Of all the photographic projects I have worked on it is the ‘Living Divinely’ series that comes closest to reflecting my photographic philosophy. Although, it remains a work in progress it is intended in a universal sense to educate, inspire and uplift the onlooker. It is an attempt in a small way to help counter-balance the avalanche of negativity which emanates from Asia and particularly India.
These images are drawn from a world that we are vaguely aware of but actually do not know much about; it is an arcane world both sensitive and private in which the subjects are truly conscious of not only themselves but the environment in which they have entered. The spiritual simplicity of their lives is manifest and I have tried to distil this quality in pictures that are largely uncluttered, straightforward and timeless.
The technical process of taking pictures for this particular piece of work is actually the easy bit. The more challenging dimension is living and operating in a milieu that is often littered with unfamiliar customs and traditions, punctuated by mysterious rituals and practices. Learning, understanding and respecting these ways of course help to achieve the desired result, that of a meaningful photograph, but it does not end there.
These communities, groups and individuals must feel comfortable with a photographer in their midst not just on occasions but all day every day and this feeling must be regularly maintained and confirmed. This unspoken permission is a delicate and fragile entity and can break down and disappear in an instant if it is not properly nurtured. It takes patience, perseverance and tolerance and a very flexible timetable; without them, even beginning a project like this would be impossible. Working on ‘Living Divinely’ remains unpredictable and yet so personally rewarding.
I travel light using 2 Canon EOS IDs mkiii cameras and 3-4 lenses. Sometimes I can spend days without taking a photograph, instead being with a community, working in their kitchens, or helping with English lessons. I loved playing cricket with the young monks in Majuli.
All of the photographs are of actual, unstaged moments in time and I use little to no digital manipulation. The images that you see are the ones which most closely represent what I saw through the lens.
I am based in London, UK when I’m not travelling abroad I usually go everywhere on my motorbike.
+44 (0) 20 7394 8587
Please click here to email Nick Fleming with any enquires you may have or if you are interested in any of the following services:
- Educational lectures
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