Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Frame's Pushkar Fair

Photo © AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh-All Rights Reserved

The Sacramento Bee's photo blog The Frame is featuring some 27 images of the Pushkar Fair, which started Wednesday, November 21 2012.

According to The Times of India, it kicked off "amid colorful celebrations and enthusiastic participation of foreign tourists"  and its first day highlight was a soccer match between local and tourists. This annual five-day camel and livestock fair is supposedly one of the world's largest camel fairs and has become an important tourist attraction.

You can see where I'm going with this. The Pushkar Fair, once a visually compelling event for photographers, has become a tourist attraction with all the negatives that such a description entails.

I've written up a post about the demise of the fair from a photographer's perspective in February 2007 (almost 6 years ago) saying this:

"It's absolute nonsense for serious photographers to time their stay in the town of Pushkar at the peak of the fair because it'll be full of tourists, the real camel trading occurs almost a week before the fair's announced schedule, hotels are more expensive at the height of the fair, and so on. If the idea of photographing a solitary dopey camel trader left with his final unsold scrawny camel (not to mention the gaggle of tourist-photographers who invariably will intrude in your viewfinder) excites you, go right ahead."

It seems it's gotten even worse. I haven't researched if there are any serious photo tours to Pushkar this year, but I suspect if there are any, they are very few.

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