Street Photography Encounter: The Dumpster Baby

A truly WTF moment.

Contrary to popular sanity, there are times when it's advisable to seek out the worst traffic times and engage in the insanity - if you're a photographer.

My #RidingRickshaw project focuses on subjects I photograph while riding as passenger in an auto-rickshaw in Mumbai. The advantages of doing this during rush hour times are tremendous. 1) You're often travelling a lot slower. 2) There are plenty of subjects. 3) The drivers will often interact with you out of sheer boredom and curiosity 4) It's easier when shooting street photography to capture candid images as you approach your subjects. The list actually goes on. Perhaps, one of the biggest perks is that you will at times get perspectives you wouldn't ordinarily get by walking along the roadsides.

In a sense, it's like cage-diving and waiting for a great white shark to turn up; there's no guarantee that it will happen on any given ride, but when it does you feel vindicated for spending two hours in some of the worst traffic in the world. And in reality, Mumbai does have the most congested traffic in the world, according to statistics obtained from GPS reading data sets. This alone makes any keepers I obtain all the more precious.

This shot was taken in 2016 during my Canon DSLR days. I was shooting from a rickshaw while exiting Bandra Reclamation. To this day, this will be known as my dumpster baby shot. I remember sitting at the traffic stop and looking over and seeing this infant just sitting there, with no one else around in sight. Then this guy in the scooter suddenly pulls up, and the two strangers exchange glances. Before I could wrap my head around what was transpiring, the rickshaw took off and I was on the highway, never to discover what happened next.

The late and great Kurt Vonnegut may have quipped, "And so it goes."

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