Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Photo Hunt - Theme 'Old Fashioned'

"Have been out of the blogging world" is a refrain that I keep using. As much as I enjoy blogging, there are times that I just don't feel up to it. Recently it has been a combination of work, multiple preoccupations at home, and some photographic pursuits that have been keeping me busy. I have been reading a lot on post-processing of images via Photoshop and that is something about which I will be posting shortly. I also have been experimenting a bit and you can check out these results of some abstract shots that I took recently.

Anyway, back to this week's theme of 'Old Fashioned'. The one thing that I keep telling my friends & colleagues from abroad who want to know about India is "Never Generalize". India to me is a country of contrasts. Culture, language, dress, food, ideas, beliefs, religion, economic well-being - you name it. Also at the heart of this study of contrasts is the conflict of the old and the new. An example of this is the shot below - this is a National Highway, where you will get to see trucks and the latest cars blazing the trail. What you also have is this - an elephant on the road! So while the well-off zip by in their swanky cars, for some people life goes on as it did perhaps hundred years ago.

If you are not from India, remember not to judge 'Incredible India' by one story or one shot. The understanding of the sheer diversity of the country is at the heart of visiting and enjoying it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Photo Hunt - Theme 'Delicious'

'Delicious' is the theme of this week's PhotoHunt. Say 'delicious' and the obvious, obvious thing that comes to mind is food. Now food photography is a dififcult genre - it requires specialized skill and lighting, and above all practice. I cannot say that I have shot a lot of shots, leave alone good shots, that fit this theme. Here's one that I managed to dig out of from my collection.

Needless to say, these are strawberries. They look fresh and yummy - don't they?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Wishing everyone a very Happy New year 2008 !

I don't believe in new year resolutions as such - just hoping that 2008 brings something new (every few weeks, I keep asking myself - "When is the last time that you did something for the first time?") and that I get to travel a lot.

Looking back on 2007, it has been a significant and enjoyable one - in more days than one. Here's my pick of the 5 best things to have happened to me in 2007

1. The Prince is now the King!

The triumphant return of Sourav Ganguly to the Indian cricket team. One of the most remarkable and inspiring comebacks in Indian sporting history. A victim of politics, tainted by a obnoxious-minded coach, barracked by the media, ignored by selectors, backstabbed by his once friend and deputy, a ripe old of 35 - the odds were stacked pretty high against him all through 2006. But he showed what courage, grit and bloody minded determination can achieve - he made the mother of all comebacks this year. His story has been inspiring to many, including me. The lesson he has taught us all is to believe in the ability we have and never give up hope.

2. Over the Moon!

Attending Roger Water's Dark Side of the Moon concert in St. Paul, USA. As I have said here, this is THE most memorable event in my life so far. Even 6 months from that day, I still cannot believe that I was lucky enough to be there.

3. Champions again!

India winning the T20 world championships in South Africa. Nobody gave them any chance, but the young team surprised us all. The confidence and the zeal with which they played lifted the entire nation. Yuvraj hitting 6 sixes in an over will remain an abiding memory of last year.

4. Trip to the US

I had been to Australia and Europe, but never to the US. That wish came true in February last year. It was a very satisfying 6 months, in many ways. I met some great people from the US office and made many new friends. I also got the chance to travel a fair bit. First to Chicago, then to San Francisco and finally to Yellowstone National Park & Grand Tetons. In particular, the trip to Yellowstone was a memorable one - the raw beauty of the place was mesmerizing, to say the least.

5. My new toy!

This year I bought myself a digital SLR - a Nikon D40X. I had been interested in photography for the last 2/3 years or so, but this year I got really hooked on to it. I am now starting to appreciate and understand the different nuances of the art, and the digital SLR gives me flexibility and quality which I never had before. I am far from being even close to a good photographer. As some great photographer had said "The first 10,000 shots are your worst shots". So I guess I will just have to go on clicking - and hopefully I will improve :-)