A Love/Hate Relationship

It turns out that on average, I take about 2000 photos a month. Going through them after some time – a couple of weeks – has passed, I realize that they are mostly poor. Yet i cannot bring myself to delete them. I come back after still more time – a month or so – has passed and my computer has warned me repeatedly about space running out and ruthlessly delete stuff. and i am left with 1000 photos a month.

and I cannot believe that I have 1000 good photos a month. i would say that 900 of them are average or below. of the remaining hundred there may be 10 good ones. but though i know this, I cannot bring myself to hit the delete button on them.

i’m beginning to think that life was easier with film…

Dept. of continuing education – I

My partners and I have been shooting at the Bulk Packing conference here in Hyderabad, and I never knew so many things went into industrial packaging, never knew what a huge field it was, and what a huge impact it has on the environment even before it gets to the consumer. Let me just say that environmentalists would be better served by attending a few of these conferences – a lot of the waste in packaging originates at the industrial level and while consumer waste must be tackled, making packaging of these bulk materials environmentally friendly should be top priority for most people who wish to change the planet. This is due to the extremely large amounts of materials being handled (India exports a few hundred million of the following: plastic and metal barrels, pallets of various varieties, drums, cartons, pails, buckets etc. the numbers are really astounding.)
I am learning the main reason most people find conferences boring and uninteresting – and they are not without reason at all – because they probably attend 10 different conferences and present the same thing over and over and listen to the same(or similar) set of people saying the same things again and again, it must get tiring really fast. So it’s really great to be a photographer, which translates essentially to being a fly-on-the-wall, and I tend to learn some very interesting things at different places each time….

That was … interesting

lessons learned on current expedition:

1) there’s no such thing as ‘i’ll be fine without sunblock’ given that i now look like i was painted a deep shade of shit brown

2) just because people pay you, they think you are their slave. this goes doubly so for photographers and their clients.

3) if feeding me(admittedly unavoidable) shitty food and putting me up in a hotel room with fucking rats(note the plural – and one of them decided to climb up my arm in the middle of the goddamn night and scare the hell out of me) in it is treating me like a brother, i feel pity on your siblings and i am most definitely NOT honoured.

more lessons to come if i can keep up the outrage, which i am probably too tired to do.


in the spirit of thanksgiving, i would like to thank the gems of R&D at Kodak in Rochester for developing the Endura Pro Metallic Paper. I just had a couple of prints made at 8×12″ size to test it out(as it costs twice what a regular print does) but I am FLOORED! the two images (from the still life series) were very beautifully rendered and have a distinctly 3D feel to them that was lacking in previous glossy and matte-finish prints on either Fuji or Kodak paper. I was considering custom – i.e, digital inkjet – printing my final collection, but Endura has lured me back into the optical fold.

if you dont get what this is about, run out and get your favourite photo printed at a minimum of 11×14″ size and ask for a ‘metallic’ print. gorgeosity should emanate from the print.

wide angle vs telephoto: not just a matter of perspective

there are problems with photography. there are problems with everything of course, but one cannot do, as thoreau so effectively put it, EVERYTHING. that is not what i intend to ever do. but since photography is part of the above mentioned everything, i felt that this preceding disclaimer should be made.

the wide-angle approach, taken casually, is to include a very large area of things and put it all in perspective, with the option of highlighting things close to us, while de-emphasisizing things that are farther away. this is an interesting approach, but if used inappropriately, can render everything that you are putting into the frame as insignificant, while highlighting your own feet that somehow managed to creep into the frame. this is especially true when you’re looking down at something. another thing about wide-angles is that tehy are most fun the closer you can get. the more you sacrifice your, and your subject;s personal space, the more you get.

the telephoto approach, again taken casually, is to isolate an element out of everything and either distinguish it from it’s surroundings or to show how it actually blends in. you get the option, with the telephoto, of completely removing context and starkly or endearingly examining the subject. it is notorious for being able to hide unpleasantness that may be lurking in the background or otherwise disturb the notion being presented. telephotos almost require you to maintain a significant distance, detaching you somewhat but also giving you

as human beings, and sometimes as artists, we have to make these choices. i am primarily(as you may notice from the majority of photos and some of my posts) a wide-angle type of guy. i like the ‘everythingness’ of the view, which is comfortable to me. i dont leave out anything. but by doing so, i again put myself at a disadvantage. i do not control any significant portion of the frame. not even close. i enjoy being out of control at times no doubt, but the composition, she suffers. and i must pay attention to such aesthetic details or else i would not be much of a photographer in the long run.

but could i be a telephoto type of guy? i have been trying these few days to restrict myself to a narrower field of view. it offers a significant change. i dont often use the lens outdoors, or generally outside studios or where i need to use it. it’s not easy, let me tell you that. adjustments are difficult, especially with focussing.