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Dashing Through The Slow, On A One-Horsepower Machine

David McMahon

Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

This shot, taken in an impenetrable traffic jam in New Delhi, India on 20 December 2007, probably shows that my photographic instincts continue to function even in a situation of severe time-and-motion stress.

I had an international flight to catch. However, the traffic was far worse than anything I’d ever seen in the Indian capital. But as I watched the sun sinking into the hazy winter horizon, I reached for my camera to shoot half a dozen frames.

This was taken from the middle seat of an SUV (four-wheel-drive, to most of us!) looking straight over the driver’s shoulder and through the windscreen.

There are two classic symbols of India (the country of my birth) in this image. On the left is the famous Bajaj auto-rickshaw and in the middle of the traffic in front of me is the distinctive hampback shape of the best-selling Indian car, the Ambassador, which was based on the 1950s British-built Morris Oxford.

The Ambassador is still produced in its original body shape and has a well-deserved reputation as a hardy vehicle well suited to India’s unique roads.

On another note, you have not lived if you’ve never taken a ride in an Indian auto-rickshaw. The engines sound like lawnmowers, but their manoeuvrability and popularity more than compensate for their low power ratio.

So did I catch my flight? Yes. Long after the sun had set.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F5.6, 1/180 sec, ISO 400, focal length 125mm.

Featured in LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, December 2009.

Featured in ROAD PHOTOGRAPHY – YOUR DASHBOARD POINT OF VIEW, December 2009.

Featured in DIMENSIONS, December 2009.

Featured in AUTHENTIC INDIA, December 2009.

Featured in SPEED, January 2011.

Featured in SPEED, February 2011.

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Artwork Comments

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