Thursday, December 15, 2016

Temple Ruin

Belief, is a beautiful thing. 
We believe that we don`t just exist as organic matter on this interstellar spherical mass, but we like to call ourselves stardust.. Cause we like to see ourselves up there among the stars and not grounded on the third rock from the sun. 
So we build not just roads to get to office in time, airports to fly to our annual vacation spots, stadiums and ampitheatres to keep us entertained and Hospitals to keep us alive a little longer, we actually go ahead and build something lot less utilitarian, but something truly monumental
We imagine superheroes and build elaborate fables around them, even assigning them places in a family tree.. and just so that our stories and fantasies be told and retold, we carve
 our magnum opus in stone.

One such endeavor was mounted in Kiradu, 35KM from present day Barmer, culminating in the construction of an entire complex of Temples.. all 150 of them..
not many of them survive today.. infact barely five of them managed to weather all odds to tell the stories of their creators and designers.
Rock Anthem

Built, probably during the 11th and 12th century AD, temples like these are a bioscope into an ancient world. The designers through their creation were talking not just about their superheroes, but also about their life and times. Through their sculptures, we also get a fair idea about their value and belief system.
Happy God
where it was okay to depict even Gods, in rather relaxed positions and the feminine kind were the dominant kind with a penchant for fine clothing and exquisite jewellery. The feminine kind with less than kind proportions who seemed to prefer ornaments over garments even as they went about their daily routine. The body proportions look ordinary by today`s standard or maybe that, was the standard then.

Wonder what explains the number of female figures that one encounters in the temple.. maybe the architects just wanted the monuments to look beautiful or maybe it was the predominant sight during those days
Loaded beauty
bejeweled gait
Look at those dreamy eyes..
Perhaps the use of the sexualised form was a natural choice and not borne out of special consideration, cause this was a society which celebrated Virility and not Virginity, and, maybe there lay the encrypted invitation to trouble

Soon in the centuries to come this site was visited by a people with an ethos that valued Virginity, (especially female) above other things, and restricted the display of physical beauty...
There must have been other differences as well, mostly irreconcilable, and so the temple, deemed profane, took the brunt of the conflict and lost roughly ninety five percent of it`s structure.
But this is just stone and rock, it can take a lot of pounding, imagine the plight of the people,
especially the artists who 
with their own eyes
 saw vandals at work ..
Let`s just hope they all fled, in time, to build another day.
rock group

Sad, is`nt it, nothing is immortal, not even a great work of art.

And there can be no greater sin than to destroy a work of art, a work of art as magnificent as the Temples of Kiradu.
A somewhat lesser sin would be the ignorance about the existence of such heritage.

I never knew it existed until I actually visited it.. never heard of it.. was largely clueless about most of the figures adorning the temple 

Dance of Death
Femme Fatale

I`m told, the lady on the left with a skull on a pole is Goddess Durga, and the guy above is probably Lord Shiva,
Private Chambers

These dames are called Yoginis, I believe
No Idea who these lovers are..

And I know very little about the rest of the lordships

The remaining Five percent is still scattered around the site having survived first the Vandals, and then smugglers of antiquities. 
But it remains a photographer`s delight.. You can effortlessly drain Your camera batteries here for great shots, with few tourists to photobomb Your Frames(the remoteness and the local weather keeps most away). 

This place is also reachable via Jaislamer and this is just the weather to be in Rajasthan, so while You make Your travel plans, sample some more of the pics.

The Kiradu Temples are often compared with the Khajuraho complex in it`s architectural sophistication, but there is nothing but softcore to be found here, the Hardcore is all gone I guess.

hmm .. I guess I could just go on and on... and on..

The kiradu temples were introduced to us by the Suryagarh, Jaisalmer. Just one of the ways our hosts made the trip truly memorable.

watch the video to know more about our hosts.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Looking to add Life to Your pics??
                                           Just look for some  Color, Action, Emotion, Mood, Drama and maybe even.. .. some Water!! Seriously, Cause Water has this thing with Life that, even a small amount of it gets You an infestation of Life.
Shot on Huawei Honor Holly 8mp camera
                                                                      Firing Your shutter in the Himalayan foothills, You really don`t have to struggle to get a good pictue, for the Life and the Landscape here, is photogenically sorted, but things just keep getting better when You start following the trail.. .. of Water. Not the roaring, bristling, gnawing away land types, but the gentle, torrential, streamy like rivulet type. And when You`ve found the water trail, whip that cellphone out and Snap Your Picture Postcard moment, like I did with my phone below.

Oh Yes, this one with a phone camera, No post processing here, no filters applied, just some careful and professional handling to block the direct sunlight coming in from the front with my hand.
 It`s actually a simple trick, all You have to do is stop the sunrays from falling on Your camera lens with Your hand or a piece of paper or even as in my case the other half of the flip cover over the top of the lens, and all the elements and the edges begin to shine and sparkle.
          Serious photography is just that extra little bit of effort away, even with rudimentary gear. Nothing actually can beat the flexibility and ease of use of a mobile phone camera.On this trip I wondered if  I really needed to carry my Nikon DSLR, but there is however some special stuff that only a DSLR can do, like this one below.
That white stuff is neither milk or detergent but a snapshot of the flow of water captured over a span of several seconds. Even a gentle mountain stream has these pockets of energy where the water gushes and turns translucent before becoming transparent again. And that is when the delayed shutter release does this magic.
Click on the pics for a better view, cause I would`nt be shooting on max quality mode if I did`nt want You to look at the full resolution version for greater fun.
Water is one of the two mediums You can do the Delayed Shutter trickery with, the other being..

This Waterworld is at a place called Jibhi in HImachal Pradesh where the clouds drape the hills and provide an unending supply of water for such waterways creating an infestation of Life in the hills so thick, that the water seems to eke out a passage through the greens, between the moss covered rocks under makeshift bridges. A passage of water so visibly clean and unflawed, that You never intaking a mouthful of it even as others nearby are wading through it.

And we follow the water trail until we reach the this wonderful delight.

This, at the base of the U shaped valley is a two storey high fall creating it`s own rainbows in the sun and causing a mini storm of moisture laden wind. A place for the ultimate shower experience.

This entire trail was a 200meter walk through a deep and narrow gorge where first I met this stream passing underneath a wooden bridge, and as You move along the moss laden walls of the gorge across four more such bridges the roar of the fall keeps getiing loud untill it just pops into view.

Take Your family or friends along for a great time, and don`t forget the kids, They`ll love You for it

That`s all the pics I have for You, the rest of trail is in this video that we shot at Jibhi.. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Little Black Doggie

     A Dslr is a beautiful thing to have,
        but if You`re not a Photographer good enough without it, You`ll never be good enough with it. 

And with a Nikon Dslr, there is just so much that You can do, that You may hit Your limits as a PhotoPro before You can even get a sight of it`s limits as a camera, cause You see, the Nikon Dslr is a serious piece of optical engineering. 
Time for some serous discourse?        hmm.. Nyet!!

My Nikon D5100  stares at me, like a doggie would, at it`s human friend, begging to "go out and have some FUN!".

Seriously! take a good look on the right at my black doggie again. there... You see that!!

And we`ve watered our share of poles and pooped more than our share of lawns, but the real fun and games started when we started shooting Videos. 
      The lil black doggie can shoot some ridiculously fantastic videos and when You get serious with it on the video mode, that is all that You would wanna do.
                    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Nikon D5100 Dslr is primarily a camera for still photography, the Video mode is at best an, add on. . but what an add on it is!!

Recently Supriya reviewed the Ford Ecosport for allwhatshewants.com and we drove along in my Maruti Zen in a synchronized ballet on Delhi Roads.  The Results were amazing!
 The Ford Ecosport did`nt look so good with my own eyes, OnScreen though, it was a different car.. amazing also how a Dslr  with a Rs2600/- rig and a small hatchback can create something so good.  Click on the video and see for Yourself. 

This video came after a bit of tweaking the camera software and settings and the several shoots that taught us how to handle the auto focus on the go.

And by the time we got there, we had some fun at the Avon salon in connaught place. Over here we shot the makover with Swati Kain in a less challenging assignment for allwhatshewants.com

This shoot was done in a relatively controlled and a vsually happening environment, with Pros for company who made the shoot a Breeze. But there is something with the way the optics of a Dslr are configured that makes the footage stand out. And this from a camera which costs a fraction of the Video cameras that I`ve been shooting with for the last 15 years as a TV news Lensman.

Here is another beauty shoot with the very beautiful Srishti Rana
Now these were Beauty and Product review shoots were conducted in controlled environs, where You have to struggle to get things .. ..  Wrong, because of their inherent visual appeal, but there are times when You have to bring out the editorial cap and try and weave a story with shots on the go. This happens when You are profiling an individual as in this case. 
So what do You think?

The Video feature with the Dslr took a long time coming and since the Nikon D5100 the technology has grown by leaps and bounds with some like the D750, DSLRs these days are better optimised for HD Video, and the costs are at a fraction.

We have more in out kitty and we will be posting more soon..

Catch You all later.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Caution!! Women at Work

Shot Stories can come to Your place, rig up a portable studio, ask You to pose and get You a nice collection of snaps to adorn Your walls, both real and virtual. 

But since we are in the business of telling stories we would want You to stay in Your elements and let us snipe out the shots that tell Your tale.  ShotStories hitched a ride with Allwhatshewants.com for the pursuit of stories and.. understandably, met..  female artists, designers, creators and entrepreneurs
women, tending to well choreographed chores, over a fancy workstation with a focus like that of a surgeon,



Women, just being themselves with an unmistakable sense of style   
And then there were those who are in the business of decking people up.. finesse, hardwork, beauty all rolled into one.

Now this the kind of shoot that is a photopro`s delight, cause it is just so difficult..    to get it wrong.. Especially so if You are shooting a woman at work. 
This is where You get an amazing interplay of action, emotion, color and a photogenic form. One look at the picture and You think, You can tell a lot about the person. So if You`re thinking of creating a good first imression, the first thing to do is to get yourself a good picture of Yourself, preferably the one where You are`nt posing, a picture that tells not just who You are, but also what You are all about.

If you still have`nt guessed it right, then the person on the left is a vendor of semi precious valuables.
The experience becomes even more delightful when Your subject is a vendor of sweets.. and that is when You wish the JPEG format could also incorporate taste and aroma. All my senses hooked.. when I profile a kitchen queen.

One look at the pics and You know, You`re looking at not just entrepreneurs but enthusiasts!

That`s Anisha Maker of Garage Inc holding a plate like a color palette in the hands of an artist and a fork like a paintbrush.   

Hunting for a good picture becomes a lot simpler if You just focus on capturing emotion.. emotions that convey passion and inner energy. That`s Ridhima and Saloni of Risa bags talking about their enterprise.These are the various moods that we caught them in when we got them to talk about themselves and their venture. 

The ever so contemplative and thoughtful Ridhima 
and the ever so expressive Saloni!

Thanks for all the attention folks,
pay some more on the need to have a good photo shoot to tell Your story.