MY PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNEY

Two blogs back to back, that too with just text content, it’s rarely happened to me, happens only when I am traveling for a long time.

So, this blog will try to summarise my photography journey. It has all started back in Singapore. While working for a company I saw few photos click by a colleague and I was drawn to that for a very long time, I thought if I could also take such beautiful photos, this triggered me to get my first camera, which was an entry-level DSLR, this was the year 2008. I had already started blogging before that but after buying the camera my blogging has taken a twist towards photography and travel.

Had a life-changing experience back in 2008, when I came out from the death bed. I have started thinking all over again about my life, what I have and what can I pass to my kids, my loved ones, or society. Most boys (in India) when they start earning, family and society expect them to live the rest of their life for the family, get married, have kids, and then groom them and take care of them. They are not supposed to live their own life, this is what my father did and his father too. Is it the right way of living? I have asked this question to me, whatever I am going to leave behind will be easily forgotten in a few years and my loved ones will move on in their own lives. I have to live for myself and leave something behind for my loved ones or others to cherish along with carrying all responsibilities. So all my travel experiences are for me and all my photos for my loved ones (including you). That is why I am not writing much in my blogs these days but posting all (good) photos so that readers can get a sense of the place where I have been and see the place through my eyes. Those who wish to know about my experiences of travel, trust me the entire human race is the same and living almost identical life, all places are great, you just need to match with the pace of life and you will have a great time. I see no difference in the people of my village with people of a village in Cambodia or Kent or the urban life of Singapore, Delhi, or London.

Let me confess to you honestly, when I started taking photos from DSLR, I wanted to look into the life of other people and present it to viewers, more like documentary photography, but it needs a lot of study and time which I never had as most of my travel were short (2-3 days max). But it did not prevent me to capture some beautiful landscapes or candid moments. Also, photography is not my profession so I never tried to learn everything in one go, it’s a slow process which is still on for the past 12 years, learning it bit by bit and enjoying it. 🙂

For those who wish to learn photography, I have few tips, try to understand your equipment first, then come understanding lights, composition, storytelling, and post-processing. If I have missed anything means I still have not learned that :D. A small suggestion as well, always ask a question if your photo can explain by itself, if yes then bingo, if not then try again.

Given a chance I wish to document the authentic Indian lifestyle which is getting lost now. This documentation is needed as I fear in times to come we will lose everything which our forefathers have invented with the research of thousands of years. I fear we all will be eating burgers and pizza and wearing denim and speaking English. Our regional languages, food, festivals, clothing, housing, family values, and learnings of generations have to be documented in all possible forms (text, photos, and videos). We live in a country which is so diverse for which it’s said that the taste of water gets changed every 1 Kos (1 Kos = 3 KM as per wiki) and language every 4 Kos. It requires a massive effort to preserve that. I am sure there will be a time not far when people will realize wearing cotton is better than synthetic clothing for the kind of weather we have or our digestive track is more adopted to eating roti+gud than a pizza.

Before I end this blog I have a small suggestion to readers, even if you are carrying the responsibility of family try to take some time for yourself, if not daily then at least 1 or half day in a week, just revisit your memories and dream for future. I am sure you will do better than before in your life.

In the next blog, will post photos of my kids that I took during this Diwali, I still have to process it.  

My photo portfolio

My younger daughter has created my photo portfolio by selecting photos of her choice, then created a video. Hope you will like it 🙂

Photo Portfolio

Just adding some random thoughts as well –

  1. Try to solve one new problem every day, learn something new every week.
  2. 99.99 % of us die without making any difference to society at any level (city, state, country, or humanity as a whole). Most of the time we live life for ourselves or immediate relatives.
  3. Most of us just accept and get what life throws to us, which we can change with very little effort, but we normally don’t do that effort.

We are Colored! (Holi 2019)

This should be celebrated as no-discrimination day internationally as this is the only day of the year when we know person in-front as a fellow human being and do not ask of his/her race, religion, cast or any other crap. Sometimes I wonder how much ahead of time our forefathers have thought before starting this festival and the way it is celebrated AMAZING!!!

Well on shooting Holi, this was my first time in the middle of the crowd and chaos all around me. Loud music, rain dance, colored powder, colored water, wet and colored people grabbing each other to color, hugs, smile, shout, laugh, spring breeze, you just name adversity and imagine me in the middle of that carrying a costly DSLR which is highly sensitive to powder and water. Luckily people were considerate and noticed the camera in my hand… phew!

Post processing was the most adventurous bit as my personal computer with Adobe Lightroom went kaput before downloading raw (CR2 in Canon) files, being a Linux expert I took up the challenge of post-processing photos on Linux (I use another Laptop for work with Ubuntu). Got a great tool for Linux – Darktable which has all most all features of Lightroom but being naive to this tool, I am not yet very satisfied with the outcome.

I think I should log more on my thoughts on discrimination bit – Proving ourselves superior to others is human nature, so until two people are different there will be discrimination. At the same time there is no possibility that any two people will be the same, not even monozygotic (identical) twins as they get different experience and influences in their own lives, this is how nature works and wants us to be different. Educating people on how they treat others is the only way to suppress (if not eradicate) the feeling of being superior.

Well enough! … take a look of few photos I have shortlisted and post-processed in Darktable on Ubuntu –

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Holi 2019

Yearly ritual

Image

It has became a ritual for us (brother Balkrishan, Dr. Sharad and me) to travel together once every year, this trip happens in month of December or January from last 5-6 years.

I had planned it during new year earlier, but that could not happen as everyone was occupied during that time. Planning this trip every year is really challenging, I have to take family and drop them Allahabad first which depends on the fact that every one well and there is no school tests of kids, convincing Dr. Sharad to shut his clinic for a week is another challenge. Sometimes I think not to plan this at all, just pack the bag and go and leave rest to destiny.

MP especially Orchha has became our favorite destination, it has complete package in it, slow paced and very less crowded township, has great history of Bundela kings, ruins, rocky Betwa river, great food at Hotel Sheesh Mahal and cheap lodging at hotel (which I love when travelling without family).

Sharad was little agitated with Orchha and MP but somehow we dragged him in.

After spending a day at Allahabad, we started to Bhedaghat, spent a night there and then started to Pachmarhi, stayed at Orchha for one night.

I am sure MP will be out of option from next year onward and I will miss major part of these trip which is driving.

Oh yes! forgot to mention that my car has completed 100000 KM since I bought it. Its a kind of achievement that I drove so much in last 4 years.

Posting few moments which I collected during this our yearly ritual 🙂

Kids of Dad adopted family with their pets at village, Allahabad

Kids of Dad adopted family with their pets at village, Allahabad

A sadhu at Sangam, Allahabad

A sadhu at Sangam, Allahabad

Evening at Dhoopgarh, Pachmarhi

Evening at Dhoopgarh, Pachmarhi

A priest heading towards Raja Ram Temple, Orchha

A priest heading towards Raja Ram Temple, Orchha

A family in discussion, Orchha

A family in discussion, Orchha

Dr Sharad, getting water spray after shave

Dr Sharad, getting water spray after shave

Diwali Experiments

Visited old friend Rajeev on Diwali evening with family, did some experimentation with camera and sparkles, though I know how to shoot these, but never got a chance to shoot… Did some planning earlier and executed with him.. here are outcomes 🙂

Diwali Experiment #1

Diwali Experiment #1

Diwali Experiment #2

Diwali Experiment #2

Diwali Experiment #3

Diwali Experiment #3

The quest

I have bought my camera around 4 years back… was not sure what to buy Nikon or Canon… neither discussed this with anyone, just went and bought, was not having any training also…

Started learning how to operate it and still learning… learned some basics of photography, some rules and some tricks…

All these years I was shooting, posting, getting feedbacks and learning… learned something just recently that opened up my mind…

My quest has reached a point where I should keep a note of this 🙂

A landmark in my quest

A landmark in my quest

Its all about right exposure and depth of field after composition.

Fooling Camera

Every time I stuck somewhere I blamed my camera and tried to forget it. This was also the case when I failed to expose the subject behind bright background too. I always thought that solution lies in costly camera and lenses.

Read at many places that using fill-in flash will solve the problem. Flash hmmm… my Guru told me to forget that my camera has flash, so flash went out of option.

Regularly seeing photographs of professional photographer taking photo against bright sky while subject well in focus and exposed, wondered how they do it? Photoshop, reflectors, higher end cameras or God‘s gift? … None of these, simply explore your camera setting and you will be able to do it 😉 I am little late in learning this trick though 🙂

This may not be a compelling composition but, manage to get reddishness of evening in skies while subject well exposed, without any addition light source or reflectors. Still not close to what I want but, this is one of few shots I took after learning the trick, need some more time to improve 😀

Subject against bright background

Subject against bright background