Friday, July 28, 2006


"New brooms sweep well" - they say. So also my interest in photography. I did not stop with many attempts in toning, coloring etc.. but tried my luck in some photographic competitions. It so happened the very first photograph that I sent for an inter-university competition held by Annamalai University got the first prize. The model in the photo was the father of a friend, who was also my bike-mechanic. I titled the photo: “WHAT’S STILL BEYOUND…?” (This is that photo.)

I thought the crow-feet at the corners of his eyes and the distant look he had would suit a title of that sort. Later I was told that one of the judges liked the title more than the photograph! Anyway this prize gave me confidence in photography. But more than that this brought me the full support of my family – they never accused me for the time and money that spent on this hobby. Had they tightened the bridle a little then, either I would have turned a professional or left photography altogether.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Once some recognition came on my way, I was dragged more and more into the whirlpool of photography. Started to spend more time and money on the hobby. Mostly my elder daughter who was then a toddler was my model. She was quite cooperative and very understanding. Even in ‘b’ exposure, she would be patiently waiting for the final click, knowing the difference from the first and the final sound of the shutter. For long I wanted to take a picture of my daughter with side-lighting, preferably the light source from a ‘kuthuvilakku’ or a candle. Wasted many frames for long. The simple idea that I should have an extra light out of the frame as the major source of light while having a kuthuvilakku or candle inside the frame did not strike me at all. The idea came after so many miserable mishaps and finally I got a frame with the effect I very much wanted. By this time I had the privilege of having a dark-room for myself in the college, a help extended to me by another Prof. Dr. James who himself was interested in photography.

In this second dark-room I made the first “blow-up”. Don’t imagine the blow up was anything quite big. It was only a 10 x 12. But for me that was a big picture then since till that time I was making prints of at the most postcard size. So this was a big moment for me in my autobio(photo)graphy. I still remember the moments when I made the first large print and what sort of tension I had when I saw the emerging picture in red light. Tense moments. That would be after making so many test bits for an appropriate exposure. For my surprise the picture came out alright – at least to my satisfaction – in the very first attempt.

Though I made some bigger prints – really large prints – later, this “blow-up” has a special place in my memory. Here it is.