Monday, August 3, 2009

Architecture & Photography.! Their Interface...

The interface between Architecture and Photography as a visual Imagery design.

Considering the fact that both are from the Design entity and varies only in their Applications and utility and to look at them as the separate aspects, where they use common components, such as the Symmetry, Geometry, Abstraction, Composition. To look at the factors of Aesthetics and the inherent nature of Beauty, either it be the 'construction' of architecture or 'Constructing' an Image.

Any Thoughts on this

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Call it excessive Madness or Hysteria

There is always something within us, in some form, which kind of holds them throughout our life. We completely devote us towards it. Being faithful to it looks like our only aim or need of the life, when we get involved in it. Such a fulcrum behaves like the focal point where our life revolves around them all the way. Such an obsession to be involved into a certain craze can be identified named in many ways in many cultures and their communities, in the forms well known to them. This is fanaticism of being filled with excessive, uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause or in sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby. By descriptions the fanatic displays very strict standards and little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions.
A fanatic person can have an overwhelming liking or interest in a given subject and his behaviour will be viewed as something unusual and strange for all those who are not occupied in them. In no way such an extreme person is named as crank. The subject of the fanatic's obsession is completely "normal", in religion or politics or in Sports, except that the scale of the person's involvement, devotion, or obsession with the activity or cause is abnormal or disproportionate.

Subject 1: Divinity in India takes many forms and meanings in terms of its practices and beliefs of Hinduism. Over the times, these religious practices multiplied and morphed into a wide variety of unimaginable and at times incomprehensible beliefs. Although it is the monumental architecture of classical temples, it is the country's folk temples, several times greater in number, that reflect the living faith of the people.They act as a strong binding force bringing the society together, serve as a platform to showcase the expression of devotion of the people, which sometimes borders on the edge of sanity. The actual spirit of divinity and these practices still lingers in these villages where the various traditions hold an immense value and meaning to the believer. Every minute expression, act and gesture of these devotees thronging the temples, to show their submissiveness and immense faith, tells a story which needs to be understood and preserved.

Subject 2: Football in England, cannot be denied or overlooked as an entertainment or just another sport like any other country. It exposes their madness in the most dominant aspect here. One can witness the entire neighbourhood on the road, parks, pubs, grounds, etc, when a match undergoes with their national or their county teams. The culture of this sport is entirely interwoven with their life. One can hear so many insane stories of how people behave towards any aberration towards their game.

These are the two subjects where God in one case, and sports in another case as the major pivot, that I have come across already and trying to work more on these subjects. Besides that I am also working towards finding two more such pivots. It has been truly an exhilarating experience to see and witness the activities of people coming from various and believing in one power that has hypnotised them. Learning about people, culture and their beliefs can never leave mind-numbing. I have been such an enthused student from the time I was able to identify such a common thread between these communities which are entirely different in every aspect and have made me to crave more of these. Hence throughout this venture I am preparing to take any voyage and delve into more upon this, and I am sure, I wouldn’t end myself there, but to enquire for more from that summit too!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom

Farnham, a beautiful town, humble and silent with heritage strewn,
The churches and graveyards, the pitches and parks,
The healthy smiles and the hovering milestones, all lined up for the visitors galore,
So calm, so elegant, they speak from within,
Language very subtle but kind gestures making up for it.
A community within a community, I would say,
Where every place is a poet’s turf and every space springs a poem’s verse.
Far from the urban grind you stand alone at peace, never left out, even if you opt to be.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Panorama Thirupparankundram, Madurai

After 23 years I climbed this hillock, nearby my Home. Last time when I climbed, I was 1.5 Yrs!! This is from behind the Murugan Temple, one of the 6 abodes of Lord Karthikeya in Tamilnadu!

Learned the Language of the Monkeys, how to behave with them, or when to panic or not. My traveller friend cum Guide, Mr.Siva(43) helped me learn them. He has been walking till the top of the Mountain right from his childhood in the gap of 3 months everytime. He gets carrots alongwith him to feed those Monkeys. He has observed and understood the language of the Monkeys. It was astonishing, to know and feel the Humanity part of Monkey and their Behavior. Never look at them. They just want some opposition to give it back. Just check it next time. Never look them, they will feel very blank, wouldnt have anything to do back to us. But for sure dont carry the typical food bags, and they are going to jump behind you. Just walk past them, if you dont have anything to feed, or atleast the food u have doesnt look like some familiar food or food packet which they might know. Down here, it is the typical Yellow bag, they look for. Or else they are like anyother Human whom you can just walk past!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A world within the world.

There is a world, which wakes up before the Sun could.
There is this world, which is on the run during the early morning to get hold of the fresh flowers.
There is this world inside, which can hear the sound of the birds fluttering around through the grand temple towers.
There is this world where, elephants are fed and made ready to welcome the pouring devotees throughout the day.
A world within the world.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photograph as “Rational Synopsis”

The distances and resulting communication in man and how his sensory receptors react to them, can be evidently noticed and understood through his actions and body language when keenly observed. There is a particular pattern of behavior in man; whether he approaches unfamiliar territory or his own personal space: the casualness, the cautiousness, the love, the fear etc play an imperative role in determining his approach. There are a multitude of emotions that come into play which can be portrayed in an interesting manner.

Every physical feature of man, based on his perception of the surroundings, acts differently and when observed and read carefully, tells us a whole lot about his psychological state and acuity of distances. So being an artist, I want to read the story of the perception of spaces and distances experienced by a man, that are responsible for his state of being at that moment and further, by taking my canvas into the “Public Spaces”; where an assortment of emotions are resulted out of interaction between responsibilities, senses and communicators.

The need is to look at a photograph as main evidence, as a focal informative in order to read the people, their culture, and their identity. To explore how far can a picture be taken into this domain of visual research and documentation. Primarily any picture in any research has been acting as a secondary source complementing the research. A picture can convey so much tangibly and intangibly to be used as the primary source of information, which is in-fact very effortless and uncomplicated document. The potential is surely there to be taken up by the researchers.
Before we even attempt to document the “culture” or “identity” of the society, it is imperative that we understand the role of culture and its origin.

Culture as a communication
Through encouraging culture man attempted to domesticate himself and in the process created a whole new series of worlds, each different from the other. Each world has its own set of sensory in outs; so that factors that crowds people of one culture does not necessarily crowd another. Similarly, an act that releases aggression and would therefore be stressful to one set of people maybe neutral to the next.
Man like other species, has territoriality too, and he has invented many ways of defending what he considers his own land, turf, or spread. The removal of boundary markers and trespassing upon the property of another man are punishable acts in many parts of the world.

“Imaging of the Culture”

Photography/image can be said as the “rational synopsis”; it illustrates not only the object or its trajectory but also the very mind which conceives it. This double movement corresponds to a double reading.
• If you read the plate from bottom to top, you obtain in a sense an experiential reading; you relive the object’s epic trajectory, it’s flowering in the complex world of consumers. You proceed from nature to sociality.
• If you read the image from top to bottom, starting from the vignette, it is the progress of analytical mind that you are reproducing. The world gives you the usual, the evident, you descend gradually to the causes, to substances, to primary elements, you proceed from experiential to the causal, you intellectualize the object.

The totality of the information is thus carried by two different structures. These are cooperative but, since their units are heterogeneous, necessarily remain separate from one another. Here, in this paper, the substance of the message is made up of words; there of lines, surface, shades.
The code of connotation was in all likelihood neither “natural” nor “artificial” but historical, or if it be preferred, “cultural”. It signs are gestures, attitudes, expressions, colors, or effects, endowed with certain meanings by virtue of the practice of a certain society: the link between the signifier and the signified remains, if not unmotivated, at least entirely historical. Hence it is wrong to say that modern man projects into reading photographs feelings and values which are characterial or “eternal”, unless it be firmly specified that signification is always developed by a given society and history. Signification, in short, is the dialectical movement which resolves the contradiction between cultural and natural man. The photographic “copy” is taken as the pure and simple denotation of reality.
Doubtless because photographic connotation, like every well-structured signification, is an institutional activity; in relation to society overall, its function is to integrate man, to reassure him. Every code is at once arbitrary and rational;
The emphasis is very much on the use of the visual materials as one among the several research methods that may be employed by a social researcher during the course of investigation.

“Anthropology has had no lack of interest in the visual; its problem has always been what to do with it.”

Photography in visual research…

While we had a good thorough study upon the language of pictures, we need to understand the intangible factors of the subjects within the picture. When studying society and its correlation to man’s behavior, we come across many “terms “, which have been detailed below. They may look very scientific in order, but it is imminent to understand basic fundamentals requiremtns and characteristics. When we study about the culture and the society, these factors can act as information within the cultures in the name of “micro- culture”.
The perception of space: distance receptors- eyes, ears and nose.

“…we can never be aware of the world as such, but only of… the impingement of physical forces on the sensory preceptors”.

In order to understand man, one must know something about the nature of his receptor systems and how the information received from these receptors is modified by culture. Man’s sensory apparatus falls into two categories, which can be roughly classified as:
1. The distance receptors- those concerned with the examination of the distant objects- the eyes, the ears, and the nose.
2. The immediate receptors- those used to examine the world close up- the world of touch, the sensations we receive from the skin, membranes, and muscles.

This classification can be broken even further. The skin for example, is the chief organ of touch and is also sensitive to heat gain and loss; both radiant and conducted heat is detected by the skin.
The extensive use of deodorants and the suppression of odor in public spaces results in a land of olfactory blandness and sameness that would be difficult to duplicate anywhere else in the world.

“Society is made by individuals who communicate with each other”.

Distances within the Humans
Other than the receptors within the man, there is an imaginary bubble around every human being in this world, while he/she is in communication with his surroundings. This bubble has been drawn by himself according to the level comfort he/she has with the surroundings and circumstances. It differs from person to person, which in turn defines his position within the culture and the micro cultures.

Visual space
In man the eyes perform many functions; they enable him to:
1. Identify foods, friends, and the physical state of many materials at a distance.
2. Navigate in every conceivable terrain, avoiding obstacles and danger.
3. Make tools, groom him and others, assess displays, and gather information as to emotional state of others…
The eyes are usually considered to be the principal means by which man gathers information. However important their function as “information gatherers” we should not overlook their usefulness in conveying the information. For example, a look can punish, encourage, or establish dominance. The size of pupils can indicate interest or distaste.
As one moves through space, man depends on the messages received from his body to stabilize his visual world. Without such body feedback, a great many people lose contact with reality and hallucinate.

Anyone who finds himself in the midst of people speaking a totally unfamiliar language knows that at first he hears an undifferentiated blur of sounds. Only later do the first crude outlines of a pattern begin to emerge. Yet once he has learned the language well, he is synthesizing so successfully that he can interpret an extraordinarily wide range of events.
The concept is that no two people see exactly the same thing when actively using their eyes in a natural situation is shocking to some people because it implies that not all men relate to the world around them in the same way. The distance between the perceptual worlds of two people of different culture is certainly less than that between two people of different cultures, but it can still present problems.

Art as a clue to perception
Here after we had a good look at the personal space and the distances that apply for anyone present in any culture, we need to explore the ways of representing them through the art called “photography” as our main foreword suggests. In the present world, the camera has become the most powerful and affordable tool, present in anyone hand. To look ahead after 50 years, these pictures of today are going to act as great tools of support and indication of what culture meant to the people now, and how much the evolution has happened to this human civilization till date.
Art has been used a medium from ages gone-by to decode how a man perceives the surroundings. Learning from the artist himself, as to how he “sees” his subject and uses his medium to convey this perception would be very rewarding.

Artist is not only a commentator on the larger values of the culture but also on the micro cultural events that go to make up the larger values.

We can take some cases as given below, to testify how a photograph can act as the commentator, in reading the image and converting into useful bits of information.

Reading a picture:
A photograph in which eight people are sitting in a proper formal and already set line, cross-legged, on the chairs posing in front of the camera. Behind them are some shamiana set-up, some people moving around and on the left of the picture some sort of small logo or a symbol is visible. The people are attired very formally and all of them have some white creamish cloth draped across their shoulders and also otherwise appear very much ready for an occasion for getting rewarded. The faces of some are waiting with anxiety; they are all properly groomed and some appear to be very happy about the whole occasion. Some of them are looking at the camera, and some are trying to show attention towards the happening in the front.

So far, assessing the content of the image has been a matter of applying labels- ‘people’, ‘formal’, ‘a set-up’- which lie within most people’s perceptual and cognitive repertoire, as does the assessment of spatial arrangement: ‘in a line’, ‘to the left of’, ‘behind’. To go much further in a reading of the image requires more precise information. The logo or symbol, for example, indicates that the scene is probably about an organization or institution, while anyone with the familiarity with them will probably guess what and where is this all about. More specifically, they seem to be scholars to be convocated. Clearly it is not merely a question of looking closely but a question of bringing knowledge to bear upon the image.
While such a reading may help us towards the understanding what the image is of, it still tells us nothing about why the image exists. To do that, we must go beyond the content and consider the image as an object. Within any particular socio cultural environment, we may learn to associate certain visual images with certain meanings, and these are highly context dependent and often transient. ‘Reading’ to some extent implies that the ‘message’ being read lies within the visual image, that it is speaking to us and that all we need to listen.
On the contrary, it is human beings who speak to one another, literally and metaphorically through their social relations.

Barthes explained that a picture is not so much a solid representation of ‘what is’ as ‘what was’ and therefore ‘what has ceased to be’. It does not make reality solid but serves as a reminder of the world’s inconstant and ever changing state.
• Images come to be more real than reality, for nature is reduced to the appearance of an appearance.
• This obsessive duplication drives us away from referents, purifying any experience of its material counterpart.
• Images are metamorphoses, pure metaphors of reality that can present whatever is beyond corporeality, thanks to new techniques of composition.
• The logic of photography no longer restricts itself to physical permanence, identity, and record.
• Images can insinuate incorporeal processes and even legitimize reality.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My friend - The Brother

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

No matter – Let it be food, or shelter, or anything,

At you by my side, it is taken care of.

Always know, there some, warmth left.

Cold winters, will get some hand.

No worries, till you take a leave-

In this life, something gives some joy for all.

It is the share and the care.

Shall remain true, till my Life.

Sweet Home!

Our sweet Home…
All that One needs, from here…
The (mortal) eternal Happiness!
A place to dump in all your sorrows and bliss.
A territory to play around with your emotions
A terrain for your expressions revealed!
However small it maybe, its your Home.
Your sweet home…
Hold her, and Just Live… It’s your Life.

God of all things...

Mother is the God of all things!

Yet, they always stand behind like an anyone

Mother is the best thing that could have happened in your life.

They always come when you need their hand, even before you ask for one.

Mother can be the superlative all the adjectives.

Still, she is the most subdued object, one can come across.

The most selfless,

The most gallant,

The most beautiful person in this earth!

The Mother… The Human… The Woman…

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Uttrayan- The Kite Festival- Ahmadabad- 14012009

Another day to walk- to see and experience- to experiment and excite- to be walking on the streets of Ahmadabad- having your bite of “Maska Bun” and Chai- to experience the kites flying and cluttering- to Play with- with danger prevalence always on the cards- as I just missed an encounter to cut through the “Manja”-as you continue- to click the always enthusiastic Ahmadabad people- the smile is just a click away- let it be anyone- an old man to two year kid- the magic is just at the shutter click- for that contagious smile- not to forget the precarious crowd as well- keep walking through- the legs never ache- probably they ache- [;)]- the eyes see more than what the legs can feel- it is all in the mind- when you want to do something- you never end in between- the process rolls on- just keep walking and clicking…

A life called Photography…

Product shoots at the studio... Workshop by Pankaj Mistry

The Pictorial Documentation!

An Impulsive Trip to Second Sun Temple of the World

An impulsive trip, to the second largest Sun temple in the world –Modhera.
A travel towards the north from Ahmadabad, around 95 km from the city, had its own fun, as we drove in two cars, along with the person who was teaching product photo shoot the whole day, accompanied by his lady. As always the aperture was kept open throughout the travel, trying the hand in long exposures, to get the lyrics of light out the empty roads with street lights. In fact the fun part of the travelling is not in the place where we need to travel, but to just travel. After some communications and miscommunication between the cars, both landed in the site. People had their own share of activities to combat cold over there- the beedi. New ones were put forward, and rightly so, our sharan took one, and tried to act very smart, which just had very varying results and effects. As we walked in past the thoran entry, the colourful lighting welcomed, or at least glared all the way till the Sun temple was visible. It is not that, they went off, but they were replaced by some serious spotlighting. The creativity of the lighting experts must have reached the heights, it seems. I am being so mean here. The lighting had all commercial meaning, but no ethical meaning. The land of diversity showed me one more here. Certain heritage structures, doesn’t even allow to carry tripods or use flash or sometimes even the camera itself. But here, there were at least more than hundred different lights, of different colours, trying to illuminate and showcase this world’s second sun temple, at Modhera. It was such a pity to see the heritage getting hurt so much, just for the sake the commercial means. There were telecast running “Live”, with performances happening, with the temple Shikara as the back drop, just to exemplify the Vibrating Gujarat. There can’t be any justification under any circumstances. Yeah, we are moving ahead, our values being broken along with the fast pace of life, and we don’t have time to preserve the heritage or the past, but at least some concern not to hurt them to the minimum.
So as we went through all of these, and during the process, I came across this lady, expressing herself, in fact controlling her from expressing herself, from the performance happening in the stage. As rightly thought, she is a classical dancer. Hear more now. She is from Trichy, brought up at Mumbai -an orthodox Hindu Brahmin lady. It was more exciting to converse with a real artist there, to know about her and to know that she had just pursued Dance as her career and nothing else. It was heartening to hear about the passion speaking out aloud in her Life, gave back some inspiration of the day. The spice was just getting hot, as people surrounded all of us nine, in a chai shop. Sharan, came to know that she is a dancer, and tried to show his familiarity, by saying his friend is a dancer too. His intellectual level didn’t stop there, as he tried explaining the dance form, as something which is about standing sitting and turning. I was helped by her in holding my chai, so that I can laugh out loud falling down on the floor. Just couldn’t imagine someone trying to explain Bharatanatyam like that. I hope she felt good by me taking out the frustration.
As we started back, we were on the way to eat in the roadside “shiv shakti” for Dal Batti. A rajasthani dish which are in spherical shape, and they will be crushed into pieces to be mixed with the dal, followed by butter milk, ghee mix, some sweet with cashew toppings.
The trip was coming to an end as we started back, and as I was feeling sleepy, just woke up to know that a lorrys’ back was just a whisker away from the wiper of the car.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Under Construction

The largest 5 star Hotel in Gujarat under Construction...