1) Early morning/ late afternoon
A general principle in photography is that the light is best 1 hour after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset everyday. This is particularly true in India because the sun is very intense. The midday sun will generally cause very harsh shadows and not very ideal lighting. These times of day are also the best for being outdoors and for going on a nice stroll. Most of my favorite photos from India were all taken at these times of day.
2) Bring a tripod
The one problem with shooting in low light around dawn and dusk is that you are likely to have slow shutter speeds. To overcome this I recommend having a tripod of some kind even if it is a tiny travel one. Alternatively you can often find a rock, pillar or railing to help you out.
Photographing people is something that I really enjoy but often am shy to do so. One way I’ve gotten around this is to photograph from a car. Most of the time people don’t realize that you’re taking photos and if they do, the car has already moved on before anything can be said. I have taken some really cool shots via this method. Here is a recent blog I posted with 108 faces from the Mahakumbha Mela.
My all time favorite subject for photography is landscapes. India has amazing diversity in its colors and landscapes from mountains to beaches and from jungles to deserts. Along with the rich history of architecture and civilization it makes for eye candy in almost every turn one makes. Again photographing around twilight is ideal for landscapes and a tripod is a must so that you can put your aperture to have a high F stop so that the depth-of-field is maximized.
5) Unusual angles
As with all photography, unusual angles can often make a shot. Especially if it’s a familiar iconic tourist place such as the Taj Mahal. If you can be creative, walk around and scope out some kind of unusual angle you can often get a breathtaking shot that surprises the viewer and delights their eyes.
6) Funny signs and scenes
India is filled with hilarious signs and scenes that are completely foreign and novel for the Western mind. I have seen things that absolutely blew my mind such as: a truck overladen so much so that the steel body of the back is almost touching the wheels, or two men on a motorcycle carrying an entire bed frame! Being ready at any moment is crucial to capture such moments and having your camera settings prepared for fast motion is often helpful.