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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bangalore Through my Lens~ On an Auto Rickshaw

In 2013, I challenged myself for Project 365. You can see the work here.
I wanted to continue that practice in 2014. But unfortunately I couldn't. Perhaps I was too distracted. Perhaps I was too jammed with things at my personal end. Perhaps I ran out of ideas. I just couldn't finish 100 clicks.

I left my job in March 2014. Went into a hiatus for four months and joined a new job in August 2014. Here I had to travel everyday 17km one way. That made it 34km road journey on daily basis. Traveling in an auto-rickshaw was boring and definitely tiring, esp when your sleep deprived soul is being rushed to workplace early morning. Same route, same traffic signals, same traffic jam- it almost killed my creativity. But one fine day I decided to carry my gadget for a change. Then what... I had to love my mundane auto-rickshaw drives.

"Bangalore on Auto Rickshaw"- a series of photo documentation that I started to break the monotony while shuttling between home and office in auto-rickshaw:
trying to hone my photography skill,
trying not to doze off in the auto-rick,
trying to catch moving and speeding objects,

trying to keep myself rooted and attached to my passion,
trying to capture a city the way I see it everyday,
trying to make my daily commute interesting......
Its a lot of trying to love what I love to do. Stay tuned to see more and more of Bangalore through my lens from a moving(or stuck) auto-rickshaw.

P.S.~ Some photos may be shaky and blurred. Now that's the challenge(for the viewer :P), isn't it!?!... :)

Wall-art of DRDO's campus.

Kynkyny Art Gallery~ A must visit.
On Infantry Road

"Built like a gun, goes like a bullet"
On road~ Royal Enfield
Somewhere on Infantry Road.

A day before 15th August.
Somewhere near Manipal Center

Rush hour~
Near Metro Station, MG Road

Of policemen and their service~
Somewhere near Trinity Circle

Yet to open~
Near Frazer Town

Spice your taste buds~ The oriental style
Infantry Road.

Strong, Fearless and Powerful like Lord Hanuman,
An artwork on some lorry, near Manipal Center.
Of Autowallahs and their drama.
Well most auto-rickshaw drivers are good souls, I believe.
I have encountered only a few (five or six) villains in last eight years in this city.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bangalore Through my Lens- On the Roads

 I came to Bangalore in May 2007. Its been almost eight years now and this city is my home. I love almost everything about this city.  The weather and seasons, the people and culture, the birds and trees, the cultural hub and flea markets, the concerts and shops, the educational institutes and corporates organizations- these are what make it Bangalore. Oh! Now we call it Bengaluru. If you can mange to colour yourself in the colours of a city, you should be proud to say yourself a dweller of that city. Well Eight years is little less than a decade but eight years isn't a small time either. Then perhaps I can proudly say I am Bangalorean. A city which is dynamic, bubbling with things of my interest, crowded yet you can find yourself in the midst of the crowd, a hub of art and culture, theaters and melas, music and rallies, fests and festivals. What not!

I attend melas- folk melas like Kala Madhyam, Dastakar. I go to shows- musical dramas, concerts, dance fests, and theaters. Traveling in auto, cabs, local and volvo buses, traveling far from home, traveling to near by shopping mall, traveling to office or to a friend's place- all are part of this city. In the midst of all these, my photography skills are definitely honed. I look back and I can proudly say this city has shaped my thoughts. It has given me wings to fly. It has given me love, warmth, hope, dreams and fantasy.

"Bangalore through my lens" is a series of photo documentation of the city in its various forms. This series "On the Raods of Bangalore" includes a range of mundane shots that I have clicked on the road while traveling on a bus or a cab.

NaMo's dream to touch the sky.. Huge hoardings, posters and such pamplets were put up in every corner of the city when Mr. Modi visited Bangalore.

This was sometime in November 2013 when NaMo was a rage  that time. Country was going to see the change.. Well... As they stated "Achchhe Din Aayenge", I doubt if that has actually happened post elections. Modi became the Prime Minister with a huge victory in May 2014 and its going to be a year under Mr. Modi's rule. Things don't look very exciting (to me) though.
NaMo's dream to touch the sky..
On my way to St. John's Hospital, to visit my aunt, who had a spinal surgery in September 2013.

The clear sky of Bangalore, the endless traffic and the traffic signals. I wonder what can be so boring yet so interesting. I always loved watching the chaos when stuck in a traffic signal- the people, the beggar, the vendors, the car owners and bike riders- almost everyone is in a hurry to cross the red light.
Of Bangalore traffic and its men

A hoarding says~" Make lane discipline a habit."
I always believed that we have to learn a lot from nature- the trees, birds, insects and animals that co-exist with us. I find very few people who adhere to traffic rules. Do they know that a small change can make a big difference one day?

Once we were on our way to Electronic City Phase 2. It was almost like going to Mysore or some other town, you see. Thanks to the traffic of Bangalore!

But, breaking the monotony during a bus ride is a joy. My husband enjoys the bus rides but I don't. Volvo buses are blessing in that sense, esp if one has to travel long distances inside a city like Bangalore. We boarded the bus from Mekhri Circle and I engaged myself in clicking some mundane shots.

Faith is all about what we are and what we believe. God(s) and goddess (es) exist everywhere. Like here.

You will see what you want to ...
I saw you
I had been hearing about the "Namma Metro" since I made this city my home. Well I doubt whether the metro service serves any actual purpose. Its like a trophy, a showpiece added to the concrete jungle of ever developing , ever changing  Bangalore.
Construction of Namma Metro- near MG Road
Carrying a camera around is such a joy, you see. You can catch candid images. 

I call these huge buses with air suspension and AC enclosures as "beasts of road". They are silent and fast. In no time, you find them next to you, in-fact crossing your bike or scooter or car. Ever seen the speeding ones near Esteem Mall. They actually resemble a beast!

On the steering wheel..

I always loved blurry images. They have unique stories to tell.  So does the image below. Taken in a moving bus (again a Volvo), this image is a reflection of many- a colourful railing of some govt office compound, windows of a lower class BMTC bus, and a sticker of goddess- to save and protect the travellers (perhaps).
God is omnipresent~ Even in reflection
HP- High Priced, as I say it. Petrol and increase in its price has been a concern. Pollution aside, this non-renewable resource is soon going to be a pain in the neck of common man.
Use Judiciously..
Save Fuel..! 
 Bangalore roads would never disappoint a tree lover like me. Tabebuia Rosea - The pink trumpet tree is one of the commonest avenue trees in this city.  Originally from Mexico,  this tree blooms between February to April, sometimes May.  It is undoubtedly a splendid tree when in bloom!
Colouring the city in pink shades...
 Huge procession- something which is so kitsch and Indian and can be seen perhaps in any city across the country. Somewhere on my way to Kormangala, whilst I was stuck in a traffic jam.
Idol worship of yester-year stars..
A book can be a great companion while traveling. Like I carry my camera, there are majority of bibliophiles  who love to read while traveling in a train or bus. I too, at times, carry a story book while I am on my way to my office in a cab. I had been to KIA to pick my sister and this was  the shot on our way back to home from the airport.
not everyone is interested in the world outside, or inside the bus...
 Billboards are always interesting. I love them. Though they can be scary and cause injury to passers by and pedestrians. A billboard of the most acclaimed and trust worthy company- LIC. Don't we all want an insured life for ourselves, our loved ones, our kids and family!
An insured life..
 He is known as the Pheonix of Indian cinema.
Dr. Vishnuvardhan, Kollywood Hero (1950-2009), an amazing actor of yester years, who rules the Kannada cine world. I remember the road jam and road block when he passed away in 2009. It was almost a bandh in the city.

The Phoenix of Indian Cinema
 Somewhere on the way to Shanti Nagar to visit  an Aurovillean pottery exhibition.
Of course I made some new friends and got to have a cup of lemon tea at 1. Shanti Studio.

I never knew that anything can be a subject for a photographer. It's how one tries to visualize the subject. Stay tuned for more such  mundane views through my camera.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Capturing Moments at Chitra Santhe

I always loved capturing moments. A crowd can be such a heap that hides those treasures. A flea market is one great place where I can find interesting subjects- candid and posed ones.

During every year, around January, Chitra Santhe, an one day art-fest is conducted on the streets of Kumara Krupa Road. A day when the road is flooded with artworks. Bangaloreans love art and craft. It is a lively city in that way, I must say. During my stay in Bangalore, I have attended four of these art flea markets. Everytime I visited this crazy art filled fest, I felt so excited. So was my camera- full of battery and an empty SD card.  Of course, I do buy artworks. Why? Because I love art. I support a noble cause. I appreciate the efforts gone into an artwork- be it original or inspired.

This year I couldn't make it to this art show. In memory of last year's fun and meeting a bunch of artist friends from the Pencil Jam Group, here is a series of  photos. A photo-documentation of those endless memories of 11th Chitra Santhe, held during January 2014. It's true that "moments when captured are treasured as memories. "

A pinwheel tied to an electric pole and a helping hand

~ Of Admirers and Buyers~

Hands in action- Sketching away instant portraits 

My daddy strongest, the best~
I found so many dads carrying their 2-3 years old kids on their shoulders and walking up and down the art street (of one day),  at KumaraKrupa Road. 


In the midst is street light~
under the open winter evening sky
~ Busy sketching ~
It's fun to grab an ice-cream/ frozen popsicle on a winter afternoon

Artist and buyer conversation- bargaining
Catchy colours of  thela-gaadi
An artist's ingredients~
A colour filled palette and brushes

Art on Bag
A jute hand bag with warli tribal art on it.


Art hoardings, an artist and a tired buyer..
I guess the only patch of the road which was not crowded with Bangaloreans..

Spotting things that are unique...
Cipriana's Romanian Dragon fly hairpin

The guest house at Kumara Krupa Road

How can I miss this..!
My eternal love for Tea continues
Want some..!!
~Perfect for winters: The parboiled peanuts~

So many viewers for one instant portrait
(Artist at work, busy sketching)
Smart use of smartphone

Following baba (daddy) in the crowd

The artist and his work~
You can buy this talented artist's work at Dhruba Mazumder's fine art

~ Howdy guys :) ~
Meeting the artist friend and his wife- Dhruba and Cipriana
The refreshing bubbles of the eternal drink
Oh! Tea..
And finally a selfie stating my presence...
I am present~
A selfie click..

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Five day Black-and-White Photography Challenge.

I have been way busy this year. Lots of things happening at my end. There has been a long hiatus on this blog of mine. I couldn't complete my project 365 challenge of this year. Dropped out of it by April beginning. Not a cool thing. But that doesn't mean I stopped practicing. I did click snaps as and when I got a chance. I know every moment can be a chance. Everything can be a subject. But I have slowed down this time. Last month something interesting happened on Facebook. It's the five-day-black-and-white photography challenge. It was viral. The rule was simple yet looped. All one had to do is post FIVE Black and White pictures for FIVE continuous days and nominate FIVE different friends and ask them to do the same. Everyone on my list whom I know- either an amateur clicker (like me) or a professional photographer was into this, challenged by someone or the other. I secretly admired everyone's snaps. They are my inspiration and of course feel good factor. I also wished someone tagged me and dragged me into the loop. At the same time, I also wanted not to fall for this as it needed five days dedication to post a particular theme based photo.

Voila! What I see.. I am tagged and finally dragged into this 5*5 black-and-white photography challenge by none other than Vidya Rao. Vidya is a good friend. We first bumped into each other on flickr nine years back and now we are more than acquaintances. I have met her three times and must say she is an amazing wildlife enthusiast and also a good photographer. So, how could I deny her challenge. I had to do it for her, for myself, for the inner happiness, for that wanna-be clicker inside me, for my soul.  Vidya had suggested a theme for me. According to her, I take candid snaps so well. She stressed that I should post my candid captures and street photography. She thinks that I have a wonderful collection of snaps and have a great eye for candid moments. Oh really! Thanks Vidya for believing in me.

Well I admit I hunt for uncanny, unconventional yet simple shots when I am with my camera in a street. A street is a happening spot, it has endless subjects, many faces, many emotions, many stories and more so that city's story!

A photograph is nothing but a moment captured and converted into a story. Every image has a story- the way the photographer wants to tell it to the rest. When Vidya challenged me for this five-day-black-and-white photography, I wasn't really sure whether I had so many snaps which speak something, which are small stories in themselves.

The funniest part was with every snap that I posted, I had to tag another fellow clicker/ photographer and drag them into this loop. Well I had to...!

Here are my picks from my collection.
Of drums and rhythms
I love capturing hands in action. I love feet too. These two have been my subjects for quite sometime. We went to one of the Drumjam session at Rangoli- The Metro Art Center. And I must say I loved every bit of it. I wish to go there more often.

Of family trips and bikes on Indian roads
Everyday while returing from work, I notice so many interesting subjects on Bangalore roads. 30 km ride- to and fro from home to office everyday, five days a week. That is a lot. I carry my camera everyday so that I don't miss an interesting subject on the road. I definitely love this city.

Indian roads are getting filled with four wheelers these days. In the midst of heavy traffic during peak hours, this bike was loaded with five people- the father, the mother with the boy kid and two of his sisters (perhaps aged 4-6 years) in the front, sitting over the petrol tank on the bike. Guss! That is signature India. I leave this snap for your interpretation.

"What's up with Indian Men..!?"
Well 20th Novemeber was "International Men's Day" (a male colleague told me about it on the same day, I wondered what all that fuss was about..! Do they need one more day?). Here three so called "gentle" men busy with what most men love doing- ogling at ladies/ women/ girls (let's call it girl-gazing).
Shot at Lalbagh, a place apt for candid photography.

Once upon a time, they ruled the roads.
I noticed this horse wagon, somewhere on my way to office, close to Frazer town. Reminded me of old Bollywood movies.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
– Ansel Adams
Somewhere in Lalbagh, this mom was busy capturing those precious moments of her daughter whilst I was standing far away, busy focusing my camera on her.

After this challenge, I definitely fell in love with black and white photography and I owe this to you, Vidya. To me, these monochrome images are priceless. They speak a lot. They mean a lot. They are simple yet complex. They are strong. They are loud. They are profound. I am slowly starting to love black and white photos. Here are two more to the first round of this series.

Over an intense conversation...
I always notice this guy glued to his cellphone. Perhaps he is a phone addict!

Busy physicists: In search of that right stone..

Its fun to throw stones into water and see how far it can go and how many hops it can make. Definitely lot of physics goes into this. I thought so.

Back to the challenge, I had to follow the rules. You see as the saying goes, "rules are rules." So, I had to choose  and tag five friends into this creative loop. And I tagged the following friends on facebook~

Chaitra Hegde of Chaitra Photography, my very dear one and my partner who loves capturing unconventional shots through his camera. He has honed my photography skills and has taught me a lot.  :)

Erum Kazmi of Erum Kazmi's Photography, famous as Colurs of My Dream on Flickr- she has been my inspiration in many ways. She is a fellow flickr friend, a die hard tea-totaller, foodie and bookworm. 

Varen Val (Taya)- a dear friend and an amateur photographer who loves capturing anything and everything that is beautiful and is close to nature.

Shilpa Harish- a fellow flickr-mate (see her work here) who loves capturing nature, interior decors and tea (of course).

Nipanjana Patra- she is family like, a friend who is also an amateur clicker and loves to capture naturescapes and birds. 

This didn't end here.  I was tagged and dragged once again by Wasim Raja, almost after a month. "Once again..! Aah..! Second time..! Noways..!"- these were my expressions at first. But Wasim wanted me to post five more snaps. How could I deny him!? And I ended up doing this once more. I had to. 

This time I was not assigned any particular theme and so decided to dedicate this series of photo-work to people who are close to me. I decided to post some of my favorite people and a few of their expressions. Here are the photos I chose for the second round. 

The first from the series is about friendship.
I know these two men (Hegde and Wasim) since last seven and half years and you both make me feel like a queen of your world. You both fought with me, screamed at me, hated me like the way you both always cared for me, loved me and pampered me like a kid. I am at home when you guys are around- both a part of my small world.

This one is especially for you, Wasim Raja.
"Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends."
~Virginia Woolf

The second snap is of joy. I am definitely affectionate towards you. There is no explicit reason or perhaps there is. I have a small wish in my heart and a strong bonding has developed in last few months.

On Subodh's birthday, I could see that joy in his eyes.
"There is a child inside each one of us in our life,
who comes out in front of the person we are most comfortable with."
The third one is of dreams and ambition. The one who makes me feel proud for what she is. A strong, independent, workaholic, determined lady. A sibling who has stood by always for me.

For my girl, Arya.
"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground."
~Theodore Roosevelt
The fourth one is about love and trust, dreams and hope and everything that one would perhaps tag with the word- "Mi amor!".

For my bitter half- Chaitra Hegde.
When I ask "Do you..",
You always say "No, I don't..!"

The last one for you, my little angel-cum-devil, Atmaja.You definitely make all of us feel happy and proud of you. You are a ray of positivity  and creativity. I have seen you grow in front of me. You have a long way to go, you little champ!
"There is no better friend than a sister.
And there is no better sister than you."

This is the second time I took part in this loop of posting five photos for black-and-white photography challenge. The other side of the rule coin says that "rules are meant to be broken".  
So, did I do. I broke the rule.

I won't nominate (tag) any one. I decided this time.  :)

To see more of my work, visit Amtrips Photography.

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