Travel

Photographing on the Road to Agra, India

Agra, India is full of terrific photo opportunities.  Agra holds the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and fantastic street photography.  All of these are great photo opportunities.

India - Chatting in the Field

But, don't put your camera away during the ride between Delhi and Agra.  There are numerous photo ops along the Yamuna Expressway, even though it is a highway.  There are plenty of office and residential towers, agriculture, brick kilns, agricultural landscapes, and interesting vehicles driving along the Yamuna Expressway.

The Yamuna Expressway is the fastest way to get to Agra from Delhi. It takes about 3 hours to get from Agra to Delhi on the Yamuna expressway, but cuts about 2 hours off the trip on the back roads.

Below are some tips, subject ideas, and lens suggestions for photographing along the highway between Delhi and Agra.  Click on the images to see a larger version of the photo.

Indian Farm Foggy Sunrise

Equipment

Two zoom lenses are all that is needed to photograph along the Yamuna Highway.  I list the micro four thirds lenses that I used and also give the full frame equivalent lengths.

  • 14-50mm micro four thirds (24 – 105mm full frame).  This focal length is good for photographing traffic along the highway and wide angle landscape and agricultural photos.
  • 40-100mm micro four thirds (70-200mm full frame).  This focal length works the best for intimate landscapes and agricultural photographs.

India Brick Kilns

Here are a list of my favorite landscape and farm shots along the Yamuna Highway between Dehli and Agra.

  • Brick Kilns.  Tall chimneys that are often smoking where clay is baked into bricks.  Also look for the areas where they dig and stack the bricks.
  • Landscapes with hazy hills and trees.  India has a lot of haze and fog.  Look for ethereal landscapes with foggy trees and hills.
  • Dirt Roads.  Not so much for the road, but what is traveling on it.  There are numerous dirt roads that intersect with the highway.  Look for trucks, tractors, ox pulled carts, and motorcycles along these dirt roads.  Use the road as a leading line to your subject.
  • Temples.  There are numerous small temples in the farm fields along the road between Agra and Delhi.  These temples make great subjects for you agricultural landscape photography.
  • Traffic along the expressway.  You will find plenty of interesting traffic along the expressway to photograph including: families on motorcycles and overloaded trucks.

It does take some practice photographing landscape and vehicles while traveling at high speeds on a highway. 

Biking through the Mustard Fields, India

Tips when photographing along the expressway.

  • Practice looking ahead in the direction the vehicle is going.  The will help to identify subjects quick enough to photograph them.
  • Try panning from the front of your vehicle to the back.  This can help slow down the object enough to get a sharp shot of the subject.  This is a good technique when photographing other vehicles you are passing on the highway.
  • Use continuous fast shooting mode.  Usually Only 1 – 2% of your photos will turn out to your liking.  Continuous fast mode will help improve your number of keepers.
  • Look for subject in the middle range of the landscape.  The highway is elevated but if you photograph too close to the highway, you will get fence posts and barbed wire in the shot. However, these items can also be removed in post processing.

Working the Fields, India

Written by Martin Belan

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