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 πŸ˜› 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’ πŸ˜‰ 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’ πŸ˜›Β 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 πŸ™‚ Also last week ‘The Great Indian Circus’ as I like to call our Elections πŸ˜› drew to a conclusion and as a result there were random firework displays that I caught from my balcony!Β 

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

β€œThe sky was as blue as orange could get. I love sunsets at noon, and forks disguised as spoons.” ― 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!Β 

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 πŸ˜€ 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!Β 

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 πŸ™‚ He was an answer to many prayers and so the symbolism seemed appropriate! Yes I know, on occasion, the ‘sappy me’ takes over πŸ˜› So I placed a lit ‘diya’ in front of the angel, not only because Fire is the great purifier in Hindu culture butΒ also because I love diyas πŸ˜‰ And so I had my shot πŸ™‚ I like how it turned out…let me know what you think!

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 πŸ˜› Do you see a pattern here? I certainly do! Oh well – when in doubt – ‘Use the Kid’ I say πŸ˜‰ They’re generally adorable and make great pictures πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜› 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? πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰ But I admit my extreme bias πŸ˜€ 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!Β 
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 andΒ an overload can cause the same reaction – a paralysis of action πŸ˜› 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’ πŸ˜› (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…

FormlessΒ 

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 πŸ˜›

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 –Β predictably scattered πŸ˜› When we left for Ooty – I felt not a little disappointedΒ 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 desperationΒ 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 πŸ˜€ The resort we stayed at isΒ a bird-watcher’s paradise! Flocks of Bulbuls, Swallows, Sunbirds, Sparrows and the elusive but stunningly pretty Oriental white-eye. And so armed with aΒ 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 πŸ˜‰

The-Birds-&-The-Bees

Β 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 πŸ˜€ And here I am again, part of another! The circle of Life and all that πŸ˜›

What’s your kinda classic? Do share πŸ˜€

Take52 Challenge: Week 11 – Unlucky

This was a tough one! Bad luck doesn’t always make for great pictures – or so I thought! Turns out I was wrong. Of course πŸ˜› We have some fantastic pictures on the site…a blend of concepts and techniques that make for fascinating viewing! As always the process of learning continues.

So of course I was thinking about Luck and what it really means. Some people believe Luck is being prepared and ready to seize an opportunity as it arises. Some people, and I must include myself in this category, use it to define events, good and bad, over which we seemingly have no control. Perhaps the lack of control is an illusion? A question of perception? But when I think how minuscule we are, how ruled by circumstance, how reliant on the judgement and skill of others like us, in most situations, then I have to believe in some mechanism or underlying unifying force/aura/energy, call it what you will, that nudges the Universe in any one given direction. Of course our choices have power! They can sway the Universe too, I just feel that ever so often they are acting in conjunction with the ‘Unknown’! Or perhaps that’s just me indulging my dramatic side and my penchant for the mysterious, for Fantasy πŸ˜‰ Whatever the reason, I do believe. Coz how else can you explain why one person wins the million-dollar life-changing lottery, while others spend millions of dollars on lottery tickets that don’t win them a penny?! I think Luck adds a fun dimension to what might otherwise be a humdrum existence…being prepared all the time is very wise indeed but I’m not sure it’s much fun πŸ˜› Well not for me anyway – I’m much to instinctive to ever be prepared; but I’m prepared at all times to be instinctive πŸ˜‰

And on that very confusing and rather silly note, lets just get to the pictures shall we? πŸ˜€ I know, I know – I ramble…it’s what happens when adult interaction is at the minimum πŸ˜› The first things that I thought of were ‘black cats’ and ‘salt spills’ and in the absence of real, live cats, I decided to practice my photoshop skills and superimpose a stock image of one on to a picture of the Moon I had taken recently. Then in the same vein, I added some text to my picture of spilled salt which I had carefully arranged to spell Luck. Although I liked the way they turned out, none of them seemed right. Then I thought of the Snakes & Ladders game that is a current favourite with Junior and since Luck and games are so closely linked in our psyches, I decided to go with that. I used my Macro lens (it has become quite a favourite of mine even when I’m not actually shooting Macro), and clicked away! I quite liked the result. Let me know what you think, will ya? πŸ˜€

And here is the picture I took for the Challenge…

Unlucky-Dice

Here’s to a Lucky Weekend People!

May the Luck of the Draw be always in your favour πŸ™‚Β 

Take 52 Challenge: Week 10 – Angle

It’s all about Angles this week and suddenly I see them everywhere! This is the first time this has happened for me…that I’m literally seeing the subject of the Challenge everywhere, in everything, all the time! It’s rather overwhelming not to mention a tad weird πŸ˜› They are truly ubiquitous – whether in Nature or the man-made World, whether geometrical or metaphorically, as nouns or verbs…it’s all a matter of perspective. We’ve had some lovely angled shots this week…some soft, some sharp and some downright dramatic. Angles tend to do that – add drama. If you sense a metaphor coming, breathe easy πŸ˜‰ I’m steering well clear of them this week. There’s such a thing as too much thought and I’m just not in the mood. Although I must confess that was my intention when I began to write. You’re congratulating yourself on your lucky escape aren’t you? And the fickleness of my mind?! You and me both πŸ˜›

Last week for the Roots Challenge, I shunned Mother Nature and went man-made. This week I embraced Her πŸ™‚ And like most Mothers, she didn’t disappoint πŸ˜‰ I found this plant with dagger-like thorns encircling its thick stem from top to bottom – a throwback to some medieval torture instrument πŸ˜› They were protecting the most delicate greenish-pink buds that offered a wonderfully soft contrast. The flowers however I didn’t like very much…they were flat and lacked the alluring innocence of their younger selves! See, I promised no metaphors! How am I doing so far? πŸ˜‰ It was harder to get the right angle than I had imagined. Translating 3D into 2D is tough and doesn’t always work. I took a lot of shots and finally chose this one…

Natural Born Angles!
Natural Born Angles!

Here is what they were protecting…

DSC_0472

And here are some others I took just for fun…

The Weekend is upon us People! ENJOY every ANGLE πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€