A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in it's entirety. . . I believe in photography as one means of achieving an ultimate happiness and faith! - Ansel Adams

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Window shooting (Part 1) and photography tips for shooting sunsets & moons

"I enjoy travelling and recording far-away places and people with my camera. But I also find it wonderfully rewarding to see what I can discover outside my own window. You only need to study the scene with the eyes of a photographer."
- Alfred Eisenstaed
A Bat flies across the setting sun in Mulund

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Shades of melancholy in black & white...

In my "humble" opinion Black & White (B&W) photography is perhaps one of the purest forms of photography. B&W stands on its own feet - on the strength of composition and mood, without the glamour (so to speak) of colour. I have also generally found that street photography is more appealing when seen in B&W - maybe it's because B&W brings out the starkness and hence help convey the mood better. To paraphrase it in a literary fashion - street-photography has the onerous task of capturing the shades of grey in our society and what better than using the shades of grey to portray them! It could also be because the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson (which were in B&W), the legendary photographer and father of street photography, continue to inspire photographers to this day, resulting in an immense amount of B&W work being done despite the colour capabilities of today's cameras.

Initially I had planned to share these pictures as part of another larger theme-based post, but then I had a feeling that they would get lost somewhere in the array of pictures (like so many of my other portraitures). Hence, this small post depicting some of the shades of melancholy which I observed recently.

A trumpet player in a Western-styled band

Wonder why the faces of most trumpet players appear melancholic and hardened to me? This man was otherwise quite jolly and would wink at me after finishing his bit!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Musical Bands of Mumbai 1 – the Dhol-tasha band

Young boy playing cymbals
The arrival of the month of August heralds a long period of celebration for the majority of Indians. Starting with the Parsi New Year and ending with Christmas, it encompasses diverse festivals like Onam, Janamashthami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Paryushana, Eid, Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali. It is the season of revelry, food (read sweets), music, penance, et al. In this and subsequent posts, I am sharing with you the images of people who get us swinging to their distinctly folksy beats during these festivals - the musical bands. Our first band is Maharashtra's famed Dhol-Tasha band.

If during a festival in Maharashtra you have heard the drums roll, clatter and create a deep resounding sound, then in all probability you have heard the dhol-tasha band play. As the name suggests, the band members play an assortment of drums (large and small) along with hand cymbals to create various taal (rhythm) synchronisations. The group members (more than 10 in number) are both young and old and sometimes also include children. Of late even women have started joining these bands (that should impress the women's rights groups)! During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival one gets to see the best of these groups. They typically rehearse for months and develop new taals to be in the reckoning of the large Ganesh mandals who hire them for the processions.
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This work by Maneesh Goal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.