hints, allegations and things left unsaid...
Photo Friday: Masculine
My entry to this week's Photo Friday contest - 'Masculine'
To the valley of clouds
The last picture from my Chitradurga visit. The day I took my pictures, was a bright and sunny one. In fact, the showers of the preceding night had ensured that skies were a pristine shade of blue that one rarely witnesses in a city these days. I will visit the fort again, probably once the monsoon rains start. That should surely allow me to capture the fort in a new light.
I had taken this picture while passing through Fleet Street on Christmas evening. I was held spellbound not only by the tall spire of this church, but also by the way it was illuminated by the dying rays of the weak winter sun. The radiance almost felt divine; as if the cathedral wasn't merely reflecting light, but held a luminescent source in its walls that was its own.
For the photographically inclined: A 17mm lens mounted on a camera body with a crop factor of 1.6x, would have never allowed me to capture the entire building in one frame; the street being too narrow for me to step back far enough. I therefore contended myself with a shot of just the spire - the sky behind being too irresistible to miss. I also shot the lower half (spire cropped) desultorily (hence the parked van which I now wish were missing), and for some reasons allowed it to linger on my hard-disk till date. Today, some two months later, it occurred to me that I could stitch the two halves up into a "vertical" panorama! The awkward distortion at the bottom is an artifact that arose out of having to "fit" two discrete pictures; taken without the intention of being sewed into a panorama.
I will admit without a moment’s hesitation that this picture was work of a handy accident rather than labor of conscious composition. A premeditated shot; on being viewed later, has the ability to transfer me back to the very moment in time (and space) when (where) it was clicked. I can feel the breeze, smell the smells, hear the sounds and experience the momentary stillness during shutter-release when the world ceases to exist. No such vivid memories flash past me as I look at this one.
I would have loved the composition to have been symmetrical. But if one could direct the course of an accident, it would cease to be an accident. In any case, had the shot been perfect, the temptation to proclaim it as a work that I had deliberately striven towards, would have been too high. The imperfection – for what it is worth - keeps me honest about my intent (or lack of it).
Now on a totally unrelated note, I am wondering, if Arjuna was a photographer instead of an archer, would he have worried about more than just the fish’s eye? I think he would have, because a nice bokeh is as important to a picture as what lies in focus. Would Dronacharya coach our ace shooter somewhat differently? Perhaps I am going kooky (there is this certain individual who would argue that I already was), or perhaps it is the result of writing this post after a tiring late night flight.
The remaining thoughts that dart through my head at the moment, in reverence to the title of my blog, are to be left unsaid.
West goes East
I have been fascinated by the ironwork on the roof of the glasshouse in Lal Bagh from my very first visit. And in case you didn’t figure, the title points to the laterally inverted E and W of the wind-wane.
Heavily post processed, because there is no such thing as too much blue!
I stood on my knees amidst a gentle snow shower to catch this shot. Every five minute or so the carousel will stop spinning to take in new riders. I would look at her freezing under the Hungerford Bridge, seeking her tacit approval for my indulgence. As another gentleman readied his tripod for the shot just a few yards away from us, she asked me, mischief floating in her eyes; 'have you wondered why this guy is alone?'
While I am alone today, this heart – unlike on St. Valentine’s Days of years before this, is no longer lonely.
Pardon my penury of words and hear the picture gently whisper...
fake façade - make believe
think of it as a dream -
when your very eyes deceive
and all your senses scheme
This picture is a continuation of the theme that I had discussed in my last post. To me, it brings out the dichotomy of women's position in Indian society.
My friends often taunt me by saying “for Deepak to condescend to click us, we’ll need to be born again as a flower, a dog or a bird”. It is indeed true that human subjects usually don’t hold much interest for me. On those occasions when human subjects are involved (or are for some reasons, unavoidable) it is their juxtaposition with a non-human entity that I often seek. The human element is relegated to the background in the so called “grand scheme of things”.
There are various devices that allow me to achieve these ends. A shallow depth of field - which “shows” you the subject, without it being the focus of the composition. Distance or proportion such that the human form diminishes greatly - though it is still perceivable as human and is to be interpreted with the backdrop. And lastly, reflection – the sort of hazy, diffused reflection one sees in a puddle of water - though again the human form is still kept perceptible (if barely).
I hope to present this week, three such works – unfortunately none of them my best, but each one of them a demonstration of what came out of a conscious analysis of some of my pictures.
About this picture: I was focused (pun unintentional) on the pigeon when the girl made it into the frame. Sadly so did the truncated torsos of her family, which, had they been absent, would have rendered the composition far more interesting – but sometimes spontaneity overrules technique.
I wonder if this girl and this pigeon, will ever meet again!
Another picture from my Chitradurga visit. The picture has been touched up a bit to give the sky a dreamy feel (not that the sky on that day wasn't dreamy enough in the first place).
A starry night
We lost our leaves to winter’s blight
And got bedecked with strings of light
But what the heck just see this sight
A cloudy yet a starry night
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