Saturday, October 6, 2012

Beauty of the Hands of the Holder

Some time back we got into product Photography that had me staring at product pieces through my lens like a German Shepherd staring at a bandicoot Burrough up close. But the picture of a big dog sizing up a rodent has a lot of life and color of it`s own. Product  Photography however  required a dedicated ingection of both life and color in an otherwise lifeless setting of Still Life.

And there is only so much that Designer paper, satin and velvet cloth, imitation pearls and dried leaves, as props can add to the picture.

There was a discovery waiting to be made that changed our perception of how we look at  product shoots. 
And it all started with this shot.

We`ve shot jewellery before, but never in such a setting, and in this shot we found Life. And what did we learn? Well..
      Firstly, a pair of hands provides a realistic depiction of the subject and a good reference to figure out it`s size. Secondly, the hands provide us the human element, so integral to the story of the product.

These shots were neither rehearsed nor posed. It just so happened that Tavishi was showing us her collection and I just happened to have left one Flash head in power ON mode. Thank the Lord for the years I`ve spent as a television cameraperson that makes me such a sniper of good frames.

That`s Tavishi Gupta, the unsuspecting hand model, and it`s not just her hands but the fine manner in which she naturally held the pieces that makes the shots CLICK. A finesse that You see in the store she runs. The store is PinkGold, that showcases the creations of select designers, in the form of dresses, bags, footwear and accessories.  Finally before packing up from Pink Gold, I shot some footwear like this.. Does it look good??

 For the full story of the store check out  AllwhatSheWants 
I`ve got Hands on my mind ever since and that`s what I was looking for when we shot in the house of Rashma Talwar Sud for AllWhatSheWants. Rashma is a bakery expert who has taken her life long passion to a professional level.  An imaginative and intuitive  cook, She specialises in low calorie, low sugar desserts, for the health concious, which are not just home made but hand made.
That`s a shot of the dessert carter herself on the right,

and for the food shots, we could have played with props and lights here as well but guess what..
Got a pair of beautiful hands.. never need a prop again!
And in the Dessert Carter`s story, the hands made a lot of sense, cause Rashma's hands actually dabble through the dough. The idea being, using hands actually creates bigger air pockets in the dough, making the cake a lot more Fluffy. Click here to know more about the Dessert Carter.

Eventually more and more people lent their helping hands to making allwhatshewants.com and shotstories.net a visual delight, and next in line was Musskan,

 and that litttle elephant by the way is a ring, 
Yes!! that one too..

Do You think You have it what it takes to sport that one on your finger? Can You handle it.. Well "Kiwi by Musskan" has more such jewels with an uninhibited appeal.

Dare You to have a calculater like Musskan`s.

This is Musskan, here to rescue the world from minimalism and modesty, with her bold and vibrant designs, of the semi precious kind. Read her full story here

Next we tried some very precious jewellry at the Tanishq store in South Ex, Delhi with some help form the store staff. Our subject was Tanishq`s Mia collection on the left and a piece from their Glam Gold collection

Most of these pics came to us when allwhatshewants.com went looking for personal profiles of entrepreneurs, artists, designers and creators. We had featured products before, but this time we wanted to talk about the people behind those creations.

And in that series we met Riddhima and Saloni, two very Young , very Promising entrepreneurs, and the force behind Risa Bags.

We shot some of their bags, in the old fashioned product shoot style..

And the shots came out well.. 
but could we get Ridhima to model for our shoot? Yes!!
And this is what we got.

In the second pic, that`s Riddhima telling me how she would want the bag`s straps to be like for the shot.

And here is Risa`s full story.

Thanks Tavishi, Rashma, Musskan, Riddhima and Saloni for the helping hands.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oasis Village

                                              We had been holding back this story for quite some time, cause You see, the thought of a desert vacation in the middle of summers may not exactly sound fantastic.
                                             Even though it`s this Oasis that we`re talking about.

 I know, winter is still several weeks away, but guess what.. I`ve been told that, it`s been raining cats and dogs over the dunes of south west Rajasthan lately. So come on, the Thar may not be the hot plate that You think it might be, for the next few days atleast.

How did We get there? Oh, we just took the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur and drove another 90 odd kilometers towards a place called Khimsar. 

And in Khimsar, just ask for directions to the Khimsar Fort. And that is where the erstwhile Maharaja of Khimsar has come up with a tastefully done resort, fashioned out of the old fort. 
It`s a nice place for a vacation, with all the modern trappings of affluence with first class service and hospitality, but the real deal is out of town, out in the desert.

        And this, place below is what I`m talking about. The kind of stuff that one sees only on television or in books.  Beautiful? well.. scroll down for more, for the Sand Dune Village..

Here`s a closer looks at the huts and the courtyard. Just the place to finish a nice book and puff the evening away. What do You say?

Some wine would be in order maybe.. but I have a better place in mind to uncork that bottle. By the pond side under the shade with friends and family.

The cold evening breeze over the water to add to the mood and the levels of intoxication, is non chargeable here

You can also soak in the sun and finish that book, over by the pond side, some time in the morning or evening, cause those are the best times of the day to be out in the desert. Just the place to chat trivia, for hours on end.

Here`s  a better view of the Oasis for some visual bliss. 

Swing between Leisure and Luxury here, if You can get the office out of Your mind for a few hours. By now I want to be born in the Palace of Maharaja of Khimsar in my next incarnation..

This sand dune village did not come up on it`s own. It has taken a lot of effort to get it to look like this. The Thar is`nt the textbook desert You would imagine it to be.

Few patches of the desert are this devoid of vegetation. but the trickiest part of  the Oasis, is the Pond.

In the natural world, and Oasis is formed when a natural spring starts oozing water and brings to life a small portion of the desert around it.
Nature has`nt been this kind to Khimsar, thankfully, the Maharaja has been.

The Pond is clearly the desert`s beauty spot.

And here`s a Duplex hut for You, in case You`re planning to bring an entire Gang along, Or maybe a large troop of children , cause the children are just going to love playing in the sand at this village. I suggest You bring the kids along. It`s time they saw the desert for real. They`ll love You for it.

In case the fine sand is begining to bother You, You can always come back to the fort 

And make a splash in this pool and get rid of all the sand.
Yes, those two pigeons there are real.

I`ll tell You how I got this shot..

I took my position along the pool which incidently had this platoon of pigeons loitering around.
 Then with my shot composed, I would give out a loud cough and send the birds helter skelter. I took a number of such shots and this one here is my favourite.

Just like the sand dune village, the fort also offers a great ambiance for dining and wining, 
in both the outdoor and indoor setting.

My personal favorite drinking place would be this bar below, located on the top of the fort walls.

We clicked a lot of shots of the place, and it was indeed difficult to decide which one to feature and which one to leave out. Some of the better shots have been left out and You have to be there to see the place for real.
Trust us, You need to see this.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Food Riot

Are You a nature lover.. can You appreciate nature`s bounty?

Yes?  The Birds and the Greens with the occasional oranges and the reds!!
 How bout a Bird, on a Platter, with some greens to go with it.

look below. Ain`t that a sight to behold! the Flora and Fauna, in it`s colorful best. Grilled to perfection.


Take a closer look at the portion above. The primary ingredient, the chicken is infested with the greens.  Maybe that`s what makes the dish so delectable.
The only other place where You can find  more color in a plate has to be a finely roasted, thin crust Mediterranean pizza with oodles of Cheese to compensate for the missing bird.
Club Czar
Take the experience to a new high with some Argentinian wine, and what better else can You ask for.
Lodhi Garden Restaurant
Lodhi Garden Restaurant

Perhaps some French red wine!
Oh.. By the way there`s one more way to have the bird. and that`s the way they do it around the Mediterranean. Some Greek, Turkish and Lebanese flavors in a platter, if You`re just looking for a starter, which has an array of cold and hot elements.
Club Czar
And  some bread  to prevent the flavors from flaring up over your palate . Al Perfecti!!
Club Czar

In case You want to avoid the pain of dipping your portion into a dip everytime You need to have a bite, then for You, there is the Moroccan Stuffed chicken. All the spices and the herbs are tucked tight into the space which once housed the internal organs of the late bird. Go ahead, just hork it down.

And if You like the stuffed chicken variety, then may I recommend "Ghazab ka Seena", which is chicken breasts stuffed with cheese and marinated in Indian herbs.

Does Your stomach now feel like a shrine for the dead of the chicken folk? It`s been the final resting place for so many of them.

Let`s talk about greens now.

 We have a fine assortment of Asian greens resting over pan fried noodles, for You. This assortment has broccoli, corn kernels and roasted dry pepper in white sauce.



While we Indians may take pride in our excusite vegetarian cusine cooked and consumed by our predominantly vegetarian populace, our neighbours to our south and east have clearly perfected the art of cooking and serving veggies. The servings that look so beautiful that You can`t resist digging into the portions.


A similar assortment of vegetables and herbs can also be floated on a pool of Thai curry over a plateau of rice

Jusht Imagine

This one here is typical of the South East Asian cusine, but if You`re game enough for Fusion, then combining Pasta with Palak can be a fantastic Idea. The Greasy, Saucy nature of Palak(Spinach) combines wonderfully with Pasta to give a wonderful taste.

Jusht Imagine

Experimentatiion with food cleary has it`s rewards, if You are imaginative enough.

Like serving Prawns with cherries in a cup for instance.

Jusht Imagine

Jusht Imagine

To be honest, my palate is conditioned to find some of the above creations a bit tricky to handle. For me the `eat street` is laid out on the spice route. A familiar spread of breads, Chicken in a spicy gravy, with ginger and coriander dressing and a modest portion of yellowed rice is my all time favorite.

Finally some desserts for You. A big scoop of icecream over a rich chocolate cake. Yumm!!

Club Czar

Happy Now!!

Finally, one more look at the plate which takes the Cake!



Ardor, N block Connaught place, Outer circle
Club Czar, District Centre Saket
Jusht Imagine, H-1A, sec-63, NOIDA
Lodhi Garden restaurant Lodhi Garden