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 😛 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’ 😉 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’ 😛 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 🙂 Also last week ‘The Great Indian Circus’ as I like to call our Elections 😛 drew to a conclusion and as a result there were random firework displays that I caught from my balcony!
And just because I love quotes, here’s a random one that I fell in love with 😉
“The sky was as blue as orange could get. I love sunsets at noon, and forks disguised as spoons.” ― Jarod Kintz
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!
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 😀 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!
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 🙂 He was an answer to many prayers and so the symbolism seemed appropriate! Yes I know, on occasion, the ‘sappy me’ takes over 😛 So I placed a lit ‘diya’ in front of the angel, not only because Fire is the great purifier in Hindu culture but also because I love diyas 😉 And so I had my shot 🙂 I like how it turned out…let me know what you think!
Last week’s challenge was themed ‘Markings’. Another easy one really considering ‘Markings’ are omnipresent and so naturally one that I found challenging 😛 Do you see a pattern here? I certainly do! Oh well – when in doubt – ‘Use the Kid’ I say 😉 They’re generally adorable and make great pictures 🙂 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 😛 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? 😉 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 😉 But I admit my extreme bias 😀 I’m still undecided on which one I like best, but I’m glad I got some PS practice!
The Red Mark!
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!
Tiger Stripes 😀
Pretty marks in Fuchsia!
I love the colours that mark this Hibiscus flower in my Mom’s garden 🙂
Ooooh! Spidey Marks!
Could do with help identifying this beetle…
And here is a little ditty that came to me when I was thinking of how Markings are ubiquitous.
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 and an overload can cause the same reaction – a paralysis of action 😛 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’ 😛 (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…
And as always some more perspectives on Formless that I like…
Sleeping City – Cloaked in darkness & formless dreams!
Formless mistiness – Morning comes to the Blue Mountains!
Giving Form to the Formless?! We Indians excel at this 😉
The second of my catch up posts. Just one more to go and then I’ll be all caught up – fingers crossed 😛
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 – predictably scattered 😛 When we left for Ooty – I felt not a little disappointed 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 desperation 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 😀 The resort we stayed at is a bird-watcher’s paradise! Flocks of Bulbuls, Swallows, Sunbirds, Sparrows and the elusive but stunningly pretty Oriental white-eye. And so armed with a 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 😉
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 😀 And here I am again, part of another! The circle of Life and all that 😛
In Flagrante Delicto…Dragonflies enjoying themselves in the classic way 😉
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – What could be more classic than The Bard eh?
Raw mangoes…accidentally framed in Nat Geo fashion 😛
A spinning Top – a classic game from before the yoyo!
Classic dish on our Dinner menu & Junior’s favourite – Fried Fish!
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 😛 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 😉 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 😛 Well not for me anyway – I’m much to instinctive to ever be prepared; but I’m prepared at all times to be instinctive 😉
And on that very confusing and rather silly note, lets just get to the pictures shall we? 😀 I know, I know – I ramble…it’s what happens when adult interaction is at the minimum 😛 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? 😀
Salty Luck 😛
It’s all in the Roll of the Dice!
And here is the picture I took for the Challenge…
Here’s to a Lucky Weekend People!
May the Luck of the Draw be always in your favour 🙂
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 😛 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 😉 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 😛
Last week for the Roots Challenge, I shunned Mother Nature and went man-made. This week I embraced Her 🙂 And like most Mothers, she didn’t disappoint 😉 I found this plant with dagger-like thorns encircling its thick stem from top to bottom – a throwback to some medieval torture instrument 😛 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? 😉 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…
Here is what they were protecting…
And here are some others I took just for fun…
I loved these delicate Blue blooms 🙂
Alien vs Predator?!
Perfect Natural Symmetry!
I love the angles on my copper watering pot!
That’s my apartment block – angling into the Sunset 🙂
The Weekend is upon us People! ENJOY every ANGLE 😉 😀
This week, the theme for our photography challenge was ‘Cherish’. These themes are tricky things…they can be obviously simple and singularly complex at the same time. It did get me to thinking along the lines of what I cherish and Family, friends, love, happiness, memories, mementoes etc, come instantly to mind. And although I have enough and more pictures of family, once again I wanted to tickle my ‘little grey cells’ (I’m inhabiting the Hercule Poirot universe at the moment, in case you should wonder!), and see if I couldn’t come up with a creative way of presenting abstract emotions.
This is what I thought of…although not unique, in that Google has similarly-styled pictures, I had a lot of fun getting the paraphernalia together, setting up my equipment and clicking away 🙂 It helped that Hubby and Junior were sent off to dinner at KFC 😉 Oh don’t go getting all judgmental – fast food once a month for dinner never hurt a soul! And Art involves occasional sacrifice non 😉 Well anyway, I spent a happy hour climbing ladders and focusing and playing with the lighting until the boys came home. It’s been a long while since I had such a good time and I must say at the moment this challenge itself is something that I cherish because it has rekindled my motivation for photography, and introduced me to a group of talented, supportive fellow photography enthusiasts who are helping me learn the craft through their considerable skills.
I feel good 🙂
So here are a few pictures I pulled up as I always do…
I cherish My Granny…a studio picture taken to show prospective bridegrooms no doubt!
I cherish new beginnings!
I cherish Mom & Dad…the reason I am.
I cherish Peace! Tried the sign with a game called Brain Teaser which we bought in Mauritius 🙂
I Cherish Time. My Dad’s Rolex…now Hubby’s and some day Junior’s! Cherished heirloom!
I cherish my Planet! Here’s a shopping basket made from recycled milk cartons!
I cherish being a Mom! The two people who teach me how 🙂
Ancient…such an evocative word. It has an inherent strength that conjures up visions of lost grandeur and beauty; and of staying power…of things that weather the onslaught of time and the human race and survive long enough that they are transformed from merely old to majestically ancient. For this challenge the first thing I thought of was Nature, coz what could possibly be more ancient than Her! Everything about her is Ancient – the Sun, the stars, the Moon, the Oceans, the Mountains…so many fantastic photo opportunities. But a lot of group members had already done a fabulous job of capturing those and so I settled on this vintage silver pendant that I bought in Delhi 2 years ago. I don’t really know how old it is…and it’s certainly not Ancient in the way I wanted it to be, but it will have to do.
I do have pictures of a lot of Ancient things in my archives…London for example is choc-a-bloc with Ancient; Lisbon is teeming with Ancient as of course is India. The Taj Mahal, The Red Fort…centuries old…excellent examples of Ancient architecture and relics of an ancient history. And yet ancient is relative too…for a flower, ancient is a matter of days at most, perhaps weeks. I dug up a few pics I’ve taken over the years…it was fun as always 🙂
The Taj – a ancient symbol of enduring love. 2 decades in the building!
A beautiful antique figurine of Lord Krishna I found in our hotel in Pondicherry.
Hubby’s old ancestral home in Goa…probably close to a century old.
An ancient tile mural on an old building in Lisbon.
I love the headlight on this vintage car!
The most ancient of them all!
As one flower ages…new beginnings…
An ancient invention!
The Lighthouse @ Fort Aguada, Goa. A favourite spot of mine 🙂
The Tower Bridge built (1886–1894)…One of my favourite London icons.
Should have posted this one earlier but was having a busy week! Last week’s theme was Creamy and again I wanted to do something other than the normal ice-cream, creamy coffee, shaving cream shots, although after seeing some of the other pictures this week, I’m beginning to regret my decision! I think I could have done better but Hey! Live & Learn right?
After I posted my picture, I was still on the lookout for something creamy and I took a couple of more shots that I thought fit the theme.
the beginnings of a creamy pasta dish!
My favourite creamy bar! And yes I bought the bar just to take the picture 😉
Chenin Blanc in shades of cream 🙂
And here is the one I posted for the challenge! Creamy Guacamole with crispy Nachos. The idea was to contrast between creamy and crisp. I think I could have done better. But I’m really glad to have found this group and this challenge on FB. Very inspiring 🙂