Sunday 23 December 2012

Egyptian surprise

Think of Egypt and what comes to mind...the Nile and famous ancient structures - the pyramids, the sphinx, the massive Rameses statues, the valley of kings & queens and such like. Less well known is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria) - one of the most interesting modern structures I have ever come across. 

The picture below is one teeny weeny part of the massive structure...scroll down for other views. 


  In of the 160m-diameter glass-panelled roof

The exterior made of Aswan granite

(For more Egypt photographs see gallery 'Blues along the Nile...and history at every corner' on


Saturday 24 November 2012

A cave like no other

                    Inside a limestone cave...
                    Halong Bay, Vietnam

Gliding along  Halong Bay - a UNESCO world heritage site - amidst the 1969 islands dotting it, is a bit of a surreal experience. (see gallery 'Gliding along Halong Bay' on or click here). Equally breath taking are the limestone caves on the islands...the photograph above is inside the Sung Sot cave - the largest in the bay.

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Wednesday 14 November 2012

Rest & Recuperation

Boat traders in Egypt sell their traditional wares, by cruising along with the cruise ships going up and down the Nile. After the hectic hollering in the morning, the boat traders go silent by noon…the boats become vessels of prayer and relaxation. The rest and recuperation sees them back to full throated action – this is the moment of the calm before the next storm, somewhere between Luxor and Aswan. 

(For more photographs of Egypt, visit the section 'Blues along the Nile...and history at every corner' on or click here)

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Sunday 28 October 2012

Yes you can, no you can't

With Id ul Zuha being celebrated yesterday, this post on an experience around Id ul Fitr some months back is a little late...anyway, here goes...

At the Nizamuddin Auliya dargah, New Delhi, India, August 2012
As expected, it was a massive crush of people on the last Thursday evening before Id-ul-fitr. While the crowds made it difficult to wield the camera for more than a split second at a time, the people in these very crowds provided interesting studies in contrast.

The two photographs below represent the two reactions to my attempts to capture the goings on...there were people who objected to photographs being taken, and others who actively encouraged it. (caught between these two extremes, I got the maulvi to say "aye" before proceeding!)

With the devout having fasted during the day, the approaching dusk was a sign of food around the corner... Amongst children, there was a palpable sense of excitement: seats were bagged on the ground and plates lined up in front, long before the food was scheduled to arrive.

This boy turned around as if on cue, but with a not too happy expression on his face. WHY - he seemed to ask...

The two kids below fought with each other to get into the frame - the young boy protesting vehemently at being upped by the (elder) girl, who thrust herself into the foreground. They were happy posing in front of the, perhaps, temporarily forgotten.

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Friday 19 October 2012

A selection from the series "Lost in Tranquility", on display at Gallery Ragini (New Delhi, India) from 13th Oct - 12th Nov 2012.

Group art show : Urbane Expressions 






#1-3... VT station, Mumbai, India
# 4-5...Alcatraz prison, San Francisco Bay area, US


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Friday 5 October 2012

@14,500 feet

Ladakh, India
Weather in the remote & barren landscape around Pangong Lake in Ladakh (in the northern reaches of the country), can change rapidly - sunny, misty, cloudy, rainy - all in a span of a few minutes. This shot hints at the brilliance of the sun, when it will break through the thick and dark clouds....

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Monday 1 October 2012

To crop or not to crop...

Digital photography has made it easier to play around with photographs, and both amateur and professional photographers do not shy away from cropping. (unlike the use of photoshop, which generates a lot of heat, dust & debate - and will be the subject of a future post - cropping is generally less controversial)

But should you (crop) just because you can...?

The image (left) would evoke, for most folks, a sense of the sea/ocean....of a man battling with the giant waves, waiting for the precise moment to ride the big one coming at him....right?

The original picture (right), taken on the banks of river Eisbach in Munich, Germany, has a very different feel. With both the river banks in the frame, the man vs nature scale is substantially diminished. 

So which works better? ..........It is simply a function of what one wants to communicate (though as a photographic composition, my preference is for the first one). 

A side by side display below, for an easier comparison...

If (to use a cliched business phrase) "overcoming challenges" is what is to be conveyed, the picture on the left captures the essence of that thought. But if the purpose is to create interest in one of the "sights" in Munich, the one on the right does a better job of evoking a "sense of place". (Munich is well known for its "river surfing" & "standing wave", within the surfer community in particular). 

Happy cropping!


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Tuesday 25 September 2012

Catwalk...on & off the ramp

                    Delhi, India

                    It was not just the models who were in the limelight at the Delhi Couture Week 2012

More from the Delhi Couture Week 2012


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Monday 17 September 2012

Pulau Ubin, island in more ways than one


A short ride from the Changi Point ferry terminal (Changi village), the island of Pulau Ubin seems like a forgotten backyard of Singapore. Touted as the last 'kampung" (village) in Singapore, the tourist websites for Pulau Ubin promise to transport you back to the Singapore of the 60s, when life was much "simpler". 

With it's rich ecosystem, including the famous Chek Java wetlands, numerous cycling & nature trails, Pulau Ubin undoubtedly holds an attraction for nature lovers....but the state of the island and its inhabitants is in sharp contrast to "mainland" Singapore.

While the Singapore government made efforts to redevelop Pulau Ubin in the late 90s, evironmentalists (and apparently the villagers themselves?) resisted this. (Ironically, the 100 odd Ubin residents rely on noisy - and polluting - diesel generators for electricity!). There is no denying that the unique ecosystem at Pulau Ubin needs to be preserved, but the shabbiness of the village makes for a sorry picture.

"Captain" of the "bumboat"

The Singapore sheen starts to fade a bit during the wait for the "bumboat" ferry at Changi terminal itself...and fades a bit more during the ride to Ubin (some may chose to call it "faded charm")


You kind of sense that you are in for a different experience, but it doesn't quite prepare you for what you see as you walk around the island. Away from the exotic flora & fauna...the village itself is a collection of ramshackle buildings, dilapidated structures, discarded objects & rusting parts.



The village head's house...
Chained chairs - a telling comment on life in Pulau Ubin...? 


Clarke Quay - a Singapore hotspot

Of course, we are used to seeing such "sights" in India...but Pulau Ubin can be a bit of a shocker, given it's 
stark contrast with the glitz and glamour of Singapore.


Pulau Ubin has been attracting tourists over the years and the island is a haven for those looking to take a break from the hustle & bustle of Singapore. Yet it is so far removed from the rest of Singapore, that the overriding image that stays on is one of decay & disrepair....long after you have returned.


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Sunday 16 September 2012

No longer a "black" cab

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Saturday 8 September 2012

Coke vs Perrier

                                   Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada
                                   High up in one of the turrets at the sprawling Casa Loma, Coke
                                   and Perrier seem to have found their cosy corners

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Sunday 2 September 2012

Books find a home

                                                                      Room at a home, London                 

                                          Books line more than just the shelves of this study...and
                                          play a role in carving out a path to the table


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Saturday 1 September 2012

What lies beneath...

                     Chatuchak market, Bangkok, Thailand

                     Bangkok's street food is legendary...there is always an exciting bite to be  
                     had, anytime, anywhere. The lids on the pans make one wonder about the  

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Saturday 25 August 2012


                                          At the Nizamuddin Auliya dargah, New Delhi

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Monday 20 August 2012

What a wonderful world...wide web

                                          Caught in the web.... at a London cafe

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Wednesday 15 August 2012


                    Inside a church, Kochi, Kerala, India

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Tuesday 14 August 2012

...and miles to sleep, before I go....

                                 Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India

                                 While many people can sleep through it all - cacophony of bustling Chandni Chowk
                                 included - the choice of this gentlemen's "bed" is unique

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