Stations 1

Of all the various elements that one can play with in photography for me the Depth Of Field (DOF) is my favorite.

As one matures in the art the initial aim of being able to see everything crisp and clear changes to allow some elements to be sharp while other are not.

Photography is often described as the art of exclusion, but its not just limited to the frame you choose. Even within the frame that you choose you still have the freedom to decide: to keep some subjects clear while others can be blurred beyond recognition to help you tell your story.

32˚ Fahrenheit

I was all set, the warmest jacket, thermals, my trekking shoes and I had the front seat right next to the pilot. The roar began to change its pitch as the chopper pilot did his last checks before the thumbs-up and like magic we were airborne.

Yes I had fantasized about being a pilot and more so a chopper pilot but this was something else. The Boss had given me 20 minutes to be at the pickup point and go on the ride. (Thank you Manny!). In those 20 minutes I got my Lowe-Pro Dry-zone packed with my FM 3A, F-80, and F-90 and a couple of lenses including Otto’s 24mm that he leant me. (Thank you Otto!) As we flew the valley and over the peaks a thousands ghastly thoughts rushed thru my brain but none survived the stampede and soon I was able to free my mind to admire the beauty of the landscape around me. (Though not quite the same but zooming in on Google-Earth does give you an idea of what I saw.)

The chopper landed on the ice field and we stepped out to walk on a slippery rock hard surface that was just ice and nothing else. The guide gave us our crampons and we started walking and that's when I realized the BIG MISTAKE I had made. No I did not forget my slide rolls or the batteries or the light meter, nope, I was just over dressed. The sun shining brightly thrugh the pristine air, the white ice reflecting it all back … I was getting baked standing on ICE! Soon the jacket came off and then the thermals till all I was wearing was a t-shirt. I cursed myself for bringing all the extra luggage on this short trip as I struggled to keep my balance.

For the next hour or so I fought the heat and the weight on my back and took a couple of photographs that made scream “I want more…”

How can you have a river flowing IN a Glacier ? What, you mean there are CAVES inside the Ice? So it takes 300-400 years for this ice to reach the lake ? are amongst the many questions that I hurled at our guide who patiently educated us on the subject. The Chopper returned and we flew back, no ugly thoughts this time … all I was thinking was, how do I get back?

In another week or so I was back in Delhi and the warm summer welcome I got made me want to return to Alaska even more. I had to return and I did after a 2 years and that's when I put together 32˚ Fahrenheit. The 21 photographs are amongst a lucky few that I was able to find the resources to scan, print, and frame many other not so fortunate and yet excellent shots still remain prisoners of the leaves that form the Alaska file in my cupboard.

After nearly 3 months in Delhi and a week in Mumbai 32˚ Fahrenheit is ready to hit the road again.

Below is the link to an article on the show that is in my opinion the best one written so far thank you Matt.

Alaska 3

When I first heard that Harbour Seals have their pups on the Icebergs that break off from the face of Tide Water Glaciers I was not sure if I should believe what I was hearing.

On one of my first trips on the second visit to Alaska we went up Tracy Arm (to investigate). We went up the winding fjord till the ice stopped us from getting any closer to the Sawyer Glaciers and that’s when I saw them for the first time. Over the repeated trips up the Arm I saw several mother and pup duos resting on the ice that was warmer than the water it floated on! Yes that’s right, in the water the Seals loose heat much faster than on the surface of an iceberg.
But why do they have have pups on the Icebergs ?!!
There is always a reason for everything in Nature; the maze of icebergs create a protective barrier against the Killer Whales that just love the tasty seals.

The brown beasts in the other photographs are Sea Lions that are extremely aggressive creatures both amongst themselves and towards the world at large. An entire pack once attached the vessel we were traveling in, glad it was not made of wood!

This set is for Susan

I met Susan in India and not in Alaska when she did a photography experience with me in Delhi. My friends Varun and Animesh run this extraordinary travel-experience company called Tallis and Co. ( ) Its not a travel agency, they wont book your bus tickets so don’t get the wrong idea.

Both Susan and Bernie walked the lanes of Old Delhi, had lunch at Karims and I was told had a great day and lots of good photographs.(Okay no more bragging here)

When Susan commented on the Alaska photographs this morning I was reminded of the star fish I had shot at Sitka and so put this collection together.

For any one in two minds about going to Alaska .... “JUST GO!” Is all I can say, you’ll thank me when you get back.


I was in love with Alaska even before I got there! I had seen photographs and heard stories from so many friends that I was just waiting to see it for myself.

I had always wanted to make a trip to Antarctica but that seemed just as unlikely then as it does now after my surgery. So finally I got 2 weeks with the team up in Alaska, the boss allowed me to stay on - thank you Manny.

In the two weeks that I spent there I had enough time to take a chopper ride to Juneau Ice Field and do a two hour walk in crampons that I had never worn before. I saw a glacier calve though I did not capture it. Saw the picturesque Mendenhall Glacier and Arctic Turns that had flown up from the southern hemisphere for the summer holiday.

I did get some shots on this first trip but much more important though was the resolve that it had rooted in me to come back again and spend more than 2 weeks. I did return and that’s when I began working on 32˚ Fahrenheit my first Solo Exhibition.

Reflections 1

This work is from the holy city of Banaras, a city that has given me many great memories. It was in Banaras that I had 'bhang' (भांग) for the first time. After waiting for over an hour for it to hit and not having any luck I decided to call it a day. A couple of hours later when I was woken by a phone call I remember sending the next hour our so just floating around the room chasing the damn phone and rolling on the floor in splits of laughter with Anshuman and Vikki.

One afternoon when we made the mistake of walking towards the town and away from the Ghats I crossed this roadside hawker selling mirrors and some other sundry items. Immediately the reflections caught my eye, but looking from where I was standing all I could see was an torrent of people brushing past in great haste. I walked off, yes I did, who wanted to shoot that I thought to myself.
Then the ‘If only’ came, if only there was something interesting in the reflection…. I looked up at the opposite side of the road to see what was there. Deciding not to be lazy any more I went down on my knees, waited for a break in the endless flow of people and got a couple of shots of the hoarding.

The news paper (अखबार)

While growing up I was not much into reading, but the paper always interested me with all the black and white photographs that it carried. We never got the paper the same day living as we did in a remote village, but being more concerned with the imagery I didn’t care less.

Now things have changed a little, some say I am obsessed with the paper, though I feel its just a routine, like my morning cup of tea that I just can’t do without. Even though a large section of India remains illiterate and education has still a long, long way to go, the newspaper rules the morning in most homes, tea stall, and market places every day.

In villages in rural India where just a handful of people might be literate you’ll find one fortunate soul reading the news to group of attentive listeners. In the cities and towns though you’ll find people in balconies, on garden benches, at home or just about anywhere, including the entrance of a temple getting a grip on the news.

Lajja 2 (लज्जा २)

We had finished work and were walking back to our Jeeps waiting to ferry us along the dusty roads to the next village when the Pradhan (head of the Village) insisted that we stop and listen to a couple of songs (there was no point refusing). The artists, a mother and daughter duo got ready, the Dholak was tested and they began singing. We were informed that they belonged to a gypsy village not far from where we were.

While I could hardly catch a word of what they were singing because of the strong accent, I did catch the sparkle in the girl’s eye. Initially the camera made her rather uneasy and nervous but I did make her smile and then she broke into a giggle. As she tried hard to restrain herself from laughing openly by covering her mouth I was able to squeeze in 2 shots before she hid behind her mother.

I have asked myself, “Why are people so shy?” But now, somehow, I am grateful for it!