Tag Archives: Photography

The Brett Lee concert Stampede

18 May

If acting on impulse is a good thing, then it better be at a concert where all the madness is.It was my first experience of a concert. On 15th May of this month Indian music band M majors performed with Brett Lee at Inorbit mall (Malad) in Mumbai. Female fans couldn’t stop swooning over him as he took to the stage. M majors had to bear the brunt of Lee’s popularity when the audience screamed and clicked tongues impatiently chanting Lee’s name. The band sang beautiful numbers nevertheless and the audience enjoyed it. M Major’s handled the impatient crowd sportingly. Perhaps they had already braced themselves to face a full blast of Lee’s popularity.

The crowd even took to arguments with press photographers jostling for space in the small space near the parking lot of the mall where the show was being held. I did note that girls who were loud enough at concerts usually take the limited hugs and kisses. Funnily enough, one girl who got to the stage, got her hug (I don’t know about the peck/kiss i could not beat to watch it so i closed my eyes) but refused to leave the stage and remained there while the last long was being sung.

Brett enthralled the audience with his guitar playing and chorus singing. The crowd grooved to his tunes as he sand Summer of 69,brown eyed girl, proud mary and Sweet home Alabama. Lee endeared the crowd with his hindi speaking too.

Now Brett has been doing small shows like this all over India along with philanthropic appearances. Some of these gigs are sponsored by NGO’s. Reports in world media have often suggested his closeness to India was the prime reason for his estrangement and divorce with ex-wife Elizabeth Kemp. Despite that Lee has kept a close association with Indian endorsements, music and film industry, his fans are only loving it.

Lee performed three songs and then came the part the crowd most dreaded and i did not foresee. Autograph seekers rushed to grab that golden chance, but the guards did not allow anyone to get near Lee. I joined the rush to get an autograph but midway through the struggle i fell down and couldn’t figure out what happened next as the crowd passed me or rather trampling over my foot. I managed to pull myself free and thankfully didn’t get injured. Lee escaped unscathed.


NOTE: This is not a brett lee praise article. It was the first time i attended a concert and the above article expresses what i observed there. PHOTO SERIES:


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Let’s swerve the Michael Jackson way- Monochrome style

1 May

There are times when i miss being in front of the lens. But there are many more times when i don’t regret missing the best of moments in front of me because i am photographing them. At Detour 2009 (my college’s annual BMM fest), the very-very-amateur-photographer-me loved every moment of the impromptu  dance done by one of my seniors in college. It was a tribute to the great Michael Jackson who met an untimely death earlier that year on June 25, 2009. I never saw Michael Jackson, may never do. But this dance sure livened up everyone present in the audience and loved every bit of it. That night, everyone present in the audience hoped to dance like that, it was Michael again. Very close to Michael anyways.

My Monochrome photograph tribute to Michael Jackson:  BEAT IT

O, let me walk outta the frame, HOO HOOO! 

Education in India- by choice or by chance ?

12 Apr

It has been a week. Feels like a million years already. While grind through the grind of college education, one is not particularly inclined to think about the after effects. There was no time. It was always projects, travel, chatting and talking for long hours on the phone, having fun. No, not always. If it was so routinely, i would not be feeling so nostalgic.

I had to pinch myself to realize that graduation was over, well at least grad exams were over. But the feeling anticipated was not in place. Why ? It finally dawned on me when my friend DG screamed at the top of her voice over the phone- YIPEEEEEEE ! As they say, those who hear hard, need a boom to awaken.

The Macbride report (UNESCO) stated this in 1980- Education should not be left to chance. The Indian Government has not woken up yet. 31 years on Macbride, people like me feel privileged enough to become graduates. Further education is on the cards, but what about million other kids that i see on streets everyday, in tea shops, clothes stores. Why aren’t they studying, enriching their brains and reaping fruits of education ? The Indian union budget started levying 2 % education cess in the year 2004 when it was presented by noted economist Mr. P. Chidambaram. This was later increased to 3 %. All taxes in India are subject to an education cess, which is 3% of the total tax payable. The dropout rates at primary level alone are very high. More girls cease to attend school at primary level. Also prejudices on ed-ed schooling and girls being taught by males post puberty still exist. The right to education became a fundamental right in India only in 2002. For 55 years after independence, education existed in the form of a directive principle, a mere duty which was not as enforcible as a fundamental rights.

Lack of reinforcement measures and infrastructure result in neo literates, as they do not get further impetus for education. Neo literates have fragile levels of literacy. Majority of neo-literatesare economically poor and live in ruralareas or urban slums. A major bulk of the literate population are actually semi literates who could not continue education for various reasons beyond 5th-8th grade.

As of Census 2011, the overall literacy levels in India is 74.04 % (Males 82.14 %, Females 65.46 %). The definition of literacy by National Literacy Mission (program by Government of India) concerns- acquiring the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and the ability to apply them to one’s day-to-day life. It negates the presence of awareness education, rational thinking. The prescribed aims are meant to be enforced at a basic level.

A vast expanse of land, India is a logistical challenge when it comes to formulating an overall plan for implementing education programs. The government ads that i see on Television are more agriculture based, promoting agricultural training and consumer awareness. How can government ads promise to have any effect when they themselves show women in a domestic way, domestic attire, wearing ghunghat over the head and bearing children ? What more, Indian parliament was a center of much drama last year when the Lok Sabha (Lower House) erupted with a strng demand for enumerating backward classes as part of census. It called for conducting a cast based census, something which the founding fathers of the constitution weeded out first when they were formulating it. Virtually every political party demanded it, from Akali Dal to Shiv Sena to AIADMK to DMK, not to mention backward outfits of UP-Bihar — RJD, SP and JD(U). The present Government seems to be intent on negating everything that the basic essence of Constitution stood for- anti corruption, equality and progress.

But all is not wrong. There are education programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, National Literacy Mission, Mid day meal scheme which are making great efforts to bring children to schools, tap growing drop out rates and offering benefits for higher education. Community and Non governmental efforts have made great progress in creating awareness at grass root level. the Indian Government ensures free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. However many of the promises made by these programs have not achieved their promised levels.

What is needed in India is a comprehensive education policy that emphasizes on tertiary involvement in education. Also informal education, radio and Tv as a medium should take precedence over formal schooling methods. Infrastructure dedicated exclusively for the purpose of education should be made available all over India. many a times community halls in villages double up as schools and children are driven away from schools if thers is a function/activity in th community halls.

Speaking of holidays, it has become an excessively neurotic, gratifying medium. We have Diwali holidays, summer holidays, Navratra holidays, Eid Holidays, Christmas and easter vacations, bank and national holidays, accidential holidays (on days when there are floods or some random natural disasters), and a million other days. It is possible to exhaust one’s work capability but the excuses for declaring holidays are abundant,.

We are not setting a very great examples by having such low productivity hours. There are celebratory holidays for World cup matches too. India has a long way to go to progress in the field of education. We ned not just policies but the right attitude too. Education should not be left to chance.

As for me, the feeling sunk in 2 days after exams got over, the feeling of nostalgia and old memories still lingers in the air.

destitute children play on the road.

 

Image editing- boon or bane?

11 Apr

One can choose to abstain or embrace change. Technology has great relevance in this regard. I have come across many amateur photographers like me who are averse to using image editing softwares. many are of the opinion that image editing is  manipulating the photograph, to make it more sale able or interfering with the original. Over the years I have figured out that this is more due to ill understanding and visually complex nature of the softwares and lack of training. Training in such softwares is best done by persons by themselves- trial and error is arguably the best form of learning. Mental blocks – i-can’t-do-it attitude never helps.

Following is my attempt at image editing:

Picture 1: Original baby photograph. The photograph is shaky. There are other anomalies like exposure and brightness are not up to the mark. The innocence of the baby is not emphasized enough and hence needs development.

Trial and error: I recently came across Google Apps – BeFunky photo effects. This effect called under painting was by far most suitable but still did not give me the effect desires. The lined are far too dark and instead takes away the softness associated with the original image.

The final Cut: This diffused glow effect called Orton style #1 added the desired glow, gave it a fairytale look that I wanted.

The only problem with Goggle Apps is that the final image’s resolution is not the same as the original uploaded one. So if one desired to make larger prints, will be disappointed.

Experimentation is the key with image editing. It does not matter what software is used. It is important to have the blue print of the desired effect in mind.

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER @ WORK

8 Apr

I love to do it do it. Fashion is something that every photographer loves, at least I do. This set is from a fashion show of my college festival – I am glad i managed this with my DSC H 50. I quite abide by the saying, There is no such thing as a greatest photographer and there is nothing like a best camera either. One’s vision has got a lot to do with it. I liked my effort. What do you think ?

Junior College Photography – Photo Essay

23 Mar

Chapel, St. Xavier’s College

 

The classroom at the far right was 20 A, my Junior College class room.

Supermoon Photography at Midnight

20 Mar

Okay Here is the Supermoon in India. Can somebody please tell Star News not to go so blah about this phenomenon?

Bit off centre but its pristine white quality is pretty.

The camera shook when i took this shot. It looks like a meteor or probably a very ugly sperm.

Believe me it was just a pretty moon. About the size? Hmmm… 14% larger than usual. Like I care.

A traveller’s diary: My city and my gaon

4 Feb

Am i too late for introduction? Better late than never, although i am quite a stickler for punctuality in normal life. Buts such is the case with most Indians, most Mumbaikars, we find an ear to listen to our feelings and we go on without realizing that we have not even introduced ourselves to the person sitting next to us. When travelling in long distance trains, we Indians share, we fight, we show kindness that is not always reciprocated back, we come to know each other without knowing each other really. We make friends though we know we may not meet each other ever again. Our world is big, with place for all. I am a mass media student in a reputed college in Mumbai and love to write and do photography of course. I don’t know why people say photography is inherited. In the film ‘wake up sid’, the protagonist sid/ siddharth had got his photography bug from his father. Mine is quite a familiar filmy story, the same my dad also had photography as his hobby. I started mine 2 years ago, and i had to coax, do tantrums, reason and what not to get my DSC H50. I had no idea that canon or nikon were better options but at that time all that fascinated me was a camera and i loved to click. The DSC caught my eye and i fell blindly in love with it. All my classmates oohed and aahed (and i am not exaggerating one bit here) when i went around clicking photographs all the time. I must say my juniors in college are way better than me and passionate for photography just like me. We share a passion, an emotion to freeze the moment in time that is not waiting to be captured but if you are there at that precise moment when its playing out and are able to freeze that, you are a hero. nobody wants to be a part of the crowd here. Ask anyone, just anyone in Bombay if they want to be part of the crowd. No one. Neither do I. But i want to be with them. I want to see them and be able to photograph them. We talk about real India, but the urban city is hardly real. Beyond a thin membrane of tolerance there is a vacuum a barrier that one cannot penetrate. The real India is the land of devotion that stands in serpentine queues outside temples. The real India lies in the spice of the food that is traditionally made even today. The real India is rural- where even today most of the population sweats it out to make a living. People say that India is rising globally, yes, most of it is true too. But i find the true calling here, in the soil of the most remotest villages and small towns. You don’t need a trade hub, flashy town around you to exist. I had gone to kashmir once. In Sri nagar, i went to ride in the shikara with my family at Dal Lake and truly felt at peace with the world like never before. A short while later a boy of mere five or six year old in his small shikara came near the shikara i was in and asked me if i would but his lotuses. The lotuses were the most beautiful flowers i had ever seen. Unfortunately the boy had a very painful look on his face. I felt a deep stirring of emotion. I asked him, ‘How much?’.
‘Give him whatever you see fit, madam. He’s a local boy, sells lotus, very beautiful they are.’ the man who was sailing my shikara said.
I took a small bunch and paid him five rupees.
As it had to happen, the boy’s face was filled with even more sorrow but thankfully there were no tears. He had lived in a place ravaged by extremists most of his life, i could understand his pain but do no more about it. He looked like he wanted more money for the lotuses. But before i could think more on it, he had drifted away and the darkness of the twilight swallowed him completely till i could no longer see him. I felt sorry for him. The man riding my shikara told me not to look too much into it. You see the problem with city people like me? We come across people but all of them are nameless creatures in our memory. there are people that i come across who help me if i am in trouble or distress, but thats it. My mother tells me, ‘that is how good people work, they do a deed and go back into their lives’. Sometimes those who help us do not even have a face. I wish i knew that boy’s name. I don’t know what good it would have done him or me. But i wish i knew.

Dal Lake, Srinagar

Nimble hands over the shutter

4 Feb

My photography experience is hardly much to be tagged as my kind of photography. My photography professor used to tell me, ‘We are too conditioned by our social selves, it dims our perspectives, it clouds the imagination.’ Initially, i did not agree. But today i have understood what he meant. Letting go of the perceptions we have developed as a result of our socialization process opens newer perspectives and windows of imagination. My city- Bombay (Pardon me, i cannot force myself to call it Mumbai just because a schizophrenic old fool running a pseudo-ancient extremist party tells me to call it Mumbai, i ‘shan’t’ call it Mumbai), well, i read somewhere in a travel book that it is not a beautiful city. I beg to differ on that. It pulls the strings of anyone’s heart just as photography pulled me from the boredom existence of a student life. Creating images is something that i have always loved. My first love with the camera began when my dad clicked photos of me during my childhood. I was quite a ever- ready subject, ready to offer a million poses inspired from movies of the day. I had been brought up with that kind of fashion sense too. If the latest movie heroine wore orange pants and black netted top i had to get it the next day! Similarly for films like Hum aapke hain kaun, Aflatoon, etc i copied Madhuri and Urmila on every costume of theirs, whereas the rest of the world was busy copying their dance moves. Many years down the line, it is me with my Sony DSC H50 clicking pictures of little members of my family. ( Now kindly don’t turn your nose up just because it’s a Sony it’s still my first camera hence i love it unconditionally). It is indeed a very fulfilling experience, kind of an honor to freeze the moments of their early life on to them, spreading smiles across their grown up faces. After taking up photography, i feel i have some legacy to pass on as otherwise i have nothing in heirloom or tradition to pass on, i am a terrible sindhi so culturally i have nothing to pass on (yikes). Tomorrow when the younger ones in my family get the photographs and feel good, i shall know that i have succeeded.

Colourful Rajasthan

27 Jan

Man was civilised later, he was a nomad first. A photographer must have an obsessive need to be on the move. There is always a great shot happening, but it is not waiting to happen. The photographer has to be present at the decisive moment and freeze time to get the wanted picture. It is the closest tryst of man with real magic-the ability to capture and store which would other wise be lost in the drains of time, forgotten and lost. It’s a noble exercise too apart from a gratifying one. Frankly speaking i don’t know a single technicality of this art of photography but i have come across a few terms such as the decisive moment. It is by far the only concept of photography i know and i have relentlessly tried to finetune my ability to press the shutter at the right time. I am no Henri Cartier Bresson, but i do believe in not letting a moment slip away. The decisive moment tests the sixth sense of the photographer. Cartier Bresson, a French photographer, is also known as the father of photojournalism. His idea of street photography has inspired me greatly, as also other photographers for generations. “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment” he said. According to me, a vision is the most important, to see through form the picture in the head and release the shutter at the right time. Following is my most recent attempt to perfect the decisive moment.

camel ride at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

The Decisive Moment