An Appraisal

Consider this to be a much longer Facebook update! Twice in the last month, I had begun to write out a post and ran out of juice trying to complete it. I am hoping that the third time is a charm! As usual much has happened and all for the good. In between a couple of charming festivals have come and gone, a few experiments and forays were made and some major milestones achieved.

In October, Diwali made its yearly grand appearance. I was hoping to shoot some fireworks  with multiple bursts in one frame, but ended with something like this instead ….

One of the major reasons for this being dull were that, it was at one spot and truly just one spot! Not spread out over a small distance at one location like the Manhattan Fourth of July fireworks! And god imagine the backdrop the city of Manhattan provides to the entire show, all I got here were the tops of some absolutely boring apartments! So…dejection aside, Diwali is the best time to play with fireworks – so I figured why not try light painting with fireworks and this is what I came up with…

It is simplistic, given that it is my first attempt at this. As an experiment, I definitely bit off more than I could chew. Not for a moment did I consider that I will have to write this as a mirror reflection, or that the haze would be more than I had given allowance for, or that we had to wear dark clothes to not be seen in the photograph! Or that I needed to have experimented first with a flashlight before wasting expensive fireworks on experiments, oh well – what are learning curves for? These are so much easier to do with flashlights that don’t have hot centers. All it really needs is some imagination, practice and meticulous planning. The two shots below are composites of separate paintings done with a flashlight.

At the beginning of this year, I was talking about setting goals -photographic and otherwise – to achieve by the end of this year. Here I am sitting – on a beautifully breezy day with overcast sky, perfect for strolling the city streets and just being outside – in front of my computer, working and contemplating if I have stacked up well against those goals. So let me just say that if I were sitting at my own appraisal today, I am darn sure to rack up a neat bonus. Blowing my own trumpet, you ask? Heck yeah! Wouldn’t you, if you just got published in National Geographic Magazine? Or were part of a really nice exhibition called ‘Portraits of India’? Or if your photograph were to make it into a coffee table book? None of these were even part of the objectives and goals for the year, all I wanted was a little recognition and a sign that I was going in the right direction by following my passion. 2011 is a year I won’t forget! Here is a shot of the page as it appears in the magazine – my shot is that of the Carousel, which you would have seen on this blog before!

I will also , shortly, be part of an exhibition called ‘Portraits of India’ with 40 other photographers and will be exhibiting for a week at a gallery in Chennai, India. Here is the poster for the exhibition, so if you are in Chennai around that time do come by and support us.

A book will be released with all the photographs on the day of inauguration and will be up for sale on Part of the proceeds will be given to select charities, after covering cost of printing etc. So, please support the exhibition and book that showcases up and coming photographers and amateurs, who otherwise will never be able to display their work on a stage like this.

I am looking forward to the year end and to the next year with bated breathe. If this year has been any sort of indication of things to come, then there is a whole horizon of things waiting to be explored and I can’t wait to!

An Appraisal