Olympus ambassador Neil Buchan-Grant was recently chosen to lead the Kuoni Photography tour of India through Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi. Fourteen people went with Neil and their much-praised guide Vikram Rathore, who had prearranged photographic opportunities at each of the locations and kept the group safe and free to shoot. Olympus hosted an exhibition of his work from this tour and produced a detailed guide book of the many photos captured to show off the capabilities of the OM-D camera. Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog) went along to the exhibition to find out more.
Neil Buchan-Grant with fellow Olympus ambassador Edmond Terakopian at work
This is Neil explaining details of the trip and the techniques he used to get the photographs and work with his public subjects. Neil is a super-friendly, polite person and has a super empathetic approach to meeting people and getting the best opportunities from them.
He is always looking for the opportunity to 'turn people into the light' whether by coercing them with words or spotting an arising situation. On one occasion, he found himself chasing someone down the street to get the shot while on another he followed a dog around for twenty minutes to get a great image of both the dog and the Taj Mahal.
Neil is very unassuming about himself and reduces the excellence of the photo taking technique down to finding the right picture components than just pointing the camera and taking the picture. Whether this is just Neil being humble or a reflection of the Olympus OM-D marketing strap line of 'reduced to perfection' I don't yet fully know. One thing I can say is that Neil is definitely a people person and was forever sharing and chatting to people at the event.
© Neil Buchan-Grant
One of the main takeaways from the exhibition for me was the shallow depth of field that is achievable with the OMD and the right lens - Neil's kit for the trip was an OM-D EM-1 with a 35mm f/1.4 Leica lens, Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and an Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. He also gave help to the tour members on processing techniques in the evenings. One of those tour members was Ron from the Winchester photo club who was there in the evening with Karl, also from the Winchester club.
Neil's India exhibition is on until 6 February at the Project Space which holds regular photographic exhibitions.
If you want to see another view of India then the next exhibition, running from 22 February, titled 120 Hours in India by R Cleveland Aaron will be right up your street. The forthcoming exhibition also helps a cleft palette charity.
To see more of the tour photos, see Kuoni's website.
Words and pictures by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog)