Friday, April 8, 2011

9th April 2011 - good days and not so good days

NO! NO WAY! My last fond memories of India were not going to be the front of a big blue bus, so I grabbed Mitesh’s shoulders and as I yelled at him to stop I flung my weight to the right and we swerved away from the buses path. Mitesh had been temporarily blindsided by another rider and missed seeing the big blue city bus streaking towards us as we crossed an intersection and with the driver making no indication he was going to slow down I thought we were goners. But somehow we stopped and the bus passed in front of us clipping the front of Mitesh Kumar’s Honda motorcycle with a dull thud and sadly bending the forks. We were on our way to the Domlur Flyover, a tangle of intersections, underpasses and flyovers out near the old Bangalore airport now taken over by HAL industries. We (the NICC class) and I were off to start a night photography session there. Just as we rolled to a stop on the shoulder I noticed that Smriti Singh (another NICC student and a really good people shooter) had also fallen off her pride and joy, a restored Yamaha scrambler, in the loose gravel of the short curt she was taking us through. She had turned around to come back and see what the problem had been. Two accidents in just a few moments – what a start to the day.
But after seeing that we were all okay and with Mitesh and Smriti limping off to a nearby mechanic they knew to look at Mitesh’s damaged bike, Kumail Sadiq  and I took an auto on to our destination to meet up with the rest of the crew.
After wandering around looking at our vertical options and despite some really nice but unfruitful haggling from Raj Kampfer we decided to shoot the confusion of the flyover from just one side of it. The lesson was all about overriding the cameras pre conditioned high light dominance attitude in exposures so the students learnt how to take the Av reading and convert it into a suitable manual setting that gave them both ambient light exposures and creative light streaks from passing buses and cars. 

Then we turned it into a pan action flash training session with Kumail posing inside a large pipe on the side of the road while I fired my flash of manually from the side. Following this we all headed down to Brigade road to meet at the KFC there for a snack and then for a change of pace to shoot this busy commercial retail street using just Monochrome picture style @ 1600 ISO, no flash and no colour. It came off rather well and opened up the possibilities for black and white work to the students. 

Mitesh - when he is a famous bollywood actor we will sell these pics of him eating KFC just like the rest of us
Today I got up early, determined to regain my morning walk regime, packed a camera in the back pack and headed off on foot through the quiet streets in the general direction of Shivajinagar, an older area that backs onto Fraser Town in Bangalore and is named the Great Maratha King Shivajiraje Bhosale. I had spotted a few photo ops there as we had driven through it the other morning on our return from Chennai and so I wanted to return and find those same areas again. Note to one self: always carry extra cards as yes - I ran out dammit. After walking for about an hour, dodging cars, autos, lots of street rubbish, cow and dog shit I found the first photo op I wanted, a street just off Cubbon Road and up from the Shivajinagar bus terminal where newspaper vendors pick up their daily allotment of papers and magazines. Chatting with a bloke there he said that 20,000 newspapers are delivered each morning and then broken down into smaller lots before delivered by salary workers to houses scatted across the area. I then wandered down to the famous Russell market area and visited the St. Mary's Basilica. Located in the Archdiocese of Bangalore in the Indian state of Karnataka it is the oldest church in Bangalore and is also the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. It is famous for the festivities held during the St. Mary's Feast in the month of September each year, an event that attracts a number of devotees from all over India. It was there that I discovered I had shot too much and filled my card up so mark this place down to visit tomorrow morning.

two tonnes of tomatoes are sold each day from the farmers to the wholesalers to the street vendors

Later today I am going to listen to a Discovery Channel cinematographer talk to the students at NICC before attending a gallery opening of a photography exhibition in the city so it should be a fun day.


  1. nice one john :) its so much fun learning from you..looking fwd to what we can do next :-D

  2. Hey buddy! I have a question! I recently traveled to India, and at the Metallica's concert entrance gate in Bangalore I met a guy named "Kumail Sadiq". Back in my country I searched him in Facebook and I found nothing, then I googled his name and all in all I came to your weblog! The I saw his name and even his photos in your post! Could you please provide me at least an e-mail address of Kumail! I'd really appreciate it :)

    Navid Shekoufa

  3. Hey Navid! My email id is - Send me a friend request on facebook. Search Kumail sadiq.

  4. very nice blog. More informative. Thanks for sharingEvent Photographer in Domlur