Author Topic: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal  (Read 5917 times)

Offline PixelHunter

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Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« on: July 23, 2014, 04:47:58 PM »
After coming back from Sikkim, I was just waiting for an opportunity to go out with some friends and shoot and unexpectedly that chance came my way yesterday. A friend (Anupam) informed me that an annual cattle race is being organised at Moichara, Gocharan (around 45 minutes travel by local train from Kolkata) and whether I wanted to come. And I was like "Bingo, heres my chance to shoot some...............Cattle Race???!!?!?, What the #$%@!!... So after being double sure that he was not pulling my leg, I decided to make the trip. However he had another shocker for me "Come wearing half pants or at the best bermuda and Hawai chappal" . Time for another expletive and after making sure that he is not trying to make a fool out of me, I did exactly that.  It was quite a scene I must say!! Me, wearing bermuda, a t-shirt and Hawai Chappal is going for a photo shoot. I told myself that  theres a first for everything, so what the heck. If I get some good shots, why not? So yesterday me, Anupam and some other friends (All dressed in similar fashion, and I must say, we were looking hilarious) went there by local train.

The journey was quite un-eventful and the journey from the Gocharan rail station to the location (Moichara) was through a Motor-Van Rickshaw (Now thats a unique West Bengal thing, that You won't find anywhere else transporting people) was also Ok. But once I reached there I immediately understood the reason of our dresses. The event was being organised in a paddy field and this being the summer season, there was mud and water to the knee level (well, that was kind of obvious, but me the bumbling idiot, didn't realise that a cattle race ought to be organised in a paddy field only :( )

And so, for the first time in 7-8 years, I went down to the paddy field and I must say, we entertained the village folks a lot. They were clapping cheerfully at the scene of City babus making their way slowly through the mud and water.



So after much difficulty, we somehow managed to reach the actual spot but the biggest surprise was lying here for me. I saw there are some 25-30 villagers conducting the race there but there were at least 200-300 people photographing there. And thats when I was fully convinced that Kolkata is the city that has the highest DDT (DSLR Density per Thousand). Hands down, no doubt. Infact there were many... ahem.... birds there too with equipment of different sizes (Photographic equipment, silly... ). This is just a portion of the whole DSLR Army that was present there -



So anyways, we began amid all this and to my frustration, in the beginning 90% of my shots were ruined by the other photographers coming in my frame. After all, who would like to see a picture of an amazing running bull with a photographer in the bg? So to reduce the stress level I put down my cam and started fooling around , looking for vantage points and locations. This really helped me a lot. I got some shots from some unusual places where the bg was not ruined by other photogs. Not only that, I befriended some local children which proved invaluable later on the day, but more on that later. (This is how I looked during that time, oh and all the others you see in the frame are photogs too)-



Thankfully by 2 o clock, when the competition was stopped for half an hour for lunch time, most of the others quit and only a few handful of us were left. This is when we started enjoying. And co-incidentally, it is when the bigger and more experienced  bulls were brought down to the filed. Man, did we thank our stars that we didn't leave with the others. What a show it was and what a run by the bulls!! To give you an idea, this shot was taken at a shutter speed of 1/80th-

Fast and Furious by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

That was the first share worthy shot I got on that day and it only got better from there on. The bulls were all charged up and they ran at such a blinding speed that when I was looking through my lens, I was really fearful that they will knock me down!! Got some good shots during this time-

Ready Steady Go by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

Cattle Race by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

Run to glory by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

Meanwhile the most hilarious and the most painful incident happened together. After a spectacular run, where a pair easily outran their opponent, there was  a huge controversy there and things got to the point of scuffle. We were confused as to what happened and within 5 mintues, there was an announcement that the race was cancelled because the winning pair was doped and hence they were disqualified. We hardly stopped laughing hearing that when the painful incident happened. An over-enthusiastic gentleman who was standing right on the way of the bulls got hit by a pair. Both he and his camera went flying and landed in knee deep mud and water. Fortunately he was not that hurt, but his D800 and 70-200 f2.8 got a nice mud bath and when it was taken out, there was a massive crack  on the front element!!! Ouch, that hurts.....

After that incident, we preparing packing up for the day when the children I befriended earlier came up to us and requested for a shoot!!!!!! Man, were we happy to oblige to their request. Arguably, I got some of the finest shots of the day while shooting them-

Don't bind me in the frame by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

The Big jump by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

The Run by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

Joy by Binoy Bhushan, on Flickr

So, in the end it was time to go back.  We all were dead tired and slowly left the field. But it was some day... I never had so much fun in one day of photoshoot. Made a lot of friends, took a lot of picture and enjoyed a hell of a photoshoot. As always C&C is most welcome and expected.
"The best camera is the one that's with you" Chase Jarvis

Offline somnath goswami

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 05:06:10 PM »
Lovely Inspiring and exciting  :D

Offline Amlan Sanyal

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 08:27:46 PM »
Lovely writeup with great images. Nice to see that u enjoyed the day which is most important.

By the way, curious to know which gear you used to capture these images.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 08:29:58 PM by Amlan Sanyal »
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Offline PixelHunter

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 10:36:13 PM »
Thanks Somnath da and Amlan da..

Amlan da, I used a D7000 and for the shots of the bulls, I used a 55-300 f4.5-5.6 lens and for shooting the kids, I used a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non VC. Wondering why you asked this?
"The best camera is the one that's with you" Chase Jarvis

Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 01:30:29 AM »
Excellent narration and a breath of fresh air when it comes to the pictures. Haven't seen anything as such since I joined the Forum(s). The pictures speak of a very rural India and all have been well captured. Good job.  :like:

I must add that I assume you would have been most careful when treading through all that slush and water given the gear you were carrying. Besides the apprehension of being "bull-dozed"  :D  I suppose there must have been the slight fear of slipping and falling in the water too. I pity that photg who's D800 and 70-200 took 'the bulls by its horns' ..... literally !!!  ::)
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline HansrajVyas

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 07:31:55 AM »
Very nice, very adventurous series !!

Offline koolseen

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 10:09:24 AM »
Super write up and amazing clicks :)

Offline blue

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 11:11:25 AM »
This is fresh (from the field). Outstanding...er...standing out...well...  :like:
MEDIOCRITY IS WITHIN MY REACH

Offline dashillol

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 01:55:14 PM »
Binoy dear, great story and a series. Children photos are top of the lot. I am excited to see the photos of rural Bengal.

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Offline pkjeetesh

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 03:25:49 PM »
Super action pics!....great series!

regards

p k jeetesh
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Offline theqca

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 04:08:23 PM »
Loved the series...every pic has been worth the efforts you've put in and i enjoyed reading the write-up

to me the ones that stand out are - run to glory, cattle race, the run and Fast and Furious.

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Offline Jasii

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 04:14:41 PM »
This looks like complete fun. :- One of those days, when you literally let your hair loose and have oodles of fun. The pics are nice and different. I throughly enjoyed myself perusing the pics and reading the narratives too.

Cheers
A Year young with my DSLR and loving it.........
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Offline kumar

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2014, 04:57:41 PM »
very good photos, especially the Black& white ones are superb.

Offline Subhadip

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2014, 09:47:08 PM »
Superb Binoy!!!!  :like: :like: :like: :like: :like: What a collection.... i never knew about this.... missed it... hope to catch up next year....
Mad about Nikon... :)

Offline PixelHunter

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Re: Annual Cattle race festival at Moichara, West Bengal
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2014, 11:33:15 PM »
Thanks everyone for your comments.  Yeah I really enjoyed the outing.

Subhadip da, if I am not wrong,  its not over yet..
"The best camera is the one that's with you" Chase Jarvis