Tuesday, December 11, 2007

David Kelly on Human Centered Design

The future of Design is Human Centered Design...
A talk by David Kelly.. Truly inspiring.


The habits of happiness

Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.
This is an interesting talk that I came across released by TED this November. Though a bit philosophical at times, it makes a lot of sense.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I seek Inspiration from these...

An ideal venture that I would like to have one day of my own would be comprised of these components.

Its never too late to do anything. If one has the determination, one is able to do what he/she wishes. One of the things that has had an inspiration on me is the Lines of Grey Project.
Initiated by Suchitra Vijayan, this is truly a kind of work that I would be wanting to do someday.

I volunteer for the Empowerment International Organization in Nicaragua as a Graphic Designer, and they deal with Poor Children education. Kathy Adams, the director got in touch with me over Flickr, for a video work, but due to some delay this happened. Their style of working is truly novel and a definite inspiration for me.

As I have blogged earlier as well, Children Education happens to be an area that I am deeply concerned about and I feel this is truly is a solution to the economic conditions of many countries.

I had come across this talk by Sir Ken Robinson, where he talks about "Do Schools today Kill creativity?", and how we in today's world are not giving the child the freedom to be creative. In the process how we are actually reducing the creative population.

Ideally I would like to open up something on the grounds of what Suchitra has done, on the lines of what Kathy is doing, and what Sir Ken is talking about!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Designing Games for Rural Population

One of my interest lately has been designing for the rural population.
By rural population I mean the rural population in third world countries like India, and Africa. I believe that there is a whole lot of challenges involved in this and many a times the tried and tested methods and design patterns do not work in these cases.
I came across this paper today that deals with designing games for the children in rural India.
The paper titled: "Mobile Gaming with Children in Rural India: Contextual Factors in the Use of Game Design Patterns."

This is really interesting as in the paper its discussed that the general design patterns, become not so useful, as the context varies from one culture to the other. Similarly the cognitive understanding of games are completely different for children across cultures.

Using of identified game design patterns for expert game designers, the novice designers and the developers who are not designers is important to know. Many a times the standard design patterns do not work and its nothing short of suicidal to blindly follow them.

One of the things that i seek to find out is the parameters on which the design for games, and entertainment for that matter , are dependent on. This could also mean a design pattern of the rural population. How children interpret symbols, graphics, based on myths, based on society's superstitions...
I am the God!

The whole thing is proposed to be a part of the framework that I call the Rural Interaction Design framework.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mind Retention Software

Designing for emotions are difficult.
It really drains you out. It kind of makes you really emotionless at times.
One of the toughest things in a design is to have a proper concept , that is researched upon, and is supported by an argument when one is involving non-tangible things like motivation and feel good, and things like increasing the experience in a design.
Measuring these things are too subjective, I feel and a lot has to do with the users
personal views.

One of the things that we as designers tend to try doing these days is increase this emotional factor in our designs. There are numerous examples of technology trying to attain that. While I felt hat that there can be no substitute for a human-human interaction, I do hope that Human - Computer Interaction is able to do that to a large extent. This i feel is an attainable goal, owing to the fact the amount of association with technology that we have these days. Pervasive and Ubiquitous computing are these days more used and its hard to ignore technology as we look into replicating these emotions.

These days, there are numerous examples of a wide range of software applications that are being developed by people across and one thing I did come across was the Motivation tool Software.

I often wish that someone came up with a Mind Retention Software , that could track based on the brain waves, the feelings of a person and give proper signals to the person for which it is mapped, so that the person can control himself/herself better.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


This pic was taken in 1994, almost 13 years ago from today.

Class of ICSE 1998

Sitting L-R,
Amit J Kachap, ?? Bansal (dont know his first name), Avishmaran Basnet, Deependra Darnal, Pema Wangchuck Bhutia, Sarovar Ghising, Mr Timothy Lepcha (class teacher), Jalandip Lepcha, Manoj Kumar, Ankit Lamba, Anis Gurung, Aditya Gupta, Bineet Jain

Middle row Standing L-R,
Ankesh Anupam, Kunal Basak, Ashish Kujur, Manish Agarwal, Joseph Hsu, Amit Gupta, Vishal Gurung, Deepesh Kumar, Praveen Garg, Suman Ghosh, ??? , Saurab Dhakal, Kshitiz Anand,

Top row L-R
???, Prashant , Sanjay Kumar, , Pradeepto Chandra, Uttam Jhawar, Subhajit Bhattarcharya, Nazish Alam, Akhilesh Choudhary, Sushant

Trying to remember the names of all the folks in the class..

I am looking for the contact details of most of the people here. highlighted ones are with whom I am still in contact with either in person, through phone or over Orkut /other communities.

Please let me know if you know any of them! A North Pointer wishing to get in touch with fellow North Pointers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

The art of critique!

As a photographer everyone of us has a vision. A style that we at the back of our minds follow and most (not all) of the photographs are actually in that style. The content matter can change from nature to portraits to landscape, but there is definitely a style that one would have developed.

The wedding vow...

There are different ways of critiquing... and being a designer and a photographer I am at the receiving end many a times! One of the things that we are actually taught here how to give and take critiques.
Critiquing is an art in itself, and people have careers out of it.

Art of giving a critique:
1) Start with a positive thing about the creation. This helps the designer / photographer to have more confidence in their work. There will definitely be something in the artwork that you as a critic like. For example after a presentation the first thing we say is the good things in the design / presentation etc.

2) Then point out one thing that you think is really bugging you and you do not agree to. Explain clearly but be short and sweet.. like KISS. (Keep it short and Simple)
If you have two or more comments make it known in the beginning. Like I have three comments to make. This keeps the artist alert to be awake till the end of the comments. Knowing that there is more to come.

3) Have a proper rationale as to why that thing is not appealing to you, and what you think is wrong. Its not OK to just say, I Dont like it. You have to say, I don't like it because xxxxxxxxxxx.

As an artist taking critiques:
1) SMILE throughout the Q/A . (often referred to as the critique section)

2) Appreciate the critics first, and only then put forward your argument, whether you agree or do not agree to that critique given to you. If your thoughts behind an artwork are not being put forward to a critic, go back to that artwork, reference it and state what you are trying to say. Opinions do change once things are made more clear.

In the end, its the artist's call. Picasso did not change his style just because some critiques thought it was crap!

Remember .. critiquing is most of the times THOUGHT TO BE a negative action. But not always is... I have attended presentations where the condition was that you are not allowed to make a negative comment! thats interesting.. isn't it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Experience Design : Drinking Tea!

One of the things that I really miss from India is the presence of small shops along side a street. The concept of a market is completely different as compared to here. The one reason why the streets look barren here are the absence of these shops.
The experience of going through different shops, finding about different prices and discounts is something that often I miss. Bargaining, which is perhaps very common in India is unheard of here. Atleast I never think of bargaining in Marsh or Kroger or any store for that matter.

In the Monsoon Wedding there is this one scene where the to-be bride and groom go outside the groom’s college tea stall and ask for tea. That set me nostalgic. How I miss having tea at those stalls. I often wonder, what takes us there? The hygiene levels are not at all commendable, but there is something in the stall, or perhaps in the tea that one gets there that makes the experience so wonderful. This is an experience that cannot be found in any Starbucks, or Barista or any coffee shop. For college students, especially back in India, these small tea stalls, have a multi-purpose fucntionality. They are often used for team meetings, sometimes to get stuff, most of the time to just chit chat over one thing and everything under the sun over glasses after glasses of tea and cigarettes.

So coming back to the point of experience design. What is the element that is creating this experience? Is is the tea in the glass? Is it the tea stall location, which is under a tree often? Is it the behavior of the teamaker? The way he presents the tea? The retro music that plays from the old radio..

Of late there has a been a huge rise in the usage of mobile phones across India. And technology is becoming more and more accessible to this class of people. So the point is, how do we as interaction designers, help in creating the same experience and give to these users, in return of the experience of the drinking of tea in his/her stall?

I believe as an interaction designer, now the focus if more experience of an entire system and not just a product or a interface. Its equally important for the designer to know the conditions in which the design will be working.

Oh and by the way, if you are ever visiting India, do make a trip to these stalls, (along with someone reliable of course) and ask for special tea. I am sure you will cherish the experience!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Teaching Computer Skills

I come from a remote area in Rural India.
The first internet connection came there just last year. In all there are just five houses that have internet in the whole town. Mine happens to be one of them.
Now that I am here, I had tried to teaching the basic usage of computers to my parents, so that they could be in touch with me over emails! This was seen as a “strategy” to save some cash over the phone. (Its a different thing that we talk on phone more and the phone bills have not really stopped)
I remember trying to teach my parents about the internet, and how it could help them find “ANY” information that they wan, thanks to Google, (which they confused for goggles! :P).

I thus was happy that I had made my parents “Computer Literate” which happens to be more important these days than the normal literacy programs run by the governments back home.

One day, my mom called and said .. Son , we want to see you! and how you look? and if you are well, whether you have put on weight thanks to American cheese.. or lost weight… thanks to the demanding graduate School!
Also, “email” us a recent photograph of yours.

So one fine day i said.. ok.. i will teach how to use SKYPE so that they could see their darling son! I tried for almost 30 minutes to explain them… And yes. u guessed it.. I failed. I could not teach my parents, both of who are doctors, how to use a simple program. This was also because of the fact that we both are on different platforms, XP vs Tiger.

The point is ..does the standard methods of teaching hold good in imparting computer literacy? Do the rules change? What kind of basics are stressed upon here?

I also happen to have a strong interest in rural education and whenever i am home, i spend hours with children from local school, answering their questions, watching them smile, hearing them shout.

One question that a child had heard a new word somewhere and had asked me was “What is a computer?”. I was dumb. I had no answer in which I could explain that to that kid. I tried… The kid believed me.. But I think i had failed.

Today I was reading Neilsen’s post on Life Long Computer Skills in this article http://www.useit.com/alertbox/computer-skills.html

The points mentioned are really interesting and I do see a clear connection in what Marty said in class.

While I found it interesting, i was shocked at the fact that kids in America are taught how to use Excel sheets in grade 3!!!!

What are other people’s thoughts on this?

Monday, October 15, 2007


Finally was able to upload my graduation project Online.

Madhushaala is a poem written in Hindi by the Late Harivansh Rai Bacchan, father of Superstar Amitabh Bacchan.

This poem has had a huge influence on my life. My perspective about life has changed immensely.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The style...

Over the years that I have been shooting... I strive to come close to getting that perfection in my frames...
One thing that I have constantly striven to achieve is a style of my own. Almost all photographers have a unique style of their own and they follow that throughout their life.
Thus Ansel Adams has his own, and so doesHenri Cartier Bresson and also does Steve McCurry . Why I mention these three photographers? Well they happen to be the photographers I admire the most and seek inspiration from. After analyzing many photographers I found that my style tries to follows these photographers. One excels in Nature , the other in street life and the third in Portraits and capturing life.

The irony is that most amateurs like us strive to get it and spend hours, days, months, and at times years and still don't end up having a style of our own.

Over a couple of years I shot mostly people and I was labeled the portrait photographer. This was the time when the works of Steve were the most aspiring to me. Unknowingly in the back of my mind I found myself following their works and trying to emulate their frames in my photographs. After a while I found that I was able to get similar frames even without actually looking at similar frames of Steve. This was specially true of a series on that I had done.
Tiffin Time

Time moved on, and now I am concentrating on understanding nature more closely... and hence my current focus has shifted from people to nature.
In the mean time, the strive towards attaining a style of own has somewhere fallen behind...
But the goal is not lost.. and I will get back to it ..
someday soon...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another year passes by...

Today was three of my friend's birthday. Actually four.
One was my junior at college.
Two are my classmates here and
The fourth was my classmate in 11-12 but we never spoke.

Its another year that has passed by for them .. and pretty soon it will be the same for me.
After every year that passes by I often wonder what all i achieved, what all i lost, what i could have achieved and what all I could have lost, what all I have, what all I could have.... I ts just a small introspection that is done once a year.

I dont say that i end up doing all things that I plan for the next year, but atleast I try. And thats what matters. In the end its all about whether I was "Happy" in the past year. Happiness comes only in bits and happiness will always be followed by sadness in some way. The sooner we get out of this, the better and the more beneficial for us.

There is just so much to explore that I often wished I had done more in the past year... but on the other hand its saying that what I did was perhaps the best for that particular situation!

There is this small poem I wrote for my friends whose birthday it was today and it goes like this with this photograph.
Go Paint

The entire earth is your canvas..
Paint it with the colors of bliss..
Let the shapes confuse you..
Let the shadows amuse you..

Go paint the world green..
Go paint like it has never been...

Go Paint the world with your colors!

Friday, September 07, 2007


In hope ..
Is it necessary to close eyes to meditate?

Do designers meditate? Do we have our ideas come in complete silence or in a crowded place. At a serene location or at a place buzzing with activities? Can someone meditate in a crowded place? Ok , so basic question.. What is meditation? I am no saint, neither do I evangelize anything on this, but this small piece from the book “The Tibetan book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche, did make lot of sense . As we all embark on our journey towards another projects and another after that, I found this will definitely help.

The purpose of meditation is to awaken us in the sky-like nature of the mind, and to introduce us to that which we really are, our unchanging pure awareness, which underlies the whole of life and death.
In the stillness and silence of meditation, we glimpse and return to that deep inner nature that we have so long ago lost sight of amid the busyness and distractions of our minds. Isn’t it extraordinary that our minds cannot stay long for longer than a few moments without grasping after distraction; they are so restless and preoccupied that sometimes I think that, living in a city in the modern world, we are already like the tormented beings in the intermediate state after death, where the consciousness is said to be agonizingly restless.
We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don’t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions leaving nobody at home.

Meditation, then is the bringing the mind home.

If your mind is able to settle naturally of its own accord, and if you are inspired simply to rest in its pure awareness, then you do not need any method of meditation. In fact it might even be unskillful when you’re in such a state to tray and emply one. However, the vast majority of us find it difficult to arrive at that state straight away.

I feel that meditation has a lot to do with letting things go, being just able to relax, of being to be in a fresh state f mind before starting onto another project. Doing whatever please the soul is perhaps the best way to relax.
In his book Emotional Design, Don Norman mentions, “We have long known that when people are anxious they tend to narrow their thought processes, concentrating upon aspects directly relevant to a problem. This is a useful strategy in escaping from danger, but not in thinking of imaginative new approaches to a problem. Results from experiments show that when people are relaxed and happy, their thought processes expand, becoming more creative, more imaginative.”

Monday, September 03, 2007

Whom do I fear ?

I just read another blog post and I often ask myself this question. Why do i Fear? And do i fear? Its a natural instinct and everyone faces in in some form or the other at some point in Life. You love someone, there is the fear of loosing him/her. You put in a lot of hard work in something and there is the fear of failing. You aspire to reach a goal and there is the fear of loosing track and reaching somewhere else…You want to learn swimming, but there is the fear of drowning even in three feet of water.. You are out in the woods and fear the trees would eat you up or the cliffs engulf you… There is fear all around.

School Again

I remember this description about Fear in one of my favorite book “The life of Pi” by Yann Martel. It is definitely worth pondering over the words here.

I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.

Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.

The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Oh lord, help me remove all the fear and be a brave soul that I have always been.

The only I fear is you.

Missing you ...

from my window

... i saw the moon
...how beautifully it shown.

... i saw the stars and the sky..
...and wished for the wings to fly..

... i saw the trickling rains..
... i felt the receding pains..

...i saw the flowers blue...
... and just how much i missed you.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


August 27th , Home , BLM

Equality in Education

...in education ..
and beyond.

Food for thought:
According to the 2001 census, the literacy rate in Bihar was 47.53%. That is way below the national literacy rate of 65.38%.
In the district (Saharsa) that this photograph was taken, the male literacy % was 52.04 and the female was a mere 25.31.

Support Equality in Child education.

Friday, August 24, 2007

..the start of a new journey..

Its the feeling before the first class...
The day that you have been waiting for all these days...
Of wanting to share your ideas.. and wanting to do what you really want to do..
There would be difference in viewpoints.. and then there would be a difference in opinions..
But in the end its always one's own interest that matters and not what the others want you to believe.
The journey to this place has been exciting and I really want this to continue.
There are people all around who are willing to help... There are friends... old and new..
There are seniors.. and juniors.. and then there are the relatives.. the cousins and the uncles.. and not to forget the faculty and the staff .. who are more like friends and least to be scared of...

Ouch.. that wall is cold...

All he best in this new journey!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is my love sleeping?

Its been a while since I went out and did some photography that is near to my heart. To be precise its almost 3 weeks.
The reason would be that I have come to this amazing place, where things are so nice that I dont really know what to shoot. In some time I am sure that I will be doing some fair amount of shooting though.
I often feel that it is important to detach oneself from what really liked doing, for some time. This way one is able to associate oneself more with that thing of liking and as a result gets better rewards. This is also essential to avoid getting bored with the thing you like doing the best. Its like saying that when you have a plate of dishes, you should eat the least preferred one first. This way you would finish whats on the plate. As no matter how full you get eating the least preferred stuf, you would always have the stuff that you like. This was also a technique that was applied by my teacher back in Delhi.
Its going to be hectic weeks after weeks starting monday. The teaching will start and then I will also be having my own classes to attend.

5 ~ Monsoon Magic

I hope that my camera is making the full use of this break and relaxing a lot. I miss her a lot, but its ok. Perhaps i should let her rest. That way I will be able to love her more when I am back using her.

Friday, August 17, 2007



This boy was at a residential school far from his home. The expression caught my attention. And I was reminded of my childhood. His parents are not so rich but they still managed to see that their child gets an education, even if that meant sending him to another place to study. It is heartening to see cases like these but at the same time disheartening to know that there are no good or for that matter schools in so many Villages across Bihar.
I was 5 when I moved out of home to study in a boarding school. perhaps about the same age as this boy who was from a neighbouring village. I remember being in a similar situation .. with there being no schools in my area..

I was 25 when i decided to move to US for further studies and the memories just come back. The similar feelings of leaving home.. the faces of hopeful and proud parents... the wishes of all.

Memories of Childhood..

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How Photography Can Make You a Better Designer

I have often come across this question by many ...
How does being a photographer help in becoming a designer or how does photography relate to the design activities that i do?
I have believed that both are related in some way or the other and that the theory of one does hold good for the other too. The principles of symmetry, balance, harmony and contrast are applicable fully to design as equally as in photography.
I believe in keeping things simple and like to see my photographs and design follow the principle of Simplicity. I feel that each element in my frame are equally responsible for the overall impact of the photograph/design and that they all are coherently involved in creating what one would call a better User Experience.

I recently came across this article where many designers across the world have their say on this very question.
Some excerpts:
"I like to think of design as my bread and butter while photography is the chocolate pudding." -Steph Goralnick, graphic designer.

"What you don't show is even more important than what you do. The mind is fertile territory and it must be left free to imagine and fill in the blanks." -Eric G, architect/interior designer.

Read on more in the link below.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Free Hugs...

Wow! This is just so superb! I am in love with this song!
I don't mind where you come from

As long as you come to me
I don't like illusions I can't see
Them clearly

I don't care no I wouldn't dare
To fix the twist in you
You've shown me eventually
What you'll do

I don't mind…
I don't care…
As long are you're here

Go ahead tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's all the same

Hours slide and days go by
Till you decide to come
And in between it always seems too long
All of a sudden

And I have the skill, yeah I have the will
To breathe you in while I can
However long you stay
Is all that I am

I don't mind…
I don't care…
As long are you're here

Go ahead tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's always the same

Wrong or right
Black or white
If I close my eyes
I's all the same

In my life
The compromise
I close my eyes
It's all the same

Go ahead say it you're leaving
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's all the same.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to School...

Back to School

Oh that feeling is back again...
How i longed to be here again...

The noisy classrooms...
The teachers..The good mornings..the tiffins...and the pranks...

Oh I wished to be a student again..

The memories come back fast and slow..
I wish to see the sun just glow...
never should there be darkness...

I see through the window of brightness..

I embark on a new chapter in my life..attending graduate school in US..
I hope to continue on my photography though...

Thanks all for your good wishes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What a wonderful world...

This song is truly wonderful. I just love everything about it! One of my favorite songs...
Too good lyrics.. and the way that Louis Armstrong has sung it.. Just beautiful.
Hope you like it too!

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
Theyll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

(instrumental break)

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are there on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin...*spoken*(I ....love....you).

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
*spoken*(you know their gonna learn
A whole lot more than Ill never know)
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Which Digital Camera Is Best?

I recently came across this article..


Excerpts from the article:
Folks are always asking me, "Which is better, the Nikon or the Canon?" Sometimes it's "should I buy the new Sony or the Olympus?" Occasionally, someone will go all out and ask, "What's the best camera on the market?" or "What's the best camera for action photography?"

Where the author argues about which digital camera is the best.
This is often been a question posed to me also.
Many a times we are lured to believing that the higher the megapixel number of the camera, the better it is.
Which i am afraid is not true always. The megapixels factor comes into the picture only when one is looking at really taking big prints of the image or using it at a very high resolution. This factor is hardly been a concern for me since i use a 6.1 MP camera.
I have often believed that its the mind composes the photograph, its the eye that takes a photograph... the camera is just a medium to capture the photograph for future reference.

I have personally seen many photographs that have been taken by the simplest of cameras and still stand out amongst the rest. The reason being a clear thought behind the photograph and the perfectness in the composition and the lightings.

I do however do agree that the using a SLR camera gives you more features and more options at hand. But the only concern is that one has to be strong fundamentally in terms of composition, understanding the light around and the behavior of subjects before actually pressing the shutter release button. I do take photographs with a Digital SLR.

I moved from a Kodak Kb12 -->Yashica MF 10 --> Vivitar 3800N --> Nikon D70s. The journey has been exciting. Each day is a new learning experience and each day the knowledge is added.

I still have not known all the features of my D70s and will perhaps know it someday.
Hopefully then I will be able to take "good" photographs!

The flower Sellers

One Morning..

for a dear friend..  Get well soon.

Till then I am happy shooting these!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kolkata photostory

Was trying out a new software.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

2007 TED Prize Winner James Nachtway

This is one of the most inspiring videos that I have seen in a long time!
Very inspiring.. a must watch for every documentary photographer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

To the master...

I dedicate this blog to the great director Satyajit Ray.. whose movies have inspired me each day.
I recently watched a movie titled "Aparajita". I had watched the "Pather Panchali" and "Charulata" way back in college but at that time I was not much into shooting. It was only when I had got a lot involve din photography and have been lately posting a lot of pictures in the B/W medium that my interest rose.

Every frame of his has had me thinking and has left me spell bound. The simplicity of his frames have been the most powerful element in it.

The worker

I could see where my inspiration had come from. I would be thrilled to come even 20% close to what he has achieved in terms of photographic excellence.


I would suggest that to anyone who is really interested in black and white medium and pure unadulterated photography. The purity of the frames are identified by the usage of only human elements. The subtle eye movements the minimalistic frames, the soothing indian classical music in the background.. The entire movie is filled with moments that you would want to see again and again.

Trying to Smile

A sudden urge to know more about him.. to watch all his films.. and to learn about his thought process has filled me. I am glad its come at the right time. Just when I am togo for my further studies. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shooting on weekends...

I switched off my alarm ringing mobile in hope to catch a few extra minutes of sleep... When my eyes finally opened it said 6:10 am!
Jumped out of my bed.. the talk between myself and Vishwaas still reverberating in my ears..."...kal aa rahe ho na... we meet at 6:30 .. same palce.... c u tomorrow then.. good night..."
Hurriedly did my morning rituals.. and rushed to Woody's..our meeting place.. I was there by 6:40... No sign of Mr Vishwaas.. or Ajay... or anyone else who would be joining the shoot.. befuddled; i waited.. hoping that someone would call up.. or someone would drop a msg..
Finally Vishwaas called up at around 7 stating that he would be there in 5 minutes.. Trust me.. i felt that it was the longest 5 minutes that i had experienced!

Reached Kalasipalyam market at around 7:30...Its such a pleasure to ride a bike in the early mornings.. no traffic hassles..
There were no familiar faces in sight...
Wanted to have tea.. ended up having coconut water ... The day was just setting in.. but not in that part of the city.. already buzzing with activities.. the buses from the neighbouring state.. the traffic already at its peak that we wondered what it would be like in the other time of the day..

I had read that the people would be at near the flyover.. was it that the others could be there?
I was just sipping the coconut drink .. when i remembered,, someone was trying to call me when i was driving... dialled the number..
It was Greeshma.. was near the Chandru Bhavan restaurant.... So we had two choices.. myself and Vishwaas walk down.. or ask her to come to our place.. we decided the later.
Our faces lit up seeing the group grow.. now we were three.. good enough to shoot...!
Waited some more time.. dialled some more numbers.. no one turned up.. no one answered the phone.. dropped a msg to Doctor to let people know that we three souls are here.. shooting.. if anyone decided to comeby later...

The Kalasipalyam Market is like no other market that I and maybe Vishwaas or Greeshma has shot before.. the brightly colored walls in the background .. with mostly dark skinned people in the midground the brightly colored vegetables in the foreground.... the scene was perfect for another exciting day of photography... they did make interesting compositions.. the roads by the way were bright too.. And did i mention Spongy? oh yes.. there was a whole layer of leaves and vegetables and fruits and what not underneath our feet... Our only thought that time... Just stay cautious.. and not Slip.. as although we would not be hurt.. we would be badly messed up.... This was going to be one interesting shoot!
The aroma of the market was a bit pungent.. mostly due to what lay beneath... the crowd over there was a bit cautious i would say.. The stares that we got said it all..
It was then that I heard the other two discuss.. are we going to shoot? Is it safe? well .... thats what we were there for... we decided to stay at a place together.. someplace where we could stand together.. which we had a hard time to find... after analysing the situation.. i decided to go first..... i took out my camera.. and started shooting without looking through the view finder.... something that I have lately got interested in.. Perhaps due to the surprise element that comes after the shot and some offbeat compositions!
We decided to stay together..

Every step of ours was greeted by a blurt of questions.. More shouts of Madam... and less of Sir.. perhaps the presence of a female in the group was making a difference.. We then realised that we are going to have a good time shooting... and that was the way it turned out to be...I was missing my 50mm... for the lovely portraits that the makrket provied... We mostly shot portraits.... some also used the wide angles to get some interesting compositions...

At around 9 we decided to call it a day.. headed to breakfast at Kamath .. and then back...

One interesting shoot this was.. The activities in the market was really interesting and I must admit.. it is a market that one could do shoots after shoots..



What do i do

A Sipppp


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lost ...

Came across this interesting piece from Kabir.

Balance | Streets of Kolkata

A diamond is lost in the mud;
all are seeking it.
Some go to the East-or to the west,
Wishing to find it.
Is it lost in the river?
Or in the rocks?
Kabir, your servant, appreciates it
for its just value.
He will take away,
warmly sheltered
in a corner of his heart.

Divine Help

Quit my job. Hope to be relieved by end of June.
Just feeling a bit relaxed, but at the same time a bit lost.
So looking up to the almighty.
He has been there always and
I am sure is that at this moment also.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A year of shooting..

Today I reached a milestone. Its a small one but pretty large for me when i look back at the days.
last year at this time I had just finished my first shooting with my Nikon D70s. I had just got from camera a couple of weeks ago and had been transferred to Bhubaneshwar on duty.
I remember the 1st of May last year was a Monday and I had ventured out to Kolkata on the extended weekend. And what an amazing trip it was! Unplanned.. Not knowing where to go in Kolkata.
Just outside the railway station I saw this beggar who was just finishing his nap for the night.
Mercedes Beggar

I headed to the flower market first and did get some interesting shots there.
I like them Fresh!!!

There were many firsts. I was on the metro for the first time. Kolkata as a city has always had me spellbound and it was just amazing experience there inspite of the heat.
In my previous blog i had mentioned about the infinite possibilities that the city provides to shoot.
The best part was that there was a couple of shots that i shot from the heart and were well recieved.
I love shooting children and was really thrilled at one moment clicking them,
3 Kalis and a Shiva

but at the next moment I was sad at the conditions in which many of these children live and survive.
My world...my work

I just remember each moment of that shoot!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Temporary Darkness...

temporary darkness...

i stare at it,
at the darkness that surrounds me,
temporarily cutting away all light i know...
i stare long, long enough till i realize
the wonderful magic i'd been missing all along,
the more i looked,
the more forms i could identify,
forms ready to cast a spell on my soul,
yearning for more,
aspiring me to reach for my goal,
and not be shown down by the sorrow .

Rays of Hope

When in such darkness,
i find the truth,
I know for sure,
that the brightness will prevail..
and Success for sure I will avail..
and no longer do i fear to dream of reaching the faraway suns..
and no longer i care,
as i embark on a journey to find Happy Horizons.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Selective coloring

How i wish we could all do it... Selective coloring.
Remove the colors of sorrow in life and fill it only with those colors that give us joy and unending
I do remember while interacting with a senior person that Life itself is a Photoshop document. You keep making the actions and the canvas is filled with the events. The only difference is that in Life you do not have the option of Undo (CTRL+Z).
If tomorrow never comes

One would argue what are the colors that one can associate happiness with?

Whats a color of happiness in one culture may not be in another. As a designer do we need to be sensitive to such things? Many people say that India is a land of color ! and that its a photographer's paradise. But still we associate the black and white medium to sadness and mourning...
The conception generally is that Joy is present only when there is color. This may be true in most of the cases not all though!

I don't know why

Doing this Selective coloring is really simple.

1) Open the image on Photoshop. This is the 'Background Layer' in the opened document.
2) Copy the image layer onto another layer (this is the "Background Copy layer") so that both the layers are coinciding, and the images are just one below the other.
3) Convert this copy layer into Black and white. Using Image> Adjustment > Gradient Map. ( make sure that the image pallete in the menu toolbar has the colors Black in foreground and White in background.
4) Select the eraser tool and erase those parts of the image which you want in color from the Copied layer. Since the image on the lower layer still has the colored image, the desired effect is easily attained.

I'll never have your love again

I just truly wish that i could do this with Life also!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Light Painting Workshop

Recently I had conducted a photography workshop titled "Light painting Workshop" for the fellow employees in my department in the company.
The response was good and we had around 20 enthusiastic people participating.
April 6th 2007 3-4 PM.

Light painting Workshop (LPW)

What is Light Painting?

Light painting is
a technique in which light sources are projected or "painted" in selective areas during the camera exposure. All work is done in camera, no computer manipulation occurs. Exposures can range from 20 seconds upwards to an entire evening to achieve.
Light painting opens up a world of possibilities that are not available in the world of near-instant exposure. For example, for infinite depth of field, simply keep refocusing the camera as you light parts of the subject that are at different distances from the lens. To make just a portion of the subject diffuse, put a stocking over the lens while you're painting that part.

The interesting part was that many of the folks had not handled a SLR camera ever. So the workshop also involved giving insights into the way the Bulb mode in the camera functions.


The whole team was divided into two and each team had one Torch, a colored cellophene paper as their props. Each teams were provided a Digital SLR set on a tripod. The idea was to unleash the creativity and also put on the thinking caps and come up with interesting themes for the paintings.

Act One

The themes were pretty interesting with people doing the Matrix, Bharatnatyam Dance, the Symbol Om, other body postures etc. Here are some of the shots that were taken from the participants of the workshop.



Thursday, April 05, 2007

Know your Soul..

I have always read that of the three things that a human being is composed of; namely the body, mind and the soul, and it is the Soul that should be pleased the most. Only then can the other two remain happy. If the soul is happy, the others are bound to be happy. It is perhaps the reason why the happiness in children are most explained. Having the freedom to do what they please and also do things they like.
"Know your soul" is what the gurus keep saying. So thats what I have been trying to do in the past few days... knowing myself better... and it has been helping me in taking decisions.

So this is what i did... one day.. or rather one night!

I had this strong urge of going for a long drive on my bike... convinced my roommate to accompany me and then we were speeding on the National Highway # 7 that connects Bangalore to Chennai in a short while.
The initial plan was to drive, take a few shots of the sunset and be back in an hour's time.
The weather was nice.. and the breeze blowing on my face on the speeding bike just added to the pleasure.
Though could not capture the sunrise, owing to the clouds that played spoilsport, we decided to extend our drive and what a good decision that was!
Decided to hit Hosur, have a cup of coffee and come back.

Once we reached Hosur, we decided to roam the bylanes of the city and get a feel and smell of a small city. In the yonder we spotted a hill atop which was a temple while doing so. And at that moment the only thought that came to our mind simultaneously was to go there!

The Chandrachoodeshwar temple climb was steep and glad that we had a bike to take us there!
And man.. what a sight from that hill!
The city below just beginning to rest for the night...only to wake up to another busy day the next..

And with the number of lights that one could spot.. the skies felt lonely. It appeared that the world had turned upside down and I was seeing stars on the ground rather than the sky!

It's very rare that I don't carry my camera along to the places i visit. Thus there too i had to take some shots of the breathtaking views below.
So i tried some long exposure shots.
Some may wonder how i did this without a tripod... the rocks and the trees served as a perfect tripod to me and i made the full use of it!

Hosur City in the Yonder at Night

The entrance to the Chandrachoodeshwar Temple, outskirts of Hosur.
Nandi entrance

Hosur at Night

Hosur by Night

Light streaks across the road

From the Hill Top

Hoping to make more such trips in the near future!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What is loneliness?

"The worst loneliness is when, you are not able to be comfortable with yourself" - Mark Twain.

Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. Loneliness is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected from, and alienated towards, other people.

...into the horizon

Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Everyone has times when they are alone through circumstances or choice. Being alone can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individual's control. Solitude is the state of being alone and secluded from other people, and often implies having made a conscious choice to be alone. Loneliness is therefore unwilling solitude.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kolkata is incomplete without...

The trams

A photographer's paradise... One place where one can never get tired of shooting! Its a wonder as to how long will these trams remain in function! They are very much in function and is jam packed at times! Even though its slow, one wonders what makes it the preferred mode of transport for the hundreds of people daily..

The Hand Pulled Rickshaws
These hand pulled rickshaws have been the face of Kolkata for long... the very sight of this reminds one of the novel City of Joy... Of late the government has issued an order to ban these hand pulled rickshaws. There are a group of people who are against this mainly for the reason that it will cause mass unemployment... currently there are around 10 thousand such rickshaw pullers there... Some also feel that this is actually a good thing in the crowded city of Kolkata and a welcome thing from the pollution that has been a characteristic of the city.

The street children
It haunts me...

There are so many children like these on the streets of Kolkata... they are indeed nice as subjects to shoot and perhaps the most easily available.. but after a while they start to haunt you.. the poverty.. the conditions in which they live... they things they do .. like begging.. looking for food.. not knowing when their next meals would come from.. or perhaps just sleep on the pavements.. hoping for a better tomorrow...

The footpath dwellers
Drawing room
The number of families stranded on the footpaths of Kolkata is just uncountable... There are always so many of them on the streets.. and it appears that their drawing , study, bed room are all on the footpath. The number of such families keep increasing due to people flocking to the city from nearby towns, villages and states.

The earners of the footpath
The Cobblers
On the footpath, its their office. They sit there whole day.. wait for customers.. eye each person passing by .. and then leave for the day.. to come back the next day....

The Yellow Taxis
This is one thing that you can never miss in Kolkata. They are everywhere...! The Ambassadors taxis! One of the most comfortable vehicles to travel by! And with the FM radio on full swing, no ride across the city seems to be boring!

The Tea with the daily News
Tea and News
When was the last time you actually saw the newspapers on the walls for a community... when was the last time you actually sat with friends at a chai stall reading and discussing about the latest news... politics.. cricket.. unions..

The Howrah Bridge
Night Vision Howrah Bridge
The symbol of Old Kolkata...

The Street side Chowmein and Roll stalls
Chowmein stall
Its a wonder as to how the stomach never gets spoilt! These stalls are there at almost all areas of the city! Oh BTW the rolls and Chowmeins and the chicken chillies here are very tasty and cheap too!

The Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial
In houses one of the largest painting exhibitions of the Indian History with artifacts from the historical India. The architecture is indeed marvelous and amazing!

And above all.. Cricket!
Where else but in Kolkata! The Cricket fever is always at a high here! No matter how the country's team performs... the streets have always been and will be a playground to millions!

Well.. This is one place where I could go on and on shooting.. and run out of films/ memory but never out of subjects!
An ancient city with a touch of modernity! I just love the place!
I have more pictures at this location My Kolkata Pictures

Do comment on the pics! I look forward to your comments and feedback!