In the second year at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara (Gujarat), in 1992, we were requested to get SLR cameras for upcoming photography classes. Along with the camera, a Russian Zenit 220 with 58mm lens, the lovely book ‘John Hedgecoe’s Complete Photography Course’ was also purchased, and the two became my introductions to the subject. I thoroughly enjoyed indulging in photography in the following three years of college, and gained from the guidance provided by the very kind Professor Khatri in the Photography department. Inspiration to shoot was also fuelled by hours spent in the Faculty library browsing through the most wonderful collection of classic photography books.
Black and white film was the preferred medium: to learn the basics, for its visual power, and of course, to follow in the footsteps of legendary photographers like André Kertesz, Ansel Adams, Brassi and Edward Weston, to name a few 🙂 To skillfully capture a good moment, in good light, with proper exposure and composition and then arrive at a satisfactory result in print continued to be a struggle for many years. Photography became a passion and almost all the pocket money given by my grandfather went into films and printing. Hundreds of frames were shot and many films and prints developed in the Faculty darkroom under guidance of the ever energetic Ramu Kaka. Some images were also printed at Sangam Studio.
Going out to shoot on a bicycle with ORWO black and white film loaded in the camera became the most favoured pastime. A few presentable images that resulted from all that enthusiasm and struggle, shot between 1993 and 1997, are showcased below. For me, they are also precious memories..
Quiet M.S. University campus in the evening
Trees at Kamati Baug, Vadodara
Silhouettes on a misty morning at Kamati Baug, Vadodara
Banyan (or ‘Vad’) tree; M.S. University Campus, Vadodara
Squirrel amidst empty benches, one afternoon at Kamati Baug, Vadodara
Flooded University Campus, Vadodara
Amer town, Jaipur, on a lovely morning in 1994
Camel carts on a rural road; outskirts of Jaipur, on a hazy winter morning
Barren country landscape with camel carts in the distance; Jagatpura, Jaipur
Photographer’s bicycle amidst Acacia trees; Jagatpura, Jaipur
Palm trees at Maan Sagar / Jal Mahal lake, Jaipur
In a beautiful Acacia scrub forest, Jhalana, Jaipur
Sagar lake, a landscape; Amer, Jaipur
Clouds over Moti Doongri fortress, Jaipur
Chand Baori – a magnificent stepwell, in light and shade; Abhaneri, Rajasthan
Reflections of trees and the setting sun; Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan