Behind the lens - Photography Exhibition

Yesterday, I was at the ‘Behind the Lens’ photography exhibition at the Mahua art gallery in Sadashiv Nagar - 344/8, 4th Main Road, above Vijaya Bank. I liked the gallery and the lady who was attending to it when I was there. She was very attentive and spoke to me at length about anything I wanted to know. My interest in photography is quite high and she was nice enough to tell me whatever she knew.

What was also wonderful were the sizes of the frames - nice and large. Added a whole dimension to what one keeps looking at from the viewfinder.

Six photographers have their works exhibited here:

Ajay Rajgharia from Delhi - I loved his work - very colorful, more tending towards aqua colors. A lot of textures too in his frames. he has a very varied background - an investment banker, then a garment exporter and now a photographer. I guess you do end up where your heart lies…

Ashok Koshy from Kerala - Beautiful frames again. Mostly a look into the beautiful culture of Kerala. Nice use of light. Nicely composed frames too. Some of them were worked on to make them almost look like paintings - digital alterations I think. He has the ‘House of Goa’, an award winning book, to his credit. He has about 4 decades of photographing experience.

Leena Kejriwal - Her frames were a delight. She has chosen to exhibit her ‘Tea-shop’ series, the Indian Chai kettles. Her frames have captured the mundane off-of-the-street objects that would go unnoticed otherwise. Also, her prints have tea stains to make them into art. :)

Sandeep Biswas from Delhi - His frames were frames to stand and look at. He has a beautiful understanding of the abstract in real life street photography. He has used reflections in different mediums to come up with the frames that he has. It was wonderful to look at decipher them. One of them, almost the first one that grabs your attention when u enter the gallery, is one of his that I really liked - you can see it on his site - the 5th frame in his Reflections series.

Karan Khanna - His work is very contemporary - the frames are more digital paintings using very vivid colors. He is an artist who infuses his own artistic vision into the frames he has captured. He has gone from being an advertising accounts executive to being a professional photographer. From what I read of him in his intro there, it said that he has had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by the legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson

Vivek Mathew from Bangalore - had his series aptly titled ‘Lyrical shadows’. Beautiful play of light and shadow - the elements in the frames were almost secondary. Such was the powerful play of light and shadows. His frames were smaller, but had my attention in full. A lot of browns and textures too from what I remember. He was the youngest of them all and has had his formal education from The Light & Life Academy, Ooty.

The frames were priced anywhere between 35, 000/- to 60, 000/-. The price range is only an approximate, as told to me at the gallery.

Overall, a lovely experience. I enjoyed myself and if you read this, I hope you get to go too. It is on till the 28th of this month. While I was there, I didnt run into any of the exhibitors. Not sure if they are going to be around this weekend or the following week.

If you know more about any of these photographers, please do share. And if you have been to the exhibition already, I would love to hear your points of view too. :)

Muthathi - A day’s trip from Bangalore

Going forth I will write about trips that we do as a family. And write it from a mom’s PoV. Will also include how it worked out for the kids. :)

Will start of with our day trip to Muthathi that we did in Oct 07. Oh yeah, it has been a while, but I am getting around to it only now. :)  Muthathi is probably the nearest place from Bangalore on the banks of the river Kaveri. It is a small village and the river there is shallow and wide.

How to get there:

  • Muthathi is about a 90 minute drive after you leave the city of Bangalore.
  • Drive on the Kanakapura road through Kanakapura and Sathanur.
  • Turn left at Satanur and drive for another 30 minutes to reach Muthathi.

The road from Sathanur to Muthathi offers scenic views of the countryside. The road is a narrow one, but in a decent condition. Through the forests and by the river side, this road offers some peace and quiet.

Chitra AIyer Photo: View En Route to Muthathi

On the way to Muthathi

You soon reach Muthathi, where there are some beautiful sandy banks for some fun and play. It is not too crowded and while we were there, we only had about another 4-5 parties of people. After we reached the banks, we hung out for a bit, and had some packed lunch inside the car. While we ate, the monkeys went crazy just outside. That can get pretty scary for the kids; the monkeys hardly seem to mind the human presence and can get very close to you. And if you are inside the car and eating, they will hang out on the car’s top and on the windshield!

After lunch, we took a coracle ride to cross the river and get to the other side of the river. One of the most fun things to do while there. The children absolutely loved the coracle ride. The coracles are huge and can hold many people at a go. See the pic below.

Coracle

From the coracle

The view of the river from the coracle

On reaching the other side of the river, we decided to take it easy. Beautiful sand, lovely spots, nice water for you to soak your feet in and chill some. We didn’t carry any swimwear for the kids, so we just undressed them to their minimums and let ‘em loose where the water seemed safe. The kids had such a frolicking time. They couldn’t get enough of being in the water. The water was at that right temperature, and the surrounds were green and gorgeous. See pic below.

The view of the sand banks

The above image has been worked on to get a painting feel.

Our feet

Husband and I did some feet soaking also. :)

It was time well spent. We took the coracle ride back to where the car was parked and headed home.

Little water soaked feet

My son’s water soaked feet in the coracle - a measure of the fun they had? :)

There is no accommodation available in Muthathi village. However there is a Jungle Lodges and Resorts at nearby Bheemeshwari. If you want to stay there, call ahead. Muthathi doesn’t have restaurants per se, but there are small shacks that offer basic food. We carried food from home.

An aside: Interestingly, the river surrounds reminded me a lot of the surrounds of the Russian river that runs in Northern California. Also interestingly, it is in the Russian river that we have gone white water rafting in, and just when the thought occurred to me, to my pleasant surprise, I saw 3 rafting groups go by, very likely from the Jungle Lodges and Resorts at Bheemeshwari. I was happy, if anything, I would love to go white water rafting here. Don’t have enough info as yet.

If you do decide to go, I am sure you will have fun. If you have children, they are likely to have loads of fun too. :)

Please Note: All pics are copyrighted. Please do not use them without my permission. You will find these pics on my flickr stream as well.

The story so far about my photography

I have been asked a bunch of times about the gear I use for photography - either on the blog, or by email. So, I have been mulling over writing not just about the gear but also about my photography (my flickr stream). And this is the first post. :) And it is just about the lead up!

If there is any one thing that I completely enjoy doing, it would have to be being behind the camera and peering through the viewfinder. I like it when my mind is only thinking about the frame in front of me. Completely therapeutic. You may ask, ‘how?’, well when I peer, there is nothing else on my mind. It is then just the act of peering. Yes, as simple as that! :)

While I completely enjoy writing, it is photography that takes the enjoyment a notch higher!

I have always enjoyed photography, as far back as I can remember. One of the gifts my mom got me while I was in college was a camera - a very simple film, point and shoot, Kodak camera. And as a student of architecture, I did go off to many a interesting places and have seen some wonderful architecture and had shot some of that in that camera. Looking back, I see how basic a camera that was.

After that, I went to a Sony digital point and shoot. This was as recent as 2002, I think. Then, one day I dropped it and it went kaput. So, got a canon ixus point and shoot again. (What with the kids and all, not having a camera is like being in a black hole. :) ) And my husband noticed how I tried to get the best of my points and shoots. He also noticed my reluctance to venture into the dSLR world. I resisted getting into dSLRs because I was afraid it would turn me into this gadget maniac that well I have gone on to become! Sigh! So, during one of his visits to the US in Jun 07, he picked up a Canon 400d for me. And when he gave it to me, while my joy knew no bounds, I also didnt know a thing about it. But that was the start! I have been completely into photography and flickr ever since. Whatever I have learnt since then has been from the internet and from friends on flickr. Some of them have been more than kind!

My current gear includes the following:

  • Camera : Canon EOS 400D dSLR
  • Lenses:
    • Canon EF 100 MM F/2.8 USM Macro
    • Sigma EF 24 - 70 MM F/2.8
    • Canon EF 50MM F/1.8 II (a friend’s. He gave it to me after he went on to buy the 50 mm F/1.4)
    • Canon EF-S 18 - 55 MM F/3.5 - 5.6 Kit (don’t use it anymore, but have shots from this on my flickr stream)
  • Shortly, I will have a flash - the Canon Speedlite 430 EX II

Going forth, I will write reviews of the gears I use. And include pics too. But for the camera itself, which I didnt buy myself, I have researched a decent bit about the others before I bought them. And have used them enough to write about them. For processing my pics, I use Photoshop almost exclusively. I dont know if I will get around to it, but I would love to write a few tips and tricks about using Photoshop as a photo enhancement tool.

Here’s one of pics from my stream.

Chitra Aiyer Photograph: Daughter at the beach

That is my daughter, my eldest child, at the beach in Goa.