Tag Archives: Romanticism

A tryst with iPhoneography and instagram

Who knew I would be so taken up by iphoneography?

‘The best camera is the one you have available at a time’.

To this adage, I had taken a few photos whenever I did not have my SLR with me.  Mostly, it was my little niece who played with the camera on my iPhone.  When I heard about instagram, I downloaded this free app but did not register for an account for a long time.  Then, I saw a photo taken using Instagram and felt tempted to register for an account and see what this popular app was about.  That one temptation opened my eyes to photography using my ubiquitous iPhone.   Low-hanging fruits and pleasures of a point-and-shoot aka an iPhone, were rediscovered by me.  My photography felt rejuvenated and I was back to my old ways again.

An ode to Poverty and hunger follows.  Visualized with my iPhone at 2:30 am in the morning, on a water trip to the kitchen!

Rice, Water and the moon
Rice, Water and the Moon

“When I am hungry,

the mere thought makes me swoon

A few grains of rice and some water

take me to the moon”

Instagram is a deceptively simple app.  Point, shoot, apply a filter if you like and you are done.  As long as we realize the limitations of an iPhone, one can make some beautiful art. Of course, our mind’s eye takes the photo and like always, we choose a subject worthy of our admiration. It is what we see that makes a photo but the technological details are removed when using iPhone and Instagram.  By using a set of fifteen-odd filters, we can choose beautiful renditions of what we foresaw.  This is what makes it so powerful.  And, with an online community to share and provide inspiration, I felt rejuvenated.  By seeing some photos, I could be visiting Paris, reliving some of my memories there or seeing some abstract, beautiful art from strangers in Indonesia.  Using instagram, one can choose to follow people’s pictures and be followed.  To gain an audience, you tag a photo with tags and people will find your photo, like and/or comment on your photo.

I saw photos on Instagram that were absolutely stunning and wondered how this could be taken using an iPhone.  Then came the realization that there are so many apps that one could use to make layers of perception in a frame.  It was as if I had discovered a whole new world.  Some people were actually shooting with their SLR, using Adobe Photoshop, Snapseed, Filterstorm and other apps and then, uploading the pics to instagram.  Many others prided themselves on their proficiency with the edit tools and would come out with their own edits of someone else’s photos.

My shadow can fly!

One may use many tools but art is art and beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.  And, many of these photos are an inspiration.  There is beauty in simplicity and for now when using my phone, I am only using Instagram to shoot, create art and share with the world.

Love and Trust

As if to welcome ‘my discovery of Instagram and iphoneography’, Instagram got bought over by Facebook for a cool billion dollars, around that time.  Wow!  But, I digress.

Art is not about making money but to satisfy our souls, to provide happiness in the process of creation.  When we lose the passion, the charm is gone and art is not the same anymore.

Happy clicks to you!  Feel happy!  :)  And, if you like, follow me on Instagram!

Happy New Year 2008!


On the threshold of a new year
Reflections of a year past come by
to find a place on my memory shelf
My heart eagerly embraces the hope
the new dawns yet to come
Time paddles on
unmindful of many a
dawns and inevitable dusks
creating ripples that will jostle
for a place on my memory shelf
Another stroke of paddle
tells me to look around
enjoy the ride
‘cos it will be a memorable one.

Wishing you a happy, memorable New Year!

Moments meander around Gwalior Fort

I visited Gwalior Fort again. It has been overcast and rainy the past few days but the Sun decided to shine again today, maybe, to mark the occasion of World Tourism Day. With Dada and Bobby, I drove up to Fort from Urwai Ghati instead of my usual hike up from the Gwalior Gate of the Fort. I had brought photos of Kushwahji and others that I had taken on my previous trips to the Fort and they felt happy on receiving the photos.

Man Mandir has undergone a fantastic cleanup. The blackened walls in the inside chambers have been cleaned and very few bats remain. The dark stairways leading to even darker circular dungeons now have lights as well to guide the tourists. This is where the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb had imprisoned his brother Murad and had him executed. I took some long exposures of the dungeons and Jauhar kund.

After photographing the colorful tiles of Man Mandir Palace and visiting the chambers in Man Singh Palace, we went to see some older monuments in the Fort.

Some things never change: the desire of us mortals to leave our name etched in stone for generations to see. I have been to so many beautiful monuments and places that have inspired misguided lovers and mortals to etch their names on the walls thereby disfiguring those for others. Sometimes, all this reminds me of ‘Ozymandias’ by PB Shelley or even of that beautiful song by Kansas – ‘Dust in the wind’ (esp the lines – “all we are is dust in the wind”).

This particular graffiti looked fresh and brought to mind my surprise at seeing graffiti on Eiffel Tower in Paris. Now I really digress but I must tell you this; still cracks me up on my stupidity. Having heard so much about the graffiti and the messages for Jim Morrison on his grave, I had gone to Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise in Paris. It started raining and finally I saw a mausoleum with people around and graffiti on the walls proclaiming how Jim is loved and lives on etc. It easily seemed the most popular tomb around and I photographed it and the music lovers from all angles. I am about to head out when I see an American tourist taking a picture of his boys in front of a comparatively small grave behind the tomb. Wondering whose grave it was, I check out the tombstone. Lo and behold! It was Jim Morrison’s! Having gone all the way to the cemetery, I had almost missed out the grave that I wanted to see. You can imagine how foolish I must have felt.

Anyways, back to Gwalior Fort: I sought out some of my favorite views of Vikram Mandir, ShahJahan Mahal and Karan Mahal.

I keep returning, hoping to find better, more dramatic light. Still have not found what I am looking for but hope remains. I am sure I will be back again, to relive the moments I have spent with near and dear ones while walking, playing around the monuments in the Fort. The clock keeps ticking as this very moment passes us by. ‘Dust in the wind’, indeed!