31 May 2009

One

Single boiled egg for Rs.5/- Courtesy : The tiny tea stall situated on one of those treacherous slopes in Ooty, near the Rose Park.

30 May 2009

After a Day's Work

Some describe it as a great irony of modern India. Yet I think there is an old world charm in the farmer's bullock cart slowly rolling back to his village after selling his farm's produce in the market.

28 May 2009

Plant

"I don't want to be a tree. I want to be its meaning."
- Orhan Pamuk in My Name is Red

27 May 2009

India in a Capsule?

"India is ALL about colours," a friend (from abroad) stated. I wonder...

26 May 2009

Lunch Break

(This image has been digitally manipulated)

25 May 2009

On Guard

I was quite startled to find this fellow leap at me from the window after a few minutes of persistent, but anonymous barking (i couldn't quite figure where the barking was coming from until then). But after much contemplation, i think he decided that this strange creature (that would be me) with the shiny black box slung on her neck is harmless after all. Nevertheless, he didnt flinch from his position until i was well out of sight. It's amazing to find the amount of pride and joy that only dogs seem to take in guarding the house they belong to. But of course, those who have dogs for pets already know all about it :)

24 May 2009

The Morning Raga

21 May 2009

Kluney Manor

I've always thought the heritage hotels in Ooty were almost surreal. One of my favorite haunts was Kluney Manor, perched on a hill top overlooking the tiny town. I've never really stayed at the hotel (although i would have loved to), but the manager has always been gracious enough to let me shoot in the premises. These images were shot on a full moon day with a long exposure (of 30secs). More images of the manor to come...

20 May 2009

The Shadow on the Wall

A common site in India. A woman and a child stand near a public tap in a little village in Ooty, with their vessels lined up to collect water for their domestic use . I hope, there will be a day (in a not so distant future) when rural India will quench her thirst with a well maintained water supply system and would never have to go back to stand in queue at a public water tap.

19 May 2009

White Flower

Guess i should have mentioned earlier... people, this is a studio shot and NOT shot on location. One of my favorite lighting techniques... the skimming light... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I decided to answer Paul's (see comments) question here, for the benefit of photography enthusiasts. Q : Pray enlighten what a "skimming light" is (and how you achieve the effect) for those of us who only know how to point and shoot :) A : Skimming light is basically light that is 'skimming' the surface. It is (usually) used to describe the light that skims over the surface of the earth during sunset or sunrise. This phenomenon is more prominent in hilly areas when the sun is rising/setting just over/below the horizon and you see the lower half of the hill illuminated while the upper portion remains dark.
To view more images on Nature, click here.
In the studio, one can achieve similar effects by placing the flash light (with a snoot attached ) just above the table (imitating the sun's position) to let it skim through your surface and illuminate the elements in its way. In the picture above, if you had kept a long stick in the path of the light, you would have found that the lower half of the stick was illuminated while the upper half remained dark!
Here is a crude diagram of a studio setup. Click on the image to enlarge.
I hope this made some sense. If it did not, DO feel free to shoot your questions. I'm more than delighted to answer. But most importantly, next time you visit a hill station, make sure you watch out for some phenomenal skimming light that is happening around you. :)

18 May 2009

Graveyard Shift

16 May 2009

Dinner at Jalsa

A family dinner on the occasion of your parent's wedding anniversary at Jalsa (Bangalore) can be a beautiful and fun experience, especially when you feel like you have been transported to the Mughal era.
I thought the interiors were beautiful although extravagant.
Yes yes. I like colour. And i like it more when its in monochrome (or almost).
Dont they really look like they were part of a period drama?With the staff dressed in Mughal attire, I half-expected Shahjahan and Mumtaaz to pop out of one of the corners of the restaurants !
And of course, i loved the turbans they gave their customers to wear during the royal dinner :)

14 May 2009

Served Hot!!!

12 May 2009

SEED - Two Years Later

When i first knocked at the gates of SEED on a hot summer afternoon in 2007, i wasn't quite sure what exactly i would do with a story about an orphanage and an old age home that struggled for survival. Let alone post production issues of multimedia, i wasn't even sure whether they (the orphanage) would let me do a story on them! Well, they did. And i went on to spend 7 days and 6 nights in a garage-turned-orphanage-cum-old-age home in the temple town of Avinashi, Tamil Nadu.

video

Today, SEED looks nothing like the images i had once captured. It was proudly set on a 3million(in rupees) worth property. "Local support," Kalarani smiled. The brave lady who had founded SEED gave me the same warm welcome she had extended to me 2 years ago. I was on a pilgrimage. I had come to visit SEED, to keep a promise.
Girls are seen playing in the dining hall-cum-study room-cum-dressing room-cum- the only room, of the old SEED.
When it became the dorm overnight The brand new establishment.
Earlier,they could ill afford a steady water supply at SEED, let alone a good bathroom.
The first question i asked Kalarani when i met her was whether they had built bathrooms for the girls. "Of Course! With 24X7 water supply!" She beamed.
Kalarani teaching some girls at the old house.
Images of legendary figures meant to inspire the kids hung on the walls of the new study hall of SEED.
The old inmates of my memory had an air of gloom in them.
Now they seem to have embraced their old age with a zest to live on..
He was a photographer once and was keenly aware of my every movement. I had some trouble getting a candid shot of him.
Image of old inmates taken in 2007
A grandpa dutifully switched off the TV and stood up in honour of my camera :) "Images will be out of focus if the subject moved," said the retired photographer.
The girls used to collect water from the municipality water supply for domestic needs at the old house.
They now use that time to swing high in their new garden. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
PS: I think i cannot do justice in words or imagery the joy one feels when you hear your name called out by kids sprinting all around you or how blessed one feels when a grandma takes out a woollen scarf she had carefully knit for you. Kalarani told me that during the 2 years of struggle to raise funds for the new building, they had used my images and multimedia to show their living conditions. She said people were moved and was willing to help. I believe that is the biggest award i can ever hope for.

11 May 2009

The Church

***Disclaimer : This image has been manipulated using the 'Burn' tool in Photoshop.

09 May 2009

Fireworks

An Experiment

I know a lot of people are fond of vignetting. Im one of them. But this time i wanted to try and create 'colored' vignetting. On camera. I had stuck colored translucent papers to the hood of my wide angle lens (77mm dia) with some of the paper torn off at the centre (so that the subject doesn't look 'colored'). Add a little movement to the image, and the image looks so much livelier. Yes, it still looks crude. Any suggestions for improvisations?

08 May 2009

The Boy by the Fire

Whoever you are and whatever profession you might be in... a journalist, doctor, engineer, factory worker, photographer..., i suppose every single person will be hounded by their personal insecurities and fears no matter what their strongest qualities are. It was a cold evening and i was out with my friends taking random pictures of the junk yard just behind the Commercial Street in Ooty. The number of folks who were picking scrap at the junk yard gradually dwindled as the hours sped by. Two or three men who were left behind had begun a fire out of the rubbish they had gathered. The Boy who had been loitering around until then, settled down by the fire once it was lit. I was prepared to wait for however long it took to get a decent portrait of the Boy. The light was low, the exposure was long (despite a fast lens - 50mm , f1.8) and i was clicking frames after frames hoping at least one picture will be sharp (and without much noise) when i noticed the Boy was mumbling something. I inched closer to hear him properly when i noticed that he had started to drool. By then, i had realized that the junk yard was empty save the both of us. The workers had left for the day and my friends had moved on to another location. There i was sitting crouched on a pile of refuse (my only consolation being that i was wearing a pair of thick boots) in front of the drooling Boy with my palms clamped on to my dear little camera. Well, it wasn't my moment of crowning glory and i definitely did not show case a great deal of courage at the moment. I tried to inch away from the boy without really startling him. But after about five seconds gave in to the fear in my by-now-pounding-at-100km/hr heart and ran for life without looking back until i was safe amidst the crowd and the traffic on the main road. For all i know, he must have been quite harmless. He might even have been ill. But like someone said, fear can be quite unreasonable and sometimes, even dangerous.

06 May 2009

Enroute to Kerala

The Indian Railways, with all its shortcomings has never really ceased to fascinate me. I'm slowly forming a (good/bad) habit of sneaking around with my camera as soon as the Ticket Collector vanishes into the next compartment (check out some of my 'train' shots here). I just wish they would stop bothering so much about photography and would let people take pictures at the railway stations as well. (Here is Slogan Murugan's blog dedicated to the Railways. ' Clicketey Clicks - Indian Railway Picures' check it out.. its got some beautiful pics) Once you are inside the train, there isn't much you could do apart from reading, listening to your i pod and of course doze off after a nice little dinner provided by the railway authorities. I was honestly surprised to find people actually using laptops in the train. India is definitely running on the fast track.

04 May 2009

Fashion Untitled

Not really my forte... but an attempt nevertheless...