Thursday, November 24, 2005

Some more photos...

The second roll is developed and printed. Much to my contentment, the photos have come out better. All my experimentation with night photography has gone horribly right! Well, almost :)

Have a look and tell me what you feel. Here they are:

"Oriental Buildings", Opposite Flora Fountain, Mumbai

Sunset at Sagar Vihar, Vashi, Navi Mumbai

To view other pictures, click here.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Photography & I - Part II

The results are out. The first roll is developed and printed. I see that I still have a long way to go before I can call myself a photographer. In this roll, I see that while I got familiar with the equipment controls and exposure modes, my composition went for a toss. The photos could have been better and more professional looking. Here they are:

First frame using my new camera - Lord Ganesha

Sunrise at Nerul lake, Navi Mumbai

To view other pictures, click here.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, I went to town. Exposed another roll clicking the old-Mumbai gothic structures and the sunset at Marine drive. Also tried quiet a bit of night photography with longer exposure times, slow sync flash, and a lots of camera shake!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Photography & I

After buying my first digital camera in June 2003, I went clicking photos to learn the art of photography. Then, last year Pune saw me get a few exceptional snaps with my very modest 0.3 megapixel Nokia 6230. With every bunch of photos, I began realizing the aesthetics of good photography and started gathering a few tips. To fuel the fire further, Anupam introduced me to his Canon EOS 66. I realized that things I always dreamed of doing were possible using a magnificient instrument called the SLR camera. Made up my mind to buy myself a 35mm, film-SLR as soon as my finances allowed me to.

After that thought, a year passed with me spending more time and money on my new car. And finally on Saturday, I managed to buy myself a Nikon F75 with a Tamron 28-105mm lens, Marumi circular polarizer filter, and a UV filter, besides the multitude of film rolls and batteries. Got some good snaps in the last two days. Won't call them amazing or exceptional because I'm yet to see them printed and this is my first experience (and roll) with an SLR. Besides, I tried shooting most of them using the fully manual mode with manual focus. Only the snaps will tell how much I've gathered about manual focussing, shutter speed, and aperture size in the various lighting conditions.
Meanwhile, the Nikon F75 opens up yet another channel of creative expression for me. I find myself analyzing photographs in news papers and magazines to soak up the various elements of good photography. How good (or bad) I turn out to be, only time shall tell. Watch this space for the results.

Addendum: Special thanks to Extempore and Anil for helping me choose the right camera, answering my amateur questions, and being so patient. Thanks, guys!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Tryst With America

A particular incident reminded me of my rendezvous I had with a very old aunt back in 2002. Residing in the not-so-rural town of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, this aunt has a son in the US, who has been there ever since memory serves me.

It was summer of 2002, and I had made a trip to South India with dad. We traveled from town-to-town, visiting relatives old and new. At our stop over in Pollachi, my old aunt was more than happy to show me pictures of her visit to the US. Very calmly and proudly, with an ever-endowing smile on her face, she explained to me how big and clean the roads in the US were, how one could shop for everything under one roof in a shopping mall, and the variety of choices one had in almost everything. The big bang came when my aunt pulled out sequential photographs of her standing with her son outside an ATM, entering it, inserting the credit card, punching in the PIN, and withdrawing cash. With great pride, she explained to me that in the US, one need not stand in long queues at the bank to withdraw money. I was only polite in showing an enthusiasm she expected to see, which went a little overboard. Thereafter, everything we spoke had a comparison to 'how the same thing would be in the US.'

Recently, another not-so-old aunt of mine, with a son in the US, came down from Kerala. She inquired where I work and what I do and interrogated me proudly "When are you going to Ammeyrikya?" Again, I could see the great divide and the sense of pride my aunt shared to see her son doing well in life and settled in the US.

Now, this brings me to the questions:

  • Does an Indian boy have to go to the US, either to study, work, or settle down to be labeled SUCCESSFUL?
  • Do relatives from non-metros think America is heaven? (I actually remember a mallu song which goes "Swargatilo, nammal swargatilo!" with Mohan Lal and another actor dancing on US roads)
  • Do they understand that living in Metros makes them better armed to imbibe the so-called Western Culture and ignore it, if needed?
  • Do they understand that life in Indian metros is comparable, if not better, to life in the US?
Phew! There goes my Visa...