Take52 Challenge: Week 20 – Random

Random! A favourite word that appeals because of its inherent promise of aimlessness and the unpredictable – both qualities that for better or worse characterise me and my attitude toward Life ๐Ÿ˜› I tend to ‘go with the flow’ on most things, until I drift into something that ‘hits the spot’ often unexpectedly, taking me by surprise and leaving an imprint that rarely fades away. Most things that have brought me great joy and comfort in Life have as a result been, I like to think, through the ‘random machinations of the universe’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m probably completely wrong of course, especially if you happen to be a believer in the ‘great design’ and the fact that ‘everything happens for a reason’ ๐Ÿ˜›ย Has that ever happened to you? A random happenstance that turns into a life-changing event?

What crossed my mind when I first saw the Theme, was the Sky. It’s classically random – a myriad hues from dawn till dusk and into the night. Luckily, we had unexpected pre-monsoon showers here in Bangalore that week and I was able to get decent shots of the moody skies ๐Ÿ™‚ Also last week ‘The Great Indian Circus’ as I like to call our Elections ๐Ÿ˜› drew to a conclusion and as a result there were random firework displays that I caught from my balcony!ย 

And just because I love quotes, here’s a random one that I fell in love with ๐Ÿ˜‰

โ€œThe sky was as blue as orange could get. I love sunsets at noon, and forks disguised as spoons.โ€ย โ€•ย Jarod Kintz

Take52 Challenge: Week 19 – Pure

Once again I’m playing catch up with my posts. School is nearing its end and there seems to be a flurry of events to attend that leaves me with time for little else. As a result, I haven’t been as involved in my photography as I would like, but am happy that I have at least managed to get that one shot per week for the challenge!ย 

Pure – a word with many meanings and abstract enough to pose quite the challenge. We had a lot of baby pictures posted, because that’s what invariably comes first to mind in this polluted, complicated adult word that we inhabit – the pureness and innocence of children ๐Ÿ˜€ The light in a baby’s eyes is so clear, authentic and guileless…what could be purer? I had initially thought of water as my subject, but couldn’t make that happen to my satisfaction, which is when I thought of the ‘pureness’ of prayer and was promptly stumped by how to translate this into an image!ย 

That’s when I remembered the little angel figurine I had picked up on my visit to Phoenix in 2008. I bought it for my son, who had not yet entered our life but would soon and turn it upside-down in the best of ways ๐Ÿ™‚ He was an answer to many prayers and so the symbolism seemed appropriate! Yes I know, on occasion, the ‘sappy me’ takes over ๐Ÿ˜› So I placed a lit ‘diya’ in front of the angel, not only because Fire is the great purifier in Hindu culture butย also because I love diyas ๐Ÿ˜‰ And so I had my shot ๐Ÿ™‚ I like how it turned out…let me know what you think!

Take52 Challenge: Week 18 – Down

For last week’s challenge, the theme was ‘Down’ – another word that can be interpreted several ways. This Challenge is so educational in so many ways! I was once again uncertain about what I was going to do, although staircases came immediately to mind. I even went hunting for one, but no gorgeous spirals live in near proximity ๐Ÿ˜‰ and so had to think again. The picture I finally went with, is not special in itself, but important to me because it’s the first time that I was bold enough to take pics in the Mall with my DSLR! I’m very conscious and nervous when it comes to ‘street photography’, just scared of giving offence where none is meant I guess. So taking a picture of people on an escalator was quite the Challenge. I kept thinking someone would come over and object or that Junior would raise a ruckus, but ‘All’s Well that Ends Well’ :) Then Junior got into the act and made me take the second picture! I hope this will nudge me along in the right direction as far as taking ‘public pictures’ goes. I love that kind of photography and want to get better at it. This time I didn’t really have time to delve into my archives…

Meanwhile here goes…

And just coz 3’s my lucky number, here’s one of a sunset that I took a while ago…

Sundown at Bangalore...
Sundown at Bangalore…

Take52 Challenge: Week 17 – Markings

Last week’s challenge was themed ‘Markings’. Another easy one really considering ‘Markings’ are omnipresent and so naturally one that I found challenging ๐Ÿ˜› Do you see a pattern here? I certainly do! Oh well – when in doubt – ‘Use the Kid’ I say ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re generally adorable and make great pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s what I did, although this time Junior wasn’t a keen subject. He doesn’t like being ‘Marked’ but luckily is easily bribed ๐Ÿ˜› I applied the red mark you see on his forehead, (a ‘Tilak’ we call it in local lingo) with powdered vermilion. We use it on auspicious occasions and it signifies a Blessing from whatever deity we’re in the mood to worship on the day! You know we have like millions of those right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The pic on the right is the final post-process result (I increased the blur significantly in PS leaving just the mark sharp to fit the theme), but many friends in the group liked the original (on the left) better because his eyes are in focus and they are rather dreamy – even if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I admit my extreme bias ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m still undecided on which one I like best, but I’m glad I got some PS practice!

And as always I travelled back in time to find more markings – this is what I dug up…and as usual…Nature comes up Trumps!ย 
And here is a little ditty that came to me when I was thinking of how Markings are ubiquitous.
Leopard spots and tiger stripes
Pretty birds and rusty spikes
Marks in red and marks on gold
Treasure maps and ancient scrolls
Painted roads and painted faces
Spades and Clubs, Hearts and Aces
Beetles, rings and butterfly wings
Markings on most everything!

Take52 Challenge: Week 16 – Formless

The 3rd and final catch up post of the Challenge!

When I saw last week’s theme, I sighed in relief! Formless in my head was easy to do – Light, steam, sky, smoke, fire, fog, water…any number of formless things presented themselves!! What I should have realised is that a paucity of ideas andย an overload can cause the same reaction – a paralysis of action ๐Ÿ˜› As I dithered between this and that, the group erupted with fantastic & innovative interpretations of ‘Formless’. And although it matters not a jot (this is a Challenge not a Competition), I wanted to do something different. I can be stubborn like that. Thankfully the old ‘noggin’ didn’t let me down and I decided to go with Bokeh…the effect you get when you deliberately ‘unfocus’ Light. I remember the days when I first got my DSLR and went rather ‘Berserk over Bokeh’ ๐Ÿ˜› (how’s that for some trippy alliteration?). It had been a while since I arranged a shot at home and I had fun setting up the lights and adjusting my subject for the best results. Ultimately I liked two different pictures for two different reasons and had to rely on Photoshop once again for some merging action. I’m enjoying the fact that this Challenge has got me working on post-processing again. It’s a vital part of Photography and great fun!

Here’s the result…

Formlessย 

And as always some more perspectives on Formless that I like…

Take52 Challenge: Week 15 – Classic

The second of my catch up posts. Just one more to go and then I’ll be all caught up – fingers crossed ๐Ÿ˜›

So – Classic. A good solid word just like it’s meaning. Meant to last, perhaps outlast us all, and open to interpretation. And once again, a tough challenge for me! I did have a few ideas, but with preparations on for the long Easter weekend we had planned in Ooty – my heart wasn’t really in it and my thoughts –ย predictably scattered ๐Ÿ˜› When we left for Ooty – I felt not a little disappointedย about missing my first week since the Challenge began…I had so aspired to completing this one ‘come what may!’ Once we were in Ooty however, I was so enamoured of the ‘Birds & the Bees’ that it didn’t matter much anymore. How fickle our memories!

And then, whether out of desperationย or inspiration…an idea struck. I would use the pictures I had and interpret them ‘classically’. Oh I know! It was a cop out of sorts…but hey I did take the pictures and see myself through one more week ๐Ÿ˜€ The resort we stayed at isย a bird-watcher’s paradise! Flocks of Bulbuls, Swallows, Sunbirds, Sparrows and the elusive but stunningly pretty Oriental white-eye. And so armed with aย Bird and a Bee and a little magic in Photoshop, this is what I came up with…a literal translation of the classical phrase “The Birds & The Bees”…here they both are, doing what they do best – Spreading the Love ๐Ÿ˜‰

The-Birds-&-The-Bees

ย Here are a few other ‘classic’ shots from my collection – some of which I took for the first Photography Challenge – 52 Weeks, that I was ever a part of – started by my friend A ๐Ÿ˜€ And here I am again, part of another! The circle of Life and all that ๐Ÿ˜›

What’s your kinda classic? Do share ๐Ÿ˜€

Take52 Challenge: Week 14 – Peephole

The first of my promised catch up posts for the Photography Challenge I’m part of on Facebook.

Week 14 – and I’m hanging in there but I must confess I was quite at sea with the theme. I think I was overthinking it and so was predictably lost ๐Ÿ˜› Also, those couple of weeks had ย that old ‘restlessness of spirit’ rearing its head again, and I wasn’t ‘with it’ for a while. And yet ‘peephole’ isn’t the most difficult of subjects…of course I was thinking & looking so hard that I forgot to ‘see’ the peephole in my main door ๐Ÿ˜‰ We had some great pictures in the group as always and I despaired of ever getting the right shot…until I remembered our trip to the farm for Junior’s Birthday and an idea presented itself ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what I love most about the Challenge – other than the fact that it has made me keep my camera close at all times – that it forces me to think and to persevere & of course the unexpected thrill of finding the right picture when I’m on the verge of giving up! So it was that for the first time in this Challenge, I went with a picture that I had already taken. Here it is and you can decide for yourselves whether it fits the theme.

Pigeon-holed!

Here is anotherย shot that I also liked…although may I say that I’m not very fond of Pigeons. They are incredibly dumb birds…but they make good pictures ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pigeon-hole

And then my friend S (who’s also part of the Challenge), fashioned a simple but effective peephole with a printed page, taped it to her camera and clicked away with amazing results – so of course I had to try it! Turns out I’m not as skilled a ‘Peeping Tom’ as I aspire to be ๐Ÿ˜‰ I took a lot of pictures mostly of the flowers in my balcony…of which I’m sharing one here. Couldn’t get my hands on printed paper (go figure!) and so used a coloured one instead. And then of course having finally ‘seen’ the peephole on my main door, took one through that and played around with it in Photoshop. I love the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop and how it transforms a picture into a painting ๐Ÿ™‚

Turned out to be a pretty fun Challenge after all ๐Ÿ™‚ And all this talk of Peepholes is making me think of Alice in Wonderland for some reason :p A rabbit-hole is a sort of glorified peephole after all non? And look what adventures she had ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s to Adventure People! ย