New Year Resolutions!

The year has come to an end and its time to learn from it and plan for a better year ahead!
But what the hell I decided to get resolved a few days early!
Happy New Year!
Giving up smoking, spend more time with your friends, reach office on time, go running, get a dog, stop drinking, ..... whatever your list says add one from me: 'spend more time with your camera'. All the best!

One Great Old Chap!

He'll be 91 on the first of Feb, he's seen a lot, 'petrol was 13 rupees a gallon as a kid or may be cheaper'
today its 55 rupees a ltr. a world war, independence, kids, grand kids and great grand kids .... a source of inspiration for so many .... but to me he's a loving father first and then anything else.

Depth of Field

A toy train track thru the MP-65mm F2.8 Macro
When I started with photography now over a decade ago it was with a Zentith 122 as some one you, who have been following the blog might know. Ofcourse I had no clue about this ‘thing’ called the depth of field, all I did know was that times not everything in my photographs were sharp and I was not too happy about it. (The 50mm F2 on the zenith was excellent)

The thought at the time was what’s the point in taking a photograph if you cant see everything ‘clearly’!

It was not long before I moved on to a new camera leaving behind my Zenith and with it the fascination of getting everything clear.

Over time the desire to have everything sharp died and gave rise to a new desire to have more and more of the photograph ‘blurred’. Working with the MP was a novel experience, without any Photoshop at all this photograph clearly shows the focal line in the photograph with as shallow a depth of field as I have experienced.

When I think of the importance of the depth of field in photography I end up at a concert where an orchestra is playing and then while the rest of the musicians fade out to create the background score the Cello does a solo recital.

Its as if you can cut out all the chaos in a fish market to hear a conversation between two people.

Mango- The Star

Having fun on a shoot !!!

Back to Dust

A Portrait

Many years ago when I was traveling Gujrat with CARE we came upon this unique family in the desert very close to both the Arabian Sea and Pakistan, just before the BSF post. While the land seemed most hostile and parched, the clothes of the women more than made-up for the lack in colours. This particular lady not only had the colourful clothes but a unique body language and pose that caught my eye. Completely unaware of the 600mm of optics that helped me take this shot without intruding her space she stood there as if waiting for me to take the photograph!

The Qutub

I am sure you'll understand if I was to tell you that I'd be happy with this shot if it was mine, why not!
And even though I did not take the photograph its more than the joy of the visual that I experience.
Sarah joined ' The Art of Photography' classes at St. Stephen's this year with a point and shoot camera.
As the classes progressed with a little nudging from me and the growing desire to control the camera she was able to convince her dad to help her get an SLR! I don't know how much if at all I have taught Sarah but if alone for helping her convince dad I shall take my share of credit.
Its great to see such great work! Well done Sarah!




After much debating and logical thinking I finally gave in and got my 20D a 50mm 1.8 lens.
Every time take her out for a shoot I am filled with pride, over all the years she has been with me and is still going strong.

32º Fahrenheit

32º Fahrenheit


On my recent visit to Hyderabad (spelt as per MS Word) I did not have the time to see the 'Char Minar' go out for some Bhiryani, or dine at the water front caffe, it was one hectic trip with most of my time spent at ISB, and that too I did not shoot. Some how on the way back to the hotel at the end of a good day of work we came across this monument bathed in the warm light of the setting sun.

Looking at the photograph now I don't feel that bad, my next visit will be better.


Most of my work is fueled by my love for photography which comes from the feeling I get when I see my images. But then when all out of the blue you receive appreciation from a quite unexpected corner it give you that kick that a good expresso would.

In India we have a saying 'ghar ki murgi, dal barabar!' which would directly translate into: a home grown chicken is as good lentil soup. Basically capturing the all to common trait amongst us to dismiss the best in our homes because we get used to seeing  and experiencing them and take them for granted.

Everyone loves a little appreciation and recognition, artists I feel of course need a little extra!

Here is a mail I received from Ayush, who went to college with me.

Thanks to the encouragement I was once again tempted by the veins in the leaves during a class at Lodi Garden!

Thanks Ayush!

The mail:
'I was just going over your blog and admiring the snaps. I wanted to put a "general" comment (i.e. not pertaining to any specific photograph) but couldnt find a place to put it - maybe you should have a "guestbook" kind of feature on the blog. Anyways, since I couldnt comment on the blog, I just thought I'd mail it to you instead. 

There are two things that I really liked on the blog -

The first pertains to the whole presentation of the blog itself. I like the way you write a small note alongside most of the photos. I've got quite a few photography enthusiasts on my Facebook list but most of the time they just give a link to their Picasa / Flickr photostreams. Visiting these photostreams means that you are just presented with a thumbnail view of the photos. I guess most viewers simply click on a few thumbnails and the only description of the photo is the title. 

In contrast, reading your notes alongside your photos is far more interesting and gets the viewer immersed into the blog. Also, I like the variety in these notes - sometimes you present some trivia about the subject matter (in the case of nature subjects), sometimes you touch upon the "technicalities" of the shot and on other occasions you just write a description of your experience - how the street vendor reacted to you ... or how the kids were scared of your appearance ... or how you found yourself in a dangerous position near a beehive. All this really makes the blog interesting even to a total layman on photography.

The second aspect that I like, is regarding the snaps itself - there is something about your "composition" of the snap that sets apart your work from most other stuff I've seen. Its hard for a layman like me to describe this but I'll give it a crude shot nevertheless -

When I see other photographer's works, then the angle is pretty much standard - the subject matter is composed exactly in the center with equal spacing all around. In your work, you get very unique angles for composition. Further there is a variety in the degree that you zoom in (or out). This in turn gets a variety in the background - sometimes the attention is focused on just the main subject matter ... on other occasions there are lots of elements in the snap and that gives it a "completeness to the scene" look. I'm not sure if any of this is making sense but I hope I'm able to communicate my point nevertheless.

My favorite snap (couldnt locate it on your blog) is that of a reddish leaf that you photographed. You took a closeup of that leaf to the extent that even the tiny veins in the leaf are crystal clear. And the overall reddish color with the network of veins actually makes it look like something alive and throbbing, instead of just a simple leaf that we wouldnt even notice if we passed by it. I do hope you'll display this snap during your exhibition in Lucknow ... its really my favorite out of all the ones you've put up so far. 

Let me know the details of the exhibition when they are confirmed ... will definitely be attending.


Ayush Vaish.'

 The Photograph Ayush refers to is a post in August 2009 titled 'A Leaf '.

Portrait of a Painter

I dont know why I always thought that a portrait of a person needed to be a vertical shot, may be it was  the landscape and portrait printing options on the computer but I cant be sure!

As you may have discovered there are no rules ... what ever works for you, works!


Professional Hazards

Photography is not always the safest of careers to choose, am glad the beehive 2 feet above my head did not get agitated while I waited for the sun to move into position. If it had I am sure the even bigger hive just below my feet would have too!

Don't want to think what would have happened! The good thing is i got the shot after waiting for over half an hour and lucky for me the bees were very kind.


Happy Anniversary

38 Years and going strong! Mom and Dad on my recent visit home celebrating their anniversary.
God bless them for giving us all they have!

White Spot

White spot!

Sunday Stall

Scarf Vendor in Chandni Chowk

During the outdoor shoot in the afternoon yesterday I had to stop when I saw this guy selling scarf's on the footpath. He was quite happy (a little shy) and amused to have me take his photograph. Took me about 10 minutes to get the frame right, but was happy with what I got. Its one thing to stop the incessant flow of people on the footpaths of Chandni Chowk the busiest the market place in Delhi, but to patiently wait till there is a gap long enough for you to get a shot is completely different feeling!

I guess you can see me smiling!

National Salon

PSM's National Salon - the last date has been extended to the 13th so you still have time

Class trip to Chandni Chowk

Pilgrims at the Gurudwara in Chandni Chowk

Today was an interesting day and I mean each word I say (write).

The alarm that was set to wake me up at 6 was set for Saturday and not Sunday. But I did make it to class on time, thank God for blessing me with Buddy my dog. 

When I did get to Chandini Chowk it was raining, no pouring. There was a regular stream flowing on the road. Shared jelebi's, chai, and samosas with Medha who showed much courage, determined to attend every class of the course.

My phone got wet, the email service which had not worked for 2 days began working (if I had known I would have poured some water on it myself) and the ringer went off (wasn't happy about that). Took the metro back to Gurgaon seeing no mercy from the rain only to return an hour later.

The second time round the Metro was not so good to me but the clouds were . 

The shoot was excellent!
Got some great shots. And then just after I had tweeted how much I liked the Metro, YES you’re right it was out of order when I was to return. Thanks to the kindness of my dear friend (and saviour for the day) I got a drop back to Gurgaon. Thank you Anandhi!

Now just waiting to see what the rest of the gang has got.

Garam Chai

Spot (on) Metering

A Fret-saw technician at a furniture workshop in Rajasthan

This is when you thank the camera manufacturer for inventing spot metering!

Photography Classes

Teaching I am told is in my blood, both my parents are teachers, of my brothers the elder one teaches at SPA in Delhi the younger is with Teach for India in Bombay. I guess it was only a matter of time that I had to join in, something I did last year.

While I tried to make sense of all the curves in my micro economics class in college I always wished I could have got a BA from Delhi University in Photography honors rather than Economics. (No offence to all the teachers at college, Mrs. Leema Mohan, Mrs. Poonam Kalra, KRC, VC, Mr. Grewal and Mr. Rahgunathan all of whom were very patient with me and my love for the camera.)

During the 5 years that I was in and out of Delhi I did have the opportunity to give annual lectures at KMC in DU and held 2 day workshops on my trips around the globe if the opportunity so allowed.

Back in Delhi I was determined to get a course going and I glad we are moving on. Coming from a family of modest means the camera I used was borrowed or gifted, friends and teachers helped me peruse my art and all the while I wished that we had a course at Delhi University that some one who did not have a fat Bank Balance could attend.

The Basic Photography Course being held both at St. Stephens in Delhi University and The Sushant School of Architecture is the result of this dream to institute a course in photography that will afford aspiring photographers the opportunity to hone their skills and further their art.

For those of you interested in finding out more please send in mails to:

Turtle it is

Now I have to tell you all that I have the urge to write something very wise about this shot and what I was thinking. Making that up is going to take a lot of effort to I guess I am going to stick to the truth again (due to sheer laziness not greater virtue). Hope you like the shot got to thank my 100-400 for it, just a simple shot with great colours.

Monsoon Madness

The monsoon always drives many hidden treasures from their underground homes giving us the opportunity to see things we might never get a chance to otherwise.

These hard, crusty skinned worms that seem to have been flooded out of their home provided one such unique sight. Now they don't bight (I know because I picked a handful of them from off the road to safety,) but sure look really creepy!

For those of you (like Ameya) who saw my work while still in college, I am sure its going to bring back (hopefully pleasant) memories.

Happy Independence Day

On a recent visit to Rajasthan, when we got lost, were given all the wrong directions, and the rain stayed with us every time we took out our cameras the National bird came by to cheer us up.

Investing in a flash

After seeing innumerable wedding albums in India most of us Photographers develop an aversion to using a flash. Not that I am suggesting that we are wrong in our distaste for the on (or in) Camera Flash. An external flash that has a tilt and swivel head is a excellent tool and one should invest in one if you are serious about making a career out of photography.

This is not about career advice, this is about the difference a flash can make, its about this photograph.

We were on a weekend getaway to the hills and enjoying the cold after the sweltering heat of Delhi.

The view from the cliff was excellent but soon lost as the sun bid the day farewell.

In addition to my driving skills I am also wanted on these trips for my bad jokes and the occasional photographs that have to be taken.

Then there are times when a challenge appears or as some like to think an opportunity to torture my friends.

The light not good enough to get the moon, the cottage and the my good looking friends all in the photograph, a flash was needed.

But what makes the difference is the fact that flash was 6 feet away from the camera, the side lighting though bang on gave me what I am looking for.

And just in-case I forgot: take your tripod with you too, yes always!!

In the photograph from left to right: Abhijeet, Abhilasha, Parineeta

Photography Society of Madras

Humbled !

My visit to Chennai was great, but what I saw and learnt there was even greater!

After spending time at the Beach with Bhaskar when I finally reached the ne premises of the Photographic Society of Madras I was welcomed by room full of eager photographers who were waiting for my lecture.

When the time for me to speak came I began with how I felt, and all I felt at that time standing in front of the photographers who’s ages ranged from the late teens to those who were nearly senior citizen was HUMBLED!

It was amazing to see how all these folks had come together to run what has come to be a functional and very successful Photographic Society.

Though the society does have a legacy over a century and a half yet its current form and live is a result of the work of its present members who have come together to give it the live it now has.

We must all watch out for the annual salon among other events that the society organizes

When you have the time you can also check out their website :

For those of you living in Chennai well don’t think twice, this is a society worth joining.

Top Right: During the Slide show

Top Left: Breakfast: Pongal-Vada with Ramana (missing in the shot)

Bottom Right: Lecture at the new premises of the Society


Cant seem to come up with a better name for the moment, so its going to be called peace. We've all seen images of cats and dogs living in peace and harmony, they don't always fight!

Last weekend I was invited to Chennai (Madras) to give a lecture at the Photography Society of Madras when for the first time i visited Tamilnadu.

On a visit to a temple we had to leave our shoes before we entered and thats where i was drawn to the caretaker only to find that more interesting spectacle hid behind him. I was amused to see the pets on the chairs, but more so by their evident suspicion (or was it displeasure) when i photographed their master. (I don't know if they were just being protective or were they plain jealous?)

The shallow depth of field of the 2.8 lens gave me just what i was looking for.

And before any one asks me, NO i did not want to them both in focus!

Il Pittore

This photograph is special to me, its crooked and yet its straight!

I am sure many of you have had your teachers or peers tell you that the photograph is great BUT .... a little crooked.

When I first started shooting I was very mindful of all the critique I received. Hell all I wanted to do was get better and make a living dangling a camera round my neck rather than suffocate wearing an expensive tie. (Ended up doing both together, ever tried shooting in a three piece suit!?!)

well getting back to the photograph that I have often been told I made a complete mess of (... yes there are always those who disagree).

Straight like everything else in this world is a matter of relativity ( now I am sounding like a scientist). We see how well the lines in the photograph run parallel to the for sides of the image we capture and then conclude if the shot is straight or not.

In this particular image while the traditional horizon and ground dosent provide us with the parallels we look for yet if you look down the vertical centre of the image you find a parallel that runs thru the tree down the umbrella pole and into the ground.

It sort of confuses me, straight I like to think .... may be not! But yes it gets me thinking and that I think should do. (Enough thinking for today)

Portrait of a vegetable vendor

While the big cities rely on big cars and big malls to get you what you need for the home, smaller cities and towns rely on the vendors coming home.

Now not so common but as a child I remember that every morning we'd hear them shout out as they crossed the front of the house.

What I found most interesting about the way these folks conducted their business was the relation they had nurtured with their customers.

I have often heard them tell mom or some one of our neighbours, 'no you have to buy this, its very good, and if you wont pay fine then take it for free ...'

Then the usual bargaining match that would follow.


'Megha' is the Hindi word for rain clouds and on a day like to day when the weather update on my phone tells me we might touch half a century in Delhi I thought I'd retaliate with a image to make us all feel good.

Was trying to capture the mood of the evening with the sun setting and the clouds blowing inland. The deep orange I had hoped to see was evasive and I was trying to be as patient as I could. And then, as if to make up for the missing magic in the sky this group of kids walked up behind me. A step here and there, readjusting the focal length and .....

I hope this brings all of us getting baked in Delhi a little visual respite.....

Anna (Shashup for elder sister)

This photograph was actually taken from the window of a car. I was scared that if I got out to approach the children the little fellow might get scared, and I was right. As soon as I had got this shot I stepped out to get one more but was stopped by the immediate wailing of the child. I am often told its not the camera but me! (something about the way i look?)

So why do I like this shot, other than the obvious low depth of field and color contrast ?

Its the innocence that seems to radiate from both the caring sister and and her brother who is happy to be taken around town without setting foot on the ground.

To have an elder sister is a gift that few of us are lucky to receive, for many other we fail to realize.

Portrait of a worker

Portrait of a Painter

Portrait of a basket weaver

Flying Fish

The first time I heard some one say something about flying fish I must have been 10, and I was sure that my brother was talking about some mythical creature that he had read about in one of the many book I always saw him with.

I think it was the second day at sea on my first voyage that I saw something jump out of the water and literally fly over the water and then dive in again.

Flying fish did actually exist, or was I day dreaming? The excitement on the faces some others like me gave me my answer.

We had left Brazil on one of my longest voyages headed to Funchal, Portugal.

Not far from the mainland is the island - archipelago of Fernando de Noronha where I was able to take these photographs.

The Gulls would either chase the fish in the air as they flew over the waves for distances of over 5 meters or dive from heights of over 10 meters and shoot into the water like darts to catch these magnificent creatures.

I have since seen flying fish several times, in the Pacific and Atlantic but never once did anything compare to the feeding frenzy and the action I saw on the day.

Snow Weed

It was the month of May, summer as we know it, but the high passes of the lateral route in Bhutan still had some ice left on the road side.

We did not have much time since we were on a vacation with a tight schedule !!

I did of course find the time to squeeze in some photographs. What especially caught my attention was how the delicate grass shoots had created their little spaces in the hard coarse ice. Being the only absorbers of the suns warmth and then radiating it to the surrounding areas these slender shoots were able to carve out their own little spaces.

Lights, Camera, Action

Lighting makes all the difference to our work, and most of spend a great deal of time mastering this art. Highlights, shadows, mid-tones, and their romance is what brings together a photograph to give it that something that i cant find appropriate words to describe. (Never claimed to be a writing expert so i guess you'll excuse me.)

Mirror on the wall

Most of us photographers have at some time or the other been fascinated with reflections, the new dimension in the visual plane is extremely attractive to searching eye. Equally interesting (, at-least for me) are doors and windows, that sort of take the viewer through the wall to the other side. At first glance this might look like a window, but if you look carefully you'll find that its a reflection!
Embedded into the wall of the hut this mirror gave me a unique opportunity. I felt a certain thrill knowing that I was capturing one visual that would appear to something else to the viewer.

The Gates Effect

There's no doubt that Bill Gates is genius but I had to experience it for myself. Look in carefully and you'll see that just photographing him on his recent visit to India gave me the chance to meet my clone!

A Farmer's hands

About a week ago at a village in UP.

Pollution wonders!!

Some times pollution can do wonders fro you you, as this late evening dust-storm did for me.


For the first time I saw a snake in the wild, i got as close as i could with my 70mm.

Washing the dishes