Framing the framers!

I had already stopped bothering with clicking the art installations at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival since last year, for the simple reason that people never stop posing beside the installations. And I hate to make images where the art installation is peppered with people. Last year, i missed out on making some candid shots. This year though i went ahead and decided to explore this aspect. 

Considering there is an unhealthy number of people with DSLRs ready to make images, i thought of just shooting people shooting whatever it is that they were shooting. As with my street photography, none of the shots involved taking prior permission, as that would not give me the required zen-like expressions that most of us have while composing frames. 

I just decided to go with the flow, and wait till i was able to make a frame which had another person in it, making his or her own frame. And i thouroughly enjoyed shooting at the fest this year, more than last year. 

Presenting on this blog some of those images i made during the first weekend of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2012. I made liberal use of the Color Creative – Yesteryear 2 preset from the ones offered by Adobe Lightroom, to five these photographs a warm feel.

Multi-tasking with a camera and a phone.

One of the main reason why i prefer doing street photography alone.

Take Care,

Looking Back at 2011

O Majhi: As we sail into the sunset of 2011, presenting some of my personal favourites from  2011.  (Click on the link on the left hand side to go to this particular post) 

This year has been quite fulfilling from my photography perspective. After a dismal number of posts in the last two years, i finally posted the more photographs in 2011 than in 2010 and 2009 combined. I hope to post even more photographs in the new year. 

Happyness Marathon: The year began on a blast, with one of my images winning a competition that was organised by the makers of the film ‘Dhobi Ghat’ and Mumbai Weekend Shoot – a Mumbai based photography group.  

Year enders are the bane of print media professionals. So i thought of doing one, as far as this blog is concerned. So, looking back, i would say i learnt a lot in photography. Got to use a lot of camera bodies, apart from my own Canon S5 IS. Went from hating micro four-thirds to loving them, all thanks to the Olympus EP3. As for dSLRs, well go to use the Canon 1000D, 550D and Nikon D3100. Had planned to get a Canon 550D for myself by Diwali, but that wasn’t to be.  

Shaping the pot 

Started gravitating towards black and white. But have tried to keep a balance between the BW and colour images on the blog, as i feel both treatments have their own pros and cons. 

Phone or Camera: This was one image that got a lot of love, one the blog as well as among my friends on other social networks. 

One major addition in this year has been inclusion of a lot of people in my photographs, all thanks to the addiction called Street Photography. If you check my 2008, 2009 and 2010, there will be just 2-3 posts/year which will have any sort of human being. Thanks to Street Photography i tend to include people in atleast 7 out of 10 photographs that i make now. Have become a convert since i first came across a great resource on Street Photography, while testing out Google+ (yeah, Google+ is responsible for the addiction). Read quite a lot on the genre and hope to explore it even further in 2012. 

Silent Spaces

Discovered Adobe Lightroom and have never gone to Photoshop since. Such a lovely utility LR3 is for minor colour corrections!  

Shoot, Chimp, Move On…

Also gained a lot of blog buddies this year whose comments and critiques have pushed me to explore photography even more. The page views have increased considerably when i compare it with those of previous years. I hope to maintain that momentum in 2012. 

Here are some images with colour. 

Portraits – 1
Ice Cream Waala
A Mouthful of Sky : My first attempt at capturing multiple exposures

A Ghost: Dabbling with compositing various images

Finally, this year was also about Photo Essays. Although i technically did just four of them (pathetic) i added one more essay which was more of a compilation of sorts. 
Blissful Bihu
In the mood for Ramzaan

Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa
Ghazals will never sound the same again
The Newspaper Project

So that was it for 2011. Hope to have many many more better images in 2012. 

Till then, Wish you all a very happy new year!

Take Care,


Shaping the pot

Was just going through one of the blogs on my Blogroll called Project Dharavi which is documenting the life around Asia’s largest slum. The members includes writers, painters and photographers who are documenting Dharavi through their medium of choice.
I remembered doing a photo essay as a part of my Journalism school assignment which also revolved around the same theme. I was visiting Dharavi for the first time back then and was completely impressed with the enterprising individuals i came across there. Leather tannery, farsan making units, lantern workshops, hand painted diyas were just some of the many cottage industries i came across there.
I mainly concentrated on the Kumharwada or Potter’s Colony. Since i had gone shooting just a few weeks prior to Diwali that year, the potter’s colony was buzzing with activity. Here are two photographs from that series, where i finally came across a potter who was shaping his pots on the potter’s wheel. I was tired of seeing the electronic wheel where ever i went. I know it was convenient, but having grown up with the vision of seeing pots being shaped on the wheel (which was rotated manually) i guess i wanted to see it live.

I guess it is about time i make another trip to this wonderful place.
Take care
PS : Working on the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2011 photo blog post. Stay tuned.

Retrospectives – A Raghu Rai Photography Exhibition!

“A Journey of a Moment in Time – Retrospectives”, said a column in Bombay Times Arts n Culture page. Retrospectives was the word that grabbed my attention and I wasn’t disappointed as it was an exhibition by the same photographer. Raghu Rai. Just back from a this very fantastic Photography Exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA).

Raghu Rai is one of India’s finest documentary photographer known for his photographs of the Real India. His extensive coverage of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy even won him a World Press Photo award in the year 1984.

Most of the photographs are in Black and White. Ranging from wide panoramas to normal frames to vertical wide angled perspectives, Rai has taken care of every angle. Almost all of the photographs are quite dramatic with the Human Element, a couple of landscapes are also featured. Portraits of Indian Classical Musicians in their element are particularly appealing. Mother Teresa’s portraits are really moving. Photographs of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy really get one by the gut. They are very graphic.

Raghu Rai’s portrayal of life around Ghats of India really appealed to me. Be it the Ghats of Varanasi or the numerous Ghats at Kolkata (really reminded me of my days there). We all go around such places, do all the religious stuff, but do we really ponder over the life going on around us there? Rai gives us beautiful perspectives there.

The second floor of the Gallery has Color photographs which take one through a colorful journey across India, from Varanasi to Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai to Kolkata.

If anyone from Mumbai is planning on going there, I would definitely like to make particular mention of some images that really floored me.

1. My Father and My Son – a BW image of just the hands of an old man and a child entangled in each other. Just looking at the photograph one can deduce the emotions that aren’t visible in the frame.

2. Among the Sparrows

3. Traffic at Chauri bazaar – a wide panorama shot really gives us an idea of Delhi in the 1960s. The chaos, vendors and rickshaws, so typical of Indian Bazaars.

4. Avani at her farm – shows a profile of lil girl in her car located in a region that has very scary clouds and its bout to rain.

5. Immersion at Babughat – a very typical Kolkata photograph during the Poojas. I loved it just for the nostalgia:d

6. Indira Gandhi at the Congress Session – it shows Indira Gandhi surrounded by her party members in a meeting, with the focus only on Indira Gandhi. The emotions on her face convey lots of thoughts (anger and sadness were two emotions I could deduce)

7. A Bazaar Scene – this photograph has an old man covering the bottom half of the frame, sound asleep with the chaos goin on behind him indicated by the slow shutter speed.

8. Cows and Pilgrims – taken on a ghat, where a pilgrim and the cows fill the frame in such a way that it appears that the man is sandwiched between the cows.

9. Wrestlers in Akhara – Simple daily life photograph but the painting on the doo r of the akhara seems to merge with the real wrestler as an extension to his arm. Very very creative composition.

10. Combed beach – the textured sand after the waves have retreated back in the waters.

11. Ayodhya – The day before – This series of photographs was clicked one day before the Demolition of the Babri Masjid. Not a soul can imagine from the mood of the photographs, what
was to follow the next day.

12. An Artist Studio – It shows one of the many sculpture studios in Kolkata. The fascinating part about this image is that the statues and real people are arranged in such a manner that we feel the statues are real and the real people are statues. This picture just reinforced in me the true Power of Composition of ones photographs.

Saving the Best for the last. “Indira Gandhi in the Himalayas” – This picture just has the Himalayan hills in the background and a silhouette portrait in the foreground. It’s a Profile shot with not even a cm of visibility, but anyone can easily recognize that its Indira Gandhi. I was super impressed by this image.

“Burial of an unknown child” from the Bhopal gas Tragedy series really chokes you. You will definitely feel something. I think it was this photograph that won the World Press Photo Award.

That was about it. I am so glad that I finally got to see a Raghu Rai exhibition. Happier even more that I have been able to keep up my resolution of seeing atleast one Photography Exhibition every month. Its been great so far with Exhibitions by greats like Rai and Henri Cartier Bresson already seen.

Take Care