Indian salt experience


Salt Flats

A session-based on last-minute logistics

Heading to India to work with GoodWeave, a charity dedicated to ending child labour, Matt Porteous and Ollie Jones captured the endless changes the charity is making.


They first headed to the Salt Flats of Sambhar and ended to Jaipur, to photograph the madness of the incredible Holi Festival. The team decided to take their Elinchrom ELB 1200 and Rotalux 135 Octabox, as they had never seen the Holi Festival shot with lighting like this before, and planned to capture unique and captivating imagery.


At the Festival, the lighting was able to survive the masses of water, powder, paint and laughter that rained down. The team put water housing on their cameras and got involved in the endless fun over a couple of days.

They used the lighting to highlight the intensity of the pigment, the colours and the motion of the scenes. Ollie again shot some behind-the-scenes action of the lighting in use, demonstrating the ease of use, even in the commotion of the crowds and non-stop activity.

Due to the “craziness of the location” the team somehow missed getting the perfect image they had in mind but the incredible and unique experience was definitely worth trying.


Their journey around India as a whole was spontaneous and based on last-minute logistics; a few days before their departure, Ollie saw some images whilst scrolling Instagram, shot by Pie Aerts in the Indian salt flats.

With a couple of free days in their schedule, and these flats only being five hours away, they decided to head to Sambhar and connect with the cluster of families who work there every day.

Although the family was skeptical of their cameras and lighting equipment at first, they soon formed a trust and enjoyed showing off the ten tonnes of salt they shovel three times a day, every day in the blistering heat.

You can see that Ollie captured behind-the-scenes of their guide Anoop in his new role as lighting assistant; the fact that Matt could hand over equipment and get the locals involved allows him to integrate into their lives seamlessly and portray their story through his lens.

This journey is an example of the incredible situations and experiences that being a photographer can open you up to; the team feels so lucky to be able to connect with these groups of individuals thanks to their passion and career.

Read the full story with additional images:

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