The interest that Jean Ross has in photography grows out of her love of travel. Through photography, she hopes to convey a sense of place that goes beyond iconic landmarks and, instead, focuses on people and the lives they lead. “I’d describe myself as a traveler with camera and find that photography provides a reason to move slowly and get off the well-beaten path in search of an interesting face and the details of everyday life.” She finds some of her best inspiration in smaller temples, markets, and among people engaging in daily acts of ritual and devotion.
Her sensitivity to color, movement, atmosphere and gesture are combined with an exquisite rapport with the people she encounters, allowing her to get close and to bring her camera into the equation without intimidation or a sense of intruding. In an early morning conversation on the ghats of Varanasi, she was told “You are not like a tourist. You have sat in the same place for many hours. Taking many pictures.”
The photographs in this exhibit were all taken on a six-week trip to India that included the more familiar sights of Rajasthan, including the camel fair at Pushkar, and Varanasi, as well as the less traveled eastern states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Ross says, “At the risk of offering up a cliché, India is like no place else on earth. It is a travelers’ and photographers’ paradise with unrivaled diversity of landscape and culture; wonderful food and kind people; amazing history and monuments and all the comforts and discomforts of modern day life.” She can’t wait to go back.
More of Jean Ross's photography can be seen on her website.
Murria Dancers, Chhattisgarh
Sunset Sillouette, Bharomodeo
Sri Ramkaushna Veda Pathashala Temple, Puri, Orissa