Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Interview!

This is about an interview attended by a guy who's relatively a fresher, and is the friend of my brother's friend. It's not a very distant hearsay, as I know this friend of my brother.

This boy and most of the happening youngsters nowadays are all big followers of Rock & Hip-Hop, so it's no wonder that they'll have one or the other of these numbers on their mind. It so happened that he attended an interview and cleared the rounds till the last but one and was in the penultimate one.
He enters the interview cabin-

Interviewers gruelled him and found him wanting in that round, and told that he hasn't made it to the next round! They asked him to describe his thoughts on the interview and experience so far.. The lad thought for a moment, and told that - "I'd like to sing a song to express that"; and the interviewers thought - well.. nice to see something different..they gave him the go ahead..

And this is what he sung -

" I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
And lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter... " (2) !!!

From the famous.. " In the End " of Linkin Park !!!

Any guesses what the interviewers' response could have been..??!! :)

They threw him out.........saying - "Get lost, this is not 'MTV-Roadies audition' - you jerk!!"

Well, you can't blame the lad.. He just expressed what he honestly felt at that moment!;)

And might have as well thought on the way back - "Hmm..They don't like 'Linkin Park'!! Maybe, I should try singing a different number next time.." :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

B&W and Color Photography - my take on it..

What marks the difference between B&W and Color pictures? Is it only the perceptions we've associated with them, or is it that both are used to stand-out from each other and give a unique feel?
Color began to be used in commercial photography in order to stand out from all the B&W. Now B&W is being used to stand out from all the Color.Or may be the nostalgic feeling we've associated with B&W pics as those are what we've mostly seen in the 80s and it's re-emerging now! Whatever the reason may be, both have their unique positions in the situations used and depending upon the subject of the pic.

Now, normally when humans see a color photo - we primary see the colors first, then the other aspects. But, when we see the same photo as monochrome - we immediately see subject, form, shape, tonality and texture. For some, this seems to be a richer experience. I personally like B&W a bit more than the color ones, probably because there is an overload of color stills nowadays. But, color pics also appeal when the colors in the pic blend well into each other thereby rendering a soothing effect and giving a feel of the theme or subject pictured.

One way of looking at the question is to ask whether the subject is colored or not. Sounds too simple, ain't it?! In fact it is simple.. If color can be used only when needed, then we may not have the bombardment of color snaps which happens nowadays. Sunsets for example usually need color..Just think of a Sunset snap you've seen without the orange and red colors - it becomes lifeless.. Another approach is to take a look at a range of images in both B&W and Color - flash between the two and see which has the most impact, go with it.
I remember reading somewhere -  "Looking at a B&W version will often enrich your experience, as you'll see geometry and shadows much better." And I think that's true, as you'll feel the same if you compare both side by side.

Now, to get this sorted I got prints small (postcard) as well as large (A3) size and compared them; and must say that the color ones gave a better feel and connect to the place I went to.. mostly landscapes and wide-angled shots, the B&W ones were more effective when coming to close-ups or portraits.

Conclusion - I like them both and would have a mixture/collection of both in an album according to relevance!

One of my captures..

Monday, July 5, 2010

A day in Shravanabelagola & Melkote!

This was a last moment plan after my slightly bigger plan of covering Mangalore and the coastal regions had to drop because of various reasons. The initial plan was to go to Mangalore in train via Hassan and Sakleshpur through the Sakleshpur-Subrahmanya forest rail track. The train traverses round about 25 tunnels and 45 bridges amidst the mountains and forest through scenic terrain giving one of a kind feeling; as the route was once famous for the railway track trekking, which I'd done when the track was in an abandoned state before 2006 and trains were not yet operational. So, this time I wanted to check the route on a train.
When passing through this route, one can also see the Bisle ghat and the Kumarparvata ranges which are among the most challenging and interesting trekking options in Karnataka. From Mangalore had plans of going to Udupi to visit the Lord Krishna temple and then Malpe-St. Mary's Island; and finally covering the coastal areas and finishing the trip at Kollur and heading back.
But, after dropping this plan I was not sure where to head to, as haven't left any place to be covered at least within 200km radius of Bangalore. I didn't want to waste the Saturday for sure, this being a long weekend with leave declared on Monday for the All India bandh; and wanted to cover a different kinda place for breaking the monotony and with ample scope for Photography. That's when my brother (Ramesh) suggested about Shravanabelagola which's of much importance to Jains and is a good tourist attraction as well, along with Melkote which is an important place for Vaishnavism. We'd been here before with the family and I've got a blog of the same in the archives; but wanted to head here primarily because of the unique rocky terrains and the stunning views which one gets from here.
I would say for an amateur like me or a professional photographer this place's abound with so many options and subjects!

The plan was finalized only the night before and on short notice Ramesh's friend Rakesh and my friend Ajmal were ready to come. We planned to start by sharp 6am, and usually stick to the timings. But, this time around even though brother's friend and my friend had been ready, Ramesh got stuck at work as he works in a kinda night shift. We'd to wait till 7am for him to come, and started immediately.
The route was through Yeshwanthpur-Pennya circle (which's a mad mess given any time of the day!)-Dasarahalli-Tumkur rd-Take a left at Nelamangala and proceed till we see the deviation board towards Shravanabelagola.We'd our morning tea at Nelamangala signal which sure was a breather after the hell @ Dasarahalli circle.
The drive was long and the next pit stop was for breakfast, at a place from where we'd still 100 odd kms to cover. Till the breakfast stop we'd covered a lot of interesting and mundane topics in the conversations. The breakfast was simple, in the form of Idli-Vadas and dosa; accompanied by tea which refreshed the mind for the rest of the journey.
The rest of the journey was filled with, me giving an extended brief about Shravanabelagola and other tourist attractions near to it, among which was Melkote - which we were to visit after this.

Now, something about Shravanabelagola - This is predominantly an important place of worship for the Jain community which is located in the Hassan district 158km from Bangalore to be precise, wherein the famous "Mahamastabhishekha" which happens only once in 12 years is held and 1000s of devotees congregate here to perform it. It is a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is covered with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. There is extensive media coverage as well as lot of Photographers of world acclaim come to catch a glimpse of the act of faith. I remember seeing a video by BBC, which was plain fantastic.
It reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of 'Ganga Dynasty' of Talakad. And you need to see the architecture here to appreciate it; you can also see interesting intricate carvings depicting life in those times a 1000 yrs ago and also see some interesting writings/epigraphs (which has dates of the inscriptions mentioned) of the important events of those times.

The Statue here is claimed to be one of the biggest monolithic statue in the world, a feat in itself; and it is not of Mahavir Jain as is the common perception of the tourists, but of "Lord Bahubali or Gomateshwara" who was a king before he renounced everything and came here to do penance. His penance continued till he got Enlightened, and it is depicted on the statue that plants and carriers grew on him and mole hills were formed around him.

The Entrance and the path surrounding the main enclosure

It is believed that the famous and one of the all time great Emperors of India - Chandragupta Maurya has also meditated here after he'd renounced his kingdom and come to south to seek moksha.
Now coming to the term 'Enlightenment' or 'Moksha' which has been the center of Hindu and also all religions which have originated in India since time immemorial, is one of the most interesting and widely studied topic in the western world about India. Albeit it doesn't have many takers in the modern era, it still remains as the final emancipation of mankind. Of which historian and BBC reporter - Michael Wood speaks in his great documentary "The Story of India (2007)".

Small Bahubali at the foot of the Big Bahubali
Coming to the account of our climb - while starting at the base the view of the steps ahead is sure different and inviting; the climb obviously starts with a few clicks. As we were climbing Ajmal was concerned about the effect it'd have on his legs, as it is a bit challenging to the person who ain't used to frequent climbs; but that doesn't matter one bit owing to the interesting climb/walk it is. Proceeding ahead we noticed a small structure built out of a cave adjacent to a huge boulder.

To be continued..