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Film Days

After all the enthusiasm of learning and indulging in photography in art school, as revealed in the previous post Film Days (Black and White), a very hectic and engrossing advertising / design career that followed put photography in the back seat. While the camera was upgraded to a Nikon FM10 with 35–70mm lens, photo shoots somehow got confined to a few occasions and trips.

This time, usage of colour film was prompted by the arrival of commercial digital scanning of colour negatives that supposedly resulted in better, more accurate colour prints. Neighborhood Colour Labs had started providing Compact Discs of scanned negatives for sharing images on e-mail, for more faithful subsequent print reproduction and for lossless archiving. A few selected images taken between 2000 and 2003 are presented below:

Landscape of a serene pink sky above sleepy green fields with trees

Countryside dawn, near Jagatpura, Jaipur

The sun rising in a misty pink sky beyond elephant grasses, trees and green fields

Sunrise of the Millennium; outskirts of Jaipur, India (photographed on January 01, 2000)

A bicycle in the foreground framing the sun rising above misty green fields in the background

The fun of riding a bicycle to the countryside at dawn, watching the sun rise and indulging in photography. Outskirts of Jaipur (Rajasthan, India)

Landscape photograph of lush green fields in the foreground and misty trees in the background

Serene wheat fields on a cold winter morning; outskirts of Jaipur (Rajasthan, India)

A dirt road in the foreground with the the sun rising above misty green fields and trees in the background

Rural sunrise; outskirts of Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Two men walking on a dirt road adjacent to a railway line, amidst trees and dry elephant grasses

Enjoying winter morning sunlight at a rural road, adjacent to a railway track on the outskirts of Jaipur

Landscape photo of yellow-ochre elephant grasses on textured, barren, sandy ground, and a misty green field in the background

Elephant grass on a largely barren landscape; on a misty morning in the countryside near Jaipur

Light streaks of passing vehicles in the foreground and a brilliantly lit-up white marble Birla Temple in the background

Birla Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan; long exposure at dusk

Abstract image filled with mostly thin, random streaks of yellow, green and white light

Playing with long exposure 🙂 Photographed from a Gurgaon (Haryana) high rise apartment at night

Small, round man-made islands, with tree trunks rising over muddy yellow water; lush green tree canopy above

Flooded duck pond after a heavy Monsoon downpour; Deer Park, New Delhi

Closeup of a large mushroom-like fungi with textured red and yellow colours on top

Bracket Fungi or Shelf Fungi; Deer Park, New Delhi

Fallen tree branches in the foreground seen between them: a Grey Heron standing in colourful, textured lake

Grey Heron amidst a heavenly landscape in Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur (Rajasthan)

A group of trees with their symmetrical reflection and a group of Pelicans in the lake below

Pelicans at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur

View of a lake with a tree branch going into the water in the foreground and an island with some trees in the middle

Lake-scape at Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, India

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..

Arts faculty building in the distance, surrounded by trees

Quiet M.S. University campus in the evening

Vertical composition of criss-crossing trees

Trees at Kamati Baug, Vadodara

Strong silhouette of multiple trees and their shadows below, with light coming from behind

Silhouettes on a misty morning at Kamati Baug, Vadodara

A man walking below a huge Banyan tree

Banyan (or ‘Vad’) tree; M.S. University Campus, Vadodara

Lone squirrel amongst empty park benches, seen in perspective

Squirrel amidst empty benches, one afternoon at Kamati Baug, Vadodara

Tight shot of trees submerged in and their reflection on water

Flooded University Campus, Vadodara

Street photo showing people and an elephant heading towards Amer and Jaigarh forts in the background

Amer town, Jaipur, on a lovely morning in 1994

Three camel carts in silhouette, within a dry countryside landscape with trees in the background

Camel carts on a rural road; outskirts of Jaipur, on a hazy winter morning

Wide landscape shot with scanty vegetation and country road in the foreground, three camel carts and trees in the background

Barren country landscape with camel carts in the distance; Jagatpura, Jaipur

Silhouettes of Acacia trees and a bicycle parked below them

Photographer’s bicycle amidst Acacia trees; Jagatpura, Jaipur

Two adjacent palm trees and their reflection in the water below; hills in the background

Palm trees at Maan Sagar / Jal Mahal lake, Jaipur

A group of Acacia trees and below them, dry grass

In a beautiful Acacia scrub forest, Jhalana, Jaipur

Ramparts on hills in the background and below them a lake

Sagar lake, a landscape; Amer, Jaipur

Two groups of clouds floating in a dark sky, above the fortress on a hilltop

Clouds over Moti Doongri fortress, Jaipur

Tight shot showing geometric stairs connecting different levels of the step well, half in shade and about half in light

Chand Baori – a magnificent stepwell, in light and shade; Abhaneri, Rajasthan

Abstract photograph with strong tree silhouettes in water and amidst them the sun shining

Reflections of trees and the setting sun; Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan