not crop their pictures or are forbidden from combining elements of multiple photos to make photo montages, passing them as real travel photographs. Today's photography has made image editing relatively simple for even the novice photographer. However, recent changes of in-camera processing allow digital fingerprinting of photos to detect tampering for purposes of forensic photography. Photography is one of the new media forms that changes perception and changes the structure of society and further unease has been caused around cameras in regards to desensitization and fears that disturbing or explicit images are widely accessible to children and society at large have been raised. Once it has been said that to photograph is to turn people into objects that can be symbolically possessed and desensitization discussion goes hand in hand with debates about censored images. Through the years the photographer is of his concern that the ability to censor pictures means the photographer has the ability to construct reality.

Tourism and travel photography

One of the practices through which photography constitutes society is tourism. Tourism and photography combine to create a tourist gaze in India in which local inhabitants are positioned and defined by the camera lens. However, it has also been argued that there exists a reverse gaze through which indigenous photographees can position the tourist photographer as a shallow consumer of images. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business, also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveler's country. Tourism is defined more generally, in terms which go beyond the common perception of tourism in India as being limited to holiday activity only, as people traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. Travel photography is a genre of photography that may involve the documentation of an area's landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. A travel photo can be defined as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations. Travel photography as a genre is one of the most open in terms of the subjects it covers. Many travel photographers specialize in a particular aspect of photography such as travel portraits, landscape or documentary photography as well as shooting all aspects of travel. Much of today's travel photography style is derived from early work in magazines such as National Geographic Magazine from photographers such as the photographer. This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, for instance low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes and so on.

Photographing in India

Indians traditionally greet each other with the "Namaste" greeting. The hands are folded in front of the chest and a small nod is indicated. As with the greeting in other Asian countries, hands are held higher if the welcome person has a higher social status. Shaking hands increases especially among the men of Western-oriented families and among business people. Tourists are not expected to imitate the traditional greeting, because you can do a lot wrong. After the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, we have an impression of the incredible poverty that belongs to the subcontinent as well as ancient palaces and modern wellness oases. There is no recipe for how many rupees to give to which beggar. The fact is, children are usually begging for others and rarely allowed to keep the money. If old, disabled or sick people on the street ask for alms, they are in great need and can probably no longer look after themselves in other ways. If you are blessed in a temple by a priest, you can expect a small donation. Even the needy, who are waiting at the entrances for alms, you should give a few coins. For photographers, India is a paradise in its blaze of color but also poverty. Most people have no objection to a photograph, but politeness requires asking in advance for close-up or religious ceremonies. In many national parks a photo fee is charged. Whether in cultural monuments, on the beach or on the road, the rule of thumb is that snapshots from the hand are allowed, lightning, for instance in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora is prohibited, a tripod is always and everywhere required approval. Basically, Indians prefer to be photographed by women rather than men. By the way, when photographing, there is compensatory justice. One will be surprised how many Indian extended families want to take a souvenir photo together with one as an exotic tourist or tourist – so please smile.

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