India,  Photography,  West Bengal

Child Photography- Exploring Dim Dima Tea Gardens

It was April 2, 2018 and Mandita and I had gone out for a lunch to Birpara with two of our staff, Mahabir and Jayanta to commemorate the new Financial Year. While coming back, I heard Mandita mention a nice little church in Dim Dima (map link). I had always wanted to go to Dim Dima to explore the place and try my hand at child photography. So, I returned to my room, packed my camera and rode off immediately. I had plans to explore the place with Mahabir, who was a native to the Dim Dima village.

child photography- dim dima tea garden
This blurry picture meant so much to me

It was 4:45 pm and the sun was still high up in the sky. So, light would not be an issue for at least an hour, I knew. We parked our motor cycle under a tree by the side of the old village church and I took out my camera.

There were a few kids playing in the open space around the church. They started gazing curiously at the camera. Mahabir and Jayanta called the kids and asked them to stand on the verandah of the church, and thus started one of my most memorable child photography shoots. Kids started gathering all around and along with some, came their mothers. Some of them wanted a photo with their mother and some, with their friends. As soon as I pressed the shutter, they used to come running towards me to view the photo. Their response was overwhelming.

Read: Portrait Photography- Kids of Rajabhatkhawa

Child Photography Portrait Session

child photography at dim dima
This girl was the smartest of the lot [Shutter Speed: 1/320 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 100]

child photography at dim dima tea gardens
I didn’t know she was such photogenic until I saw this photo on my laptop [Shutter Speed: 1/250 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 100]

child photography session at dim dima
She was the little one [Shutter Speed: 1/200 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 100]

child photography session at dim dima village
And he posed [Shutter Speed: 1/250 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 100]

child photography at dim dima tea gardens
I could not understand why she was brushing her teeth at 5:30 in the evening [Shutter Speed: 1/500 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 100]
I felt bad that I did not take chocolates with me, neither did I take any money. Searching my pockets I found a 20 rupees note. So I asked Mahabir to get some chocolates for the kids. They seemed so happy to meet me and it felt like I have known them for years. Everyone wanted a photo with me. So I sat on the verandah of the church and asked Jayanta to click a photo (see above) while everyone stood near me.

I had actively participated in Child Photography while on my visit to Lepchakha last year but I did not have a prime lens then. So for my Child Photography endeavours, all I had was my 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 lens. And Dim Dima was the first place I was photographing kids with my 50 mm f/1.8 lens.

The Tombstone

child photography and graveyard photo
Memories do remain, always [Shutter Speed: 1/200 Aperture: 1.8 ISO: 200]
I then passed by the Tea factory which had been closed for years. It was their lifeline; as I was told and I wished it reopened soon. Mahabir showed me the old Post Office the British set up here and it was still in operation. We rode through village lanes with beautiful tea gardens on both sides. I photographed the sun going down and stopped short of reaching the bank of the Dim Dima River as it was getting darker. While coming back I saw a graveyard. The bluish cross shaped tombstones looked incredible in the golden hour light and I felt like I should click a few photos of those. I placed one step after the other, very cautiously; so as not to disrespect the buried and reached a vantage point from where I could click a few photos without moving much.

It was already dark as I exited the graveyard and left the beautiful Dim Dima village, with a hope to visit this lay back village very soon.


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