Nov 122015

Mumbai is not, what you might call, a beautiful city. It has none of the splendour of a Delhi, or the old world charm of a Kolkata or Chennai, it probably is not as hep as parts of Bangalore and Pune. But, there is something about this city that is very alive and very energetic.  Also it is a city that looks much better at night than during the day – decades of adhoc urban planning has left us, Mumbaikars, with a melange of styles and structures – most clashing with each other.

I tried this as an experiment. I shot the same shot, more or less, across various day parts. It was not scientific. It most likely, was not even the same exact  frame, and, it was not automated to take pictures at regular intervals. Everytime i took a break, and remembered to bring the camera out, i shot a frame.

Mumbai - the Mill areas

This is how it looks during the day. Almost like the dwellings of human beings are swamped by alien structures.

Dusk approaches - mumbai

This is at evening, and the allure of the city beckons.


Dusk approaches - mumbai 2

Dusk makes the city look even prettier.

Dusk turns to Night

And, night makes it look like the city of gold. Where anyone can make a fortune. And, no one will sleep hungry.




Nov 042015

And, there are some more shots. I have been practising night shooting. It is fun, especially trying to capture varying degrees of brightness at different points of the skyline.

A lot of photography is framing. It is the same premise as when you frame a shot. How should the shot look? What are the elements you want to capture in the shot, and where do you want the audience to focus. This is kind of difficult when you start out with photography, but, as the years go by – and you shoot and analyse what you have shot, and more importantly, analyse what you have got wrong – it becomes easier. Almost instinctive.

But, an equal part of photography is also technique. How bright do you want the picture? how saturated? should you go with a lower ISO (less sensitive to light) or a higher ISO (more sensitive, but also gives more ‘noisy’ output). What kind of shutter speed should you use for that capture. This does not come instinctively. This has to be understood and practiced, and practiced some more.

It is when the two are combined – framing and technique – that i get a photograph that i put up on flickr or some other site.

How do I improve both framing and technique – i consume photography content. I look at how it was shot. I look at the EXIF data (where available). i read about photography. And, i try and shoot regularly. Most of what i shoot, i discard. But, i practice. Or I try to.

So this is what i practised (and didn’t discard).

Reflections - The Night skyline_

This is from the terrace on our floor. I found the juxtaposition of reflections and reality quite fascinating.

Dusk turns to Night

This is the other part of the view from the terrace.  I found this to be slightly Gotham like. All that is missing is the bat sign between the ITC hotel and the three towers

The streets paved with Gold

And, then there is this picture. I found the stream of gold, cutting a swathe through the city. I can see the city of Gold analogy in this

Traffic -_

Where I decide to turn acrobat for a shot :)

Nov 012015

I have been taking my camera into work. I spend so much time there, it is easier to sneak in a 10 minute window to practise than planning a photowalk or other such activities – that are usually swamped by work expanding to take up all time.

And, it is not work’s fault. Other people manage a life. It is mine – i never managed to build those water tight compartments between work and otherthings, and i am too old to change.

I did shoot some in colour. And they are in the flickr site. Some I shot black and white, and some i turned into black and white.

Traffic - bw

This is a seriously funny angle – i think i was half hanging out of the balcony … This is NM joshi marg leading to the office. The energy seems more real in the black and white.

Dusk approaches - mumbai bw

I simply find this scene awesome. It is like someone planted vertical building seeds a few decades ago, and they are all sprouting up to different levels of Tall buildings.  In the evening, when the lights turn on, it looks out of the world. During the day, when it competes with dust and heat bouncing off the roads – it looks like a post nuclear holocaust space.


And, this is much later at night.  I can actually see a bat signal going off ..

The Night skyline bw

None of this is with the new lens. They had been shot some time ago. I have just about find time to sort them out and put them up.


Oct 142015

Mumbai’s changing landscape –


On July 12th this year, i moved my family from the wadala place we were renting, to Kherwadi in Bandra East – just off the highway. The rent is steeper than Wadala (but not by much) – but it is a much nicer place. The most important consideration was proximity to hospitals – and there are 4 within a 2 kilometer radius. I didn’t like Wadala (e) too much. there was something completely alienating about the area that we lived in, and it was close to no big medical facility. I wish we had moved a year earlier

The picture below is also mumbai, Bandra to be more precise – in the same axis as the sea link. There is something reassuringly solid about the fisherman, getting ready to go to work.    IMG_20150914_074008.jpg

In the 21 years that I have been back in Mumbai – i have seen the city change in front of my eyes. from the quality of roads, to the nature of architecture. From the flyovers to the metro and the mono rail. Older areas are disappearing, newer ones are coming up. there are those who mourn the passing of the old, but that is the nature of the universe – everything dies. that includes localities, and communities. But, new ones form too. We sometimes ignore that.     mumbai -sealink

Sep 292013

barbed wire

Guard at the Hazira Port – found the contrasts fairly interesting. I think the guy had snuck out for a smoke … the shot definitely made it seem that way.

Keeping it Out

This was interesting for another reason, because of the nature of the shot and the seeming distance between the Sea and the land, it seemed like the barbed wire kept out the sea :)


This was shot in Mumbai – near the University. I found the interplay of light and shadow quite fascinating. It reminded me of the smaller gate that led into a fortress or a jail …


And this felt like someone was going to fence off the sea

Lifting the Son

And, this is possibly one of my favourites. A sunrise shot – at Hazira. The angle made it seem like that the winch was lifting the sun