Beachroad Magazine catches up with globe trotting travel photographer Andrew McNeill and he shows us some recent breathtaking work photographed in Banares also known as Varanasi the city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh which dates back to the 11th century B.C.E.
Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws pilgrims to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River and perform funeral rites. Along its winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001, India.
If you could have a meal with anyone alive or dead who would it be?
What five essentials you could not live without on a trip?
Camera, Toothbrush, Mosquito Net, Diary, Pen and Hindu (lucky charm) necklace.
Which of your photographs is your favourite?
Very hard question to answer.
Any advice for a budding travel photographer?
Buy a comfortable pair of shoes. Go to a place where you can't understand the language and submerge yourself in the culture. There is nothing like going into a vast crowd in a foreign land at dusk with a 50mm 1.2 and a smile.
Andrew answers the Beachroad Magazine Q&A. //
NAME? // Andrew McNeill.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Cleaning cars on Newport Rd in Cardiff, Wales.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Business owner and photographer.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Traveling and photographing amazingly interesting people.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Regret.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Sitting on a fish and chip shop counter that my grand-mother owned in old Tiger Bay in Cardiff, Wales.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // Steve McCurry, an American photographer who quit his job with a news paper in the US, traveled to India with a few hundred rolls of film and then ended up being National Geographic’s most prolific photographer. He went into Afghanistan with the Mujahideen, not knowing whether he’d make it out alive and was the first to shoot the Russian invasion. His images made it onto the cover of the New York Times.
WHAT IS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // My last gift to someone was a pay-rise.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // The advice I would give to any child would be to follow your dreams and never, ever give up.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // My worst trait is never being able to stop working.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // When people are late.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? // Marlon Brando.
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // Nirvana, U2 and Ravi Shankar .
LAST RECORD YOU BOUGHT? // Ravi Shankar sitar classics in a market in Delhi.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // Sebastiao Salgado - Genesis.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Monster; The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Almost bitten by a King Cobra.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // My favourite destination (there are many) at present is the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // I do not have one.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // I relax by listening to music and reading books by Sebastiao Salgado.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // I used to be very sporty, but I don’t seem to have the time any more.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach resort for me is Krabi, Thailand. The most beautiful of places.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Both.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // My friends posts on Facebook when I know they are lying.
WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // Child poverty.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Travel. The only thing you can buy that makes you rich!