Avenue Road Bazaar on Praktica Super TL

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Avenue Road is located in the heart of the city of Bangalore. It was a thoroughfare that let traffic [horses and animal carts] through the old historic city, some 400 years ago. In the last century plus it has become commercialized as the leading Bazaar for both wholesale and retail trade. Its development is rather complicated, as much of it happened in stages in the pre-British days and much more got rationalized through the British period and recent times.

    Mostly ethnic traders from different regions of India settled here in small neighborhoods called “pet”s, roughly meaning place, locale and the like. Thus, we have Balepet [for Bangle traders], Kagazpet [for paper traders], Chick pet [for silk traders], cotton pet [for cotton textiles], etc. These ‘pets’ surrounded Avenue Road that provided inter-urban and regional access. Typically each special craft group came from a different region of India that specialized in these crafts. So one would find a number of languages spoken here depending on the provenience.

    Survey and land use controls made this Right of Way into a 66 feet wide road [one chain length] in early last century. I had driven a Studebaker through this in 1963 without any obstacles to slow me down. However, today one cannot even walk freely on this road. It has become the center of wholesale and retail trade for the region. People work round the clock here, selling during the day and unpacking goods and getting the shop ready for the next day through the night. One can buy items on retail as well as in bulk at wholesale rates in the shops here. Shops are fairly small and have a street frontage of hardly 10 to 15 feet. But the turn over is immense. Behind the shops they have old time homes converted into warehousing space.

    I shall take the first step of presenting some pictures taken as I walked along the road this morning. This is just an introductory browser to the ambience. Progressively, I hope to go into the different parts of the district and make pictures of the various patterns of settlement here.

    I used the Praktica Super TL that I bought recently and my Domiplan lens with fixed aperture of f/11.0. The film is ORWO UN54 100ASA and the developer is home brewed.

  2. Most of these buildings will not stand the test of today's standard specifications. However, the owners and family successors do not part with them for sentimental reasons tradition and trade vantage. Traders also have a lot of influence with the politicians. So enforcement or change is difficult and slow paced.
  3. Avenue Road is only about 1.5 kms long. Within that length every 10 or 15 shops in a row will have a specialization in goods, such as, the jewellers row, the brass-ware row, etc. There used to be fountain pen row that is now extinct! This pattern is now changing as traders change from traditional specialization to modern, more profit making goods.
  4. Frontage of shops were easily encroached by owners in the last several decades. The 66 feet wide road is now only on the map. I measured the width at regular intervals along the road for a research project. At no point was it fully 66 feet wide! In many places it was only half as wide!
  5. Usually trucks are not allowed to unload or load during the day. They do so only at night after 9:00 p.m. However, on holidays the traffic cops don't bother to enforce the time zoning.
  6. These are dendritic spurs to the main commercial strip. it is quite an experience to walk through some of them. Most are hardly 20 feet in width; but they keep moving enormous volumes of goods.
  7. The building remain the same, though, except for some renewal on the facades, occasionally. modern material handling equipment and techniques have not caught on here despite the huge increase in the volumes of trade.
  8. A rare new 5-storeyed building! The fruit vendors and others don't belong to this locale, ethnically. They come from other neighborhoods, sell during the day and go home to their places. The shoppers here provide custom and good business for the street vendors.
  9. Yes, no one is bothered about the camera. They are all focused on their business for the day. many are small traders who come from different parts of the urban region to buy goods from here and take them to their shops for retailing. They are also used to news men and tourists taking pictures. So they don't even give you a second look. You feel safe with the camera!
    I shall follow up hoping that this was interesting. Let me know. Thanks for viewing and your comments! Regards, sp
  10. Here is a picture of the Camera; everything works well, some 40 years after production!
  11. Another great series, SP; despite it's limitations that Domiplan performs very well. You've achieved a great tonality in this series; have you altered your brew? The pic of the side street #5 is a great composition that really conveys the sense of bustle. You've been blessed with wonderful soft light, so different from our harsh clear sunlight. I've yet to put the Super TL I recently acquired through it's paces, and you're setting a very high standard! Thanks for another great post.
  12. What a great New Year's day present!
    The combination of camera, lens, film, chemistry, and SP's eye (not in that order, of course) worked marvelously well here.
    Is it just an accident of sampling or are most of the signs in these areas in English?
  13. Superlative work SP., photography and documentation. A pleasure to read and see what the modest Praktica can achive in yourt hands. Thank you.
  14. Nice looking camera. Great shots. I really can't choose a favorite this time- I liked them all. I always enjoy glimpsing your
    country through your pictures. Thanks for posting and Happy New Year.
  15. Deleted double post.
  16. Very enjoyable,as always. Happy New Year!
  17. Subbarayan , what a nice set of pictures and description. It proofs that classic camera's should be sued, and not put behind glass in a showroom. THank you very much for this New Years Day present.
  18. The Super TL with TTL metering sold about 3 times as many as the PL Nova 1B with meter needle on the top plate,they were produced for roughly the same 9 years 67-76.
    SP thanks for posting, I wonder what is the "Photo Works" in picture 5.
  19. Another great post, SP! I always look forward to these (even though I sometimes fall behind in commenting on them) as it's a chance to see a different part of the world but more importantly, I enjoy the by-products of your skills. The pics are always wonderful and I'm always impressed by your ability to bring cameras back from the brink of death to excellent working status. Not to mention the fact that you're as knowledgeable about developing as you are. Your posts are very informative and motivational. Thanks for sharing this!
  20. It proofs that classic camera's should be sued​
    Seems a little harsh though.
    ;) I know, just typos, but it does go to show that it never hurts to look at the post after it's up just to make sure.
  21. Subbarayan,
    Thank you for this delightful New Years day essay. I thoroughly enjoyed your photography and your commentary gave your photos life they would not otherwise have had.
  22. This is your best series yet! I like that you are close to the action. F/11 and be there. I Like #5 and 7 very much.
  23. Thank you Rick; yes, I keep improving the brew with incremental adjustments. Right now I have reduced the pH value and increased the concentration slightly. The Domiplan seems to have a special characteristic that produces a smooth transition between adjacent tones. Possibly that is what highlights its so-called “creamy Bokeh” that the digital people seem to cherish. I have been lucky to get a good optical glass, though it was a dud mechanically. The haze is heavier this year enabling the soft lighting, though it is common for this season, always. Thanks JDM, very encouraging words; the traders here speak many languages and hail from different parts of the country; also, many of the customers [and tourists] are not local people. So the English signboards remain, despite some pressures from local language chauvinists!
    Thanks Tony! I was an Exakta person for long years. Only about 4 years ago I started using Prakticas with some focus. I really like them. Thanks Mike; am lucky to be able to post something on New Year’s day. Thanks Martin, Mike, Alan. The “Photoworks” is not a regular photo studio; but they do some photo-offsets, blocks for printing etc. Thanks Andy; I always remember that you were one of the first to encourage me to revive my photographic efforts and post them here. Thanks Robert; I felt that the narrative would make the pictures more meaningful and grounded. I am glad you like it. Thank you Louis; yes, this is a place where one can be close to the action and people without disturbing them or being disturbed; I guess that is “urban”.
  24. Great pictures, as usual, SP! BTW, my favourite photographic shop in Bangalore (Foto Circle) used to be in this area. Now they have moved to Anand Rao.
  25. Always a treat to see a post from you SP, another classic saved!
  26. What a fascinating post - I learned a lot while enjoying very striking photographs. Thank you!
  27. Nice photos as usual. You have captured the "action", hustle and bustle of Avenue rd nicely.

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