Monday, August 28, 2006


During these days ‘expeditions’ to ‘shoot’ were quite often. The right mood and some amount of petrol in my Jawa would take us around to places. But visiting Meenakshi Temple and especially the visit to the top of the South Gopuram was quite unforgettable. At the top of the Gopuram there were openings for people to climb out and be on the very top of it. At that spot, what you have to hold are only the “kalasams”. I came out only to my hip level and the height, force of the wind at that height and the view of the whole Madurai at the foot – it all made me tremble and I safely kept myself within that opening while Ravi got on top of the tower and stood in between the kalasams! I barely stayed to just click few snaps and started my way down ! Of those two came out acceptably okay which I am posting here with one another shot of the Gopuram from the South-East corner of the பொற்றாமரைக் குளம் - the usual spot for photographers to take the full shot of the magnificent South Gopuram with Thirumalai Naicker in one of the pillars forming the foreground.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


The trials in photography were an unquenchable thirst. Mostly it was Ravi and I. We tried so many techniques we had in the books. Some came out with satisfying results. Many became flops. One such successful thing was this photograph:

The process is called ‘solarization’ and the product is ‘bas relief’. We would have got a 10% success in our attempts. What we tried for days, it is surprising, can be achieved in a jiffy with the modern software, say, adobe !

In those colorless bland world of the day, getting some color to the photographs was a great thing! We enjoyed such moments of success when the so-called toning processes were successful and we had some “color photographs”, though they were mostly monochromatic pictures. Still they had colors and made us feel great. A blue metal-toned picture:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The photographic spree was in its feverish pitch. Camera was always ‘pregnant’ - I mean, loaded with film. Buying 100 feet of film rolls in cans and spooling them in the darkroom was itself a great excitement. Any time the camera was handy; any object was catchy; any place was alright. Whenever I found anything worth taking my bike would stop there and I would not have any inhibition or whatsoever. I would start clicking. The roadside scenes were so many and one such shot is this:

Marriages of friends were inevitably another occasion when I would be busy with my camera. Mostly it was for fun and friendship and not for money since I never had an idea to turn a pro. Turning into pro would have made a lot of good for me financially but I would not have enjoyed photography.

I remember once being busy in a friend’s marriage, who is now a high level policeman. After a hectic time of photography, finished the lunch and came out of the marriage hall. There was a very old lady, haggard and pitifully sitting outside the hall, waiting for the leftovers of the marriage-lunch. I took a snap of that old lady. Though I don’t have the negatives or positives of that marriage, I valued this negative and still keep it safe. A withering leaf in the stream of life…here she is:

Saturday, August 19, 2006


After that initial victory my enthusiasm knew no bounds. A camera hanging always around my neck became a very usual sight. In college a group of students were around me always to talk and to experiment with me in photography. The college darkroom which was in my custody was a boon to all of us. Time of the day was irrelevant to us. The one who got associated with me for photography and then made it into a life long relationship was Ravi. He too got into this swirl and is still going strong in that. During this period anything and everything became subjects for our photography. We had climbed the top of Meenakshi Temple, heights of Alagar Hills, stood on the sun for hours to take photos of sun on a full eclpise. But above all, always the roadsides, the lower bridge of river Vaigai, and also our college campus had great attraction for me.

Some of the street side shots during that period: