Saturday, January 2, 2016

PORTRAYALS ON NATURE'S CANVAS

SCRAPBOOK of HELSINKI VISIT_2015

Colour of sunset against a deep blue sky 

Scandinavia's nature is a photographer's delight.  During my short visit in June,15, I found Helsinki green. Lingering day - light seeping through curtains even @ 2 am. The second round - September to  November - was more interesting as I witnessed the change of season. Bright blue sky, orange sunset, colours of autumn and then ground frost on brown trees......

Colour of 'Autumn'.

 Trees which have shed all the leaves have another kind of appeal. In a photo, it looks like a painting with Chinese ink. My bro-in-law suggested  - if I would lie down on the ground and take photos of a cluster of trees , the puddle-like sky seen through the cluster. Well, I did not go that 'far' , but, clicked several photos with camera-lens pointing up , while I stood at the bottom of the bare branches. On the flip-side, when I returned home, I found my hair and jacket have collected good nos of insects.


And... this one is almost monochrome. 
As if painted by Chinese ink !

 
 
I took scores of photos of berries - both black and red -  on near-barren branches . And... of white and yellow mushrooms which grew on a stack of cut-off trunks of birch trees.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

REFLECTIONS & SHADOWS - SOME MORE PHOTOS FROM SCANDINAVIA



Thin crowd in Helsinki streets is one reason that makes outdoor photography in Helsinki simple. On a bright day , while strolling along Mannerheimintie and around Kanavakatu , I captured several interesting shots on glass facades  of  imposing buildings. Sunlight made taking photos of North-South roads difficult as shadow of one row of buildings dictated the quality of the capture.

Reflection of steeple of National Museum of Finland 
on the glass exterior of 'Music Center ', Helsinki.

Sun-light & shadow spoilsport  !
Tram-route 4, as it turns off Kanavakatu.

Shadows bring another kind of rewarding photo opportunity too. I found two interesting shadows  of  Uspenski Cathedral's Cupola on a neighbouring building. And......several shapes of shadows on other buildings.

 

 The prized photo-capture  of reflection among the ones I have collected is that of the tower of  National Museum of Helsinki upon the black glass panes of a mini-van parked in Lippuautomatti parking lot, just off the  Mannerheimintie . Reflection of a tree and its branches makes the image more captivating !











Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TREES WITH COPPER-COLOUR LEAVES



From our house to the neighbouring horse firm. 
Half the trees are bare in October,15.

During October,15, we were blessed with beautiful sunshine for a large nos of days. It was one such  bright day - 3rd Friday of October, when we went for a walk in the neighbourhood of Puistola , Helsinki . We went from our house to the near-by horse-stable  through a path strewn with leaves , shed by the shrubs and trees through this path runs. We walked into the cluster of  houses in the neighbouring area. And... then we came out on E75 , strolled on the foot-path for a whole before we returned home. During this leg of our walk, we noticed a few trees - not many though  - whose leaves were wearing a copper-like colour. Bright mid-day sun made these trees stand apart from the ones whose leaves have turned yellow or deep orange. Unfortunately, I was not carrying my camera and missed the opportunity of clicking.

 Copper-coloured leaves. 
Lack of sun-light affected brightness !

After 3 days, I went out with my camera, tracing the same route, capturing the photos of  neighbourhood in general , colourful trees and shrubs as well as the bare ones. But, the sky was mostly covered with cloud . Occasionally, sun-rays pierced the cloud , offering little photo opportunities.

 Sun less noon !

During this walk, I discovered a tree with copper-colour leaves in the compound of a house in a by-lane of my route. Fortunately, a gentleman was coming out as I posed  with my camera from the road outside. With his permission, I went inside the compound, took several photos of the leaves adorning its branches . When I walked out, I noticed : this gentleman was talking to  his neighbour as she was preparing to out in her car and watching my movement !

 With thanks to the 'unknown'  gentleman.

Combines a bare tree and that with copper-co;our leaves.

My eyes and camera looked for the trees with copper-colour leaves. Yet, other scenes also crept in.




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TREE OF LIFE -2



WINTER'S BARE TREES




























another winter's come, the trees lay bare,
mere skeletons, stiff standing, 'pon the ground,
like you, protruding from the mind, no sound,
a quiet remnant, gone, but always there,

the trees wait patiently for that one day,
when life returns to every waiting thing,
I, too, await the Day of mankind's Spring,
when you'll return from where you've gone away.


Sourced from : 'Hello Poetry ', written by Christos Rigakos

Friday, October 23, 2015

WALKING FROM CAFE CAROUSL TO HEGILA BRIGITTAS PARK , HELSINKI

..............................ENJOYING THE AUTUMN SUN



Spire pierces the deep blue sky of Helsinki, 
as the Eiranranta neighbourhood's red roofs 
are bathed in orange light of setting sun.

A friend of mine, who was in Helsinki for a long time, advised me to take a stroll on the sea-side around  Cafe Carousel.On a sunlit afternoon in October,2015 , we spent hours walking between these two points and taking photographs.  I had visited Scandinavia earlier during 1980s/90s several times when I was working with Flakt India. During every visit , I used to be impressed by beauty of Scandinavia's nature . This year, now in Finland, I got the opportunity of viewing this 'beauty' from so many angles ! Her seaside, her  deep-blue sky , the colour of sunset on light white cloud, her lakes,morning light adorning tree-tops with yellow leaves.

Adam ,Eve,the Apple  and ...... 
instead of Eden, Gulf of Finland.

Here are some of the photographs I have taken during my walk on the sea-front and the beautiful residential area parallel to this walk, along the street Eiranranta.


Cafe Carousel to Hegila Brigittas Park in Google Map

Sailors' delight, viewers' envy !  

Cafe Carousel has  quite a warm ambiance , with several large glass-panes opening on the sea. We were fortunate to get one free during Sunday lunch-time. Self-service set-up. Average plus quality. Pizza pieces and salads appeared to the least inviting.  Western sensibility often does not approve of candid photography in such places where people can be in intimate postures. So, no photo of the interior was taken by me. Ruby is undauntable.... she clicked a couple of photos.

Sun slowly disappearing behind Hernesaari

After the lunch, as we progressed slowly from this Cafe to the Park, we saw numerous boats sailing in the deep blue sea, Helsinki -to- Stockholm ferry leaving Market Square, sun slowly disappearing behind Hernesaari, orange sunlight lending every object a surreal glow . Finally, people in bubbles plying foot-ball in the ground adjacent to Cafe Carousel.

 Bubble football match - courtesy Surath Chatterji














Friday, October 16, 2015

TREE OF LIFE - 1

STAYING ALIVE  ......







You can't kill me
You can't kill what you do not see
Oh how  you've tried 
To blow my brains out with bigotry
Chopped off my wings
So I couldn't fly free
And dared me to be me
.......................................
.......................................
And all the other brothers 
Who were sacrificed for the price 
Of our freedom
And for love of living
And dancing on clouds sipping sunrays through a straw
We live in awe of ourselves 

You can't kill me
You can't kill what you do not see.
 - Abiodun Oyewole










Thursday, October 15, 2015

TWO ASPECTS OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

CAPTURING 'PEOPLE' IN INDIA/3rd WORLD COUNTRIES & WESTERN WORLD

This blog is going to be different from my usual ones as I try to put across a point about which there can be arguments.The subject of discussion  is :  A photographer need take permission of his/her subject before clicking.

The answer is : YES, Specially before capturing private moments. But, otherwise, if  a part of  a street scene ? Secondly, should a photographer ask target/s pose and show-case the same as the as candid photo/s ?

This is a law in many Western countries regarding the 1st point.  I have glanced through some of the discussions in the Internet - mostly questions & answers - regarding this topic. Also, some street photographs - old and new . I conclude : this is a norm which is highly 'respected'  when in , say, France or UK.Volume of candid photographs is , therefore,  shrinking.

When tourists and photographers from  Western world  visit India, how  they conduct themselves ? Do they obtain permission of the beggars, old people in the streets,so-called 'sadhus' in popular temples and other places of worship ?

My observation - based on several incidents in Hampi,Karnataka, Konark, Orissa and Udaipur , Rajasthan - is that  this is often done. Yet, there is a big 'BUT'!!

Young boys and girls, appearing to be from families of lower income group  are offered toffees or cheap pens, beggars and 'sadhus' are given tenner to pose for photos. This conscious behaviour of photographers from the Western hemisphere has changed the habit of  good no of Indians living in places of tourist attractions. I have been repeatedly pestered for pens and/or small gifts , even if I am not  interested in clicking his/her photo and I hardly look like a Westerner.In fact, I rarely took photos of passers-bys' faces , whether in Cities, Towns,temples or other places of  tourist attractions ! ( Only now I am changing my habit) .

I believe, this process of obtaining concurrence by INFLUENCING the subject/s is not at all commendable.I kept some photos and mental notes of incidents to write down my feelings , to which my friends may OR may not agree.

The above brings into light two sides of this 'concurrence before click' arrangement:
  • Overdone in streets of Western hemisphere ? Pl view the photographs below. Not only VM - who is much older than the current generation - but others have projected shadows in staircases, feet below knees, faces obscured by opaque glass-pane in their portfolio. Very often, the spontaneity is just not there.Instead, we find conscious posing   as seen the TL's photo here.
  • Photos taken in 3rd World that often portraits,poverty,misery,mal-nutrition and chaos.


 A photo from Vivian Maier Collection


A photo from Thomas Leuthard Collection

Photo taken during my Konrk ( Orissa) visit in 2012.

NOTE :This boy pestered me nos of times for money in exchange of  taking his photograph I was NOT interested in.He walked parallel to me just to annoy !!
I eventually clicked his photo & made a mental note  for  use in a Blog  on this subject.


A photo of a Somalian in distress , picked up from Internet.
Was concurrence taken ?

Photo taken during my Hampi visit in 2011.

NOTE :On the LH side of the road leading to Hampi, we stopped to click details of a parked chariot. This group kept on pestering me for taking their photos & rewards like pens or chocolates.. I clicked this photo without any 'rewards' and they went away happy  after seeing their faces on Camera's screen.

I shall end by requesting friends from Western World visiting  India - and other 3rd World countries - not to 'influence' people, at least the young boys and girls for posing for photographs which are posted boastfully in their Social Circle pages.