Monday, April 28, 2008

Step Up To Your Dreams

Acknowledge your dreams, speak your dreams and, most importantly, when the path presents itself, let go of your fears and step up to your dreams. This is the lesson that I am learning.

Although my education has been in the fine arts, my work experience has been in graphic design, my dreams seem to be following the route of photography. As a self-taught photographer, it is all to easy for me to say that I can't do it. But a certificate can mean nothing. It's the will that does the work. That is why it is critical, at this point, for me to say that I can and I will. I will be a photographer who reveals the magic of light, the language of colour, and the beauty, creativity and expression inherent in us all. I will wake people up to their own dreams through images.

Promise I'll post some images in my next post : )

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bam! So the story begins.

Thanks to Anonymous for telling it like it is or as I would like it to be. Whoever you are, one love for your love.
Creative fashion photography, Bam! I'm onto you.
So, let the hard work begin.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Free Tibet.

I went with my cousin yesterday to the Free Tibet/Anti-China rally in New Delhi. There were supposed to be masses of people, but this being exam time in the city, the young "activists" were apparently buried deep in their books. Nevertheless, the message was clear: Free Tibet.

Being not so "active", what was most interesting to me was the vast amount of security personnel flexing their collective muscle. Okay, I lied. What was really most interesting to me was the uniforms worn by the various state agents. Particularly the women. Unfortunately, I couldn't capture much on film.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Yes We Can"

Damn right. Obama for Prez. Damn right.

Never believe someone who says, "no, you can't" or "it won't work" or any derivative. Shared my professional dreams with three "professionals" here and was told that it would never work. Too bad they didn't know that "yes" begets "yes" just as love begets love. Too many naysayers a pull ya down. A sincere thank you to the fourth professional who said "yes". You helped me believe in myself.

"Yes we can". Damn right.

Btw, the brilliant illustration above was taken from the Times Of India, Chandigarh Edition, March 13, 2008. Page 11. Illustration credit: Neelabh

Viveek Sharma: Part 3

Bored yet? Not me. Having shot this impromptu shoot with Viveek, I am ready to do it all over again, only this time with the help of a quality camera, lenses, lighting, professional make-up artist, and stylist. Got a model and stylist in tow, now i'm just searching for the rest. Stay tuned for some sick shit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Viveek Sharma: Part 2

Don't know much about fashion photography and had no artificial lighting, but nonetheless spent an afternoon buying new threads for Viveek, styling and shooting! Thanks anonymous for the reminder to just do the damn thang! Did the damn thing the other day at Viart and I am terribly happy with the results (technical faults aside).

Dirty Walls and Other Abstractions

Oops, I mean "Distractions". There is no doubt that I can and do spend hours staring at the surface textures in this city. Dirty walls make beautiful images. And believe me, there are lots in Delhi. Chalk-painted, half-painted and graffiti-ed. These few images were taken from the terrace of Viart Gallery in New Friends Colony (New Delhi).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Viveek Sharma: Part 1

Through sheer serendipity, luck, fate, I had the pleasure of shooting photographs of Viveek Sharma, a gifted painter from Bombay whose first solo show is being held at Viart Gallery in New Delhi.

Watch for details on how "we clicked", along with more photos in upcoming posts.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Seek Knowledge Even Onto China" (1)

The famous classical, 11th century Muslim philosopher and theologian, Al-Ghazali, spoke about the necessity of travel in seeking knowledge. Travel he said allowed one to gain knowledge both of the world and of oneself and one's relation to the cosmos and the greater Self. Travel allowed one to "distinguish between truth and falsehood."(2)

Perhaps it is in the spirit of Al-Ghazali and after a visit to the dargah of 12th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty (affectionately known as Gharib Nawaz) that I have come to understand two key aspects of my personality that I must work to balance out as they hinder my development as an artist. They are my lack of mental focus and my strive for perfection. As a result, so many of my creative ideas never see light of day as I routinely fall of track or feel like they are not good enough for an audience. My goal now is to push through these and through self-doubt.

It was also Al-Ghazali who said "No one believes, until he has doubted."(3) I have been doubting myself all my life, now, I believe, it is time to believe.

Btw, the photo above is of an illustration on a plastic bag I saw in Ludhiana, Punjab. It is indeed a peculiar form of knowledge that I seek ;)

(1)"Seek Knowledge Even Onto China" is a saying of Prophet Muhammed that I came to learn of from an art installation by the same name by artist Jamelie Hassan.
(2) Taken from "Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Skeptical Muslim" by Ziauddin Sardar, Granta Books: London, 2004.
(3) ibid.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Vasant Vihar: Details

Being surrounded by so much of everything here in Delhi - cars, people, stuff, noise, etc. - I find that I am constantly seeking out moments of silence and emptiness. No doubt, they are hard to come by. Perhaps, that is why I have taken to shooting modernist, minimalist images of late. What I can't experience, I will dream, imagine, create. Now and always.

By the way, these have all been taken at my masi's flat in Vasant Vihar, Air India Colony.

Now, back into the kitscher-pitscher.
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