What’s up, mate!

Fondly remember the days of social non-distancing. When I used to meet people, have a coffee in a wayside coffee shop, or just hang around in a mall, watch a movie, and so on. Shaking hands with clients and friends are gone, replaced with a humble namaste! (from a meter or more proximity)

My joints are paining; because I walk less now – only within my house! My hands are aching due to long hours on the computer, clicking the keyboard or moving the mouse with precision! (editing old pics or re-editing them!) I wish I could walk out and shake hands instead.

My car needs a start every few days or its lifeline would stop with a low battery! Gone are the days when my wandering instincts would make the four wheels to roam on terrain new and unseen by me. Even its tyers need a rotation and balancing to stay on the road!

Trips to relatives are now replaced with visual tours of their dwellings. (Kids playing around or uncles reading the paper). Culinary cravings have turned into cooking competitions. Every day someone in the family would post a new dish (or a well-tried out old dish) to make the others’ mouth to water or envy in agony.

Children dress up and log in to their computers to say “Good morning Mam (teacher)”. Then they don’t move till their on-line classes are over. They can watch football or any other games, but they can’t play.

Employers are happy since they don’t have to rent out office spaces. It is Work From Home – WFH (derivation from WTF#). As if there is not enough work at home already! Now the digital boss would reside inside your laptop or desktop to monitor if you are really working from home! These apps take screenshots of your system every five minutes to see what you are doing. And in case if the system is inactive, the boss gets a message and you immediately are called up to join a video call (just to check your status – sleeping or something else)!

For me, as a photographer, I can’t go out. I can’t take pictures of my clients. No one would like to have a head-shot with a mask on! I have finished taking pictures of ants walking in a line, of my dog with his disgruntled expressions (since I don’t take him out for walks), of my idle workplace, of leaves and flies in the garden, of the clear and occasionally cloudy skies,….. Nowadays I fumble with the manual controls on my camera; since I have forgotten a few of those buttons and swirl wheels due to impasse!

I feel my life has changed (for the better or worse?) How about you? What’s up, mate? 

Social Distancing

The epidemic of herculean proportions has made the whole world lock themselves in. To contain and break the chain of the Coronavirus outbreak. This is for a social cause. To save ourselves and to save the rest of the world.

distances…

I am an extrovert and I like to roam, meet people, talk and of course, take photographs! Nevertheless, I am holding back my instincts and sitting at home.

The good part of staying home is that I can reminiscent of my old memories, dig into my old collections of songs, and look at all the discarded images I had clicked.

some of my old collection of vinyl..

So is the case of everything else too! This confinement has made me look back into so many things that I once used to do so lovingly. As a child, I used to be very happy doing things that I liked. Now the child in me has come out and is leading me to those happy days!

Music and books, what else is the need of the day now? This is helping me to cleanse myself off the disturbing thoughts around me.

Little do I worry now of the economy and the financial mess most of us are in now. After all, by worrying, nothing is going to change. What is destined to happen will happen.

I started to look at the old discarded images with a new angle. I started to like many a pic out of the clutter of discards. I start to reminisce why did I discard them in the first place?

If I stop looking at these negative things and try to look at them from a different angle, I will definitely start seeing some beautiful perspectives; which I might have overlooked, like those old pics!

Photo or Video?

Gone are the days when critics would gaze over a photograph and admire every single detail of the photograph. There was a time when people used to pay attention to the composition, lighting and the story every photograph portrayed.

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People used to comment on the angle of the light and how that accentuated the features of the model in a dramatic or subtle way. The highlights and shadows used to give a dimension to the picture.

All my dreams were shattered once I entered the commercial photography in m home town in India; or rather, the so-called commercial photography domain. Within a span of one year I understood that high-key, vivid colored, flat lit photos were the need of the day than one created with a lot of thought.

I was fascinated by the camera from a very young age. In those film days, photography was considered to be an expensive hobby few could afford. One could not afford to make a mistake while taking a picture. Now in the digital era, an average photographer has a hit ratio of 1:10; that is he gets one good photo on an average when he clicks ten. It is mostly a trial and error game!

Then comes the new age video. Every thing is shot as video. On smart phones, cameras or action cameras. One gets 23 frames or more per second. So there are quite a lot of frames to chose from. The probability of missing a shot got reduced. So to play it safe, video is the best thing now!

There is lesser strain on the viewer in watching a video clip rather than viewing a good photograph and trying to understand the story behind it; like enjoying a painting.

On to the video days!

A Dream Come True

Drove down to Cochin from Coimbatore mainly to drop my daughter who is studying there. Had been hearing about the Cochin Biennale – a culmination of art forms from different parts of the world!. This happens only once in two years.

So, just took my camera and a few lenses and stepped out towards the Boat Jetty in Ernakulam. I decided to take the boat to Cochin as it was faster and more picturesque.

Got down at the Fort Cochin boat jetty. There were many like me who had come to see the Cochin Biennale. The streets were abuzz with tourists from all over the world. I started walking towards the Aspinwall House, which was the main venue for the Biennale.

There were may mural paintings on the walls of the street. One such painting caught my eye.. the detailing was so realistic!

After a few minutes walk reached the main venue – Aspinwall House. It was a very old group of buildings in a very big compound by the waterside. The organisers had made the whole place look exquisite without spoiling the heritage look of the buildings. Each room had the work of an artist with a brief note about the art form exhibited and the artist at the entrance to each room.

The open space between the buildings were also used to display creative work by artists from far and wide..

never felt that the simple coconut husk – coir – could be made into sheets with intricate textures!.

another set of work by local artists..

artifacts and antiques..

and art forms from waste…

Mechanical creations…

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Bold expressions….

true to life paintings..

perspective paintings….

…. and more…and more….

follow me for more pics from Cochin Biennale, to be posted soon.

Cheers!

To click or not to click!

That is the question. My clicking finger had never been this busy for the past couple of years. Spinning the dials on my rugged DSLR and pressing the trigger had never been this much fun in my life! The negatives became positives instantly. The light in the room was forgotten while  working on my LightRoom (Adobe software). The more my fingers clicked on my DSLR, the more my fingers twitched working on the LightRoom. There was nothing stopping me. I wanted to excel and master the light. And, photography is nothing but capturing the light.RYD-1-3

My passion and fascination for photography made me hungry for more knowledge. It was like moving from “Doing and Knowing” to “Knowing and Doing”. The change was phenomenal. I could start to understand the subtle elements in photography, which I had failed to notice earlier.

The opportunities to do some photo shoots in India opened up bigger avenues. I was back to where and when I had started this journey, way back in the 80’s! Today, it is like a new beginning. New technologies to help me with my passion; but, the basics remain the same – then and even now. The science of light will never change. Only that new frequencies in the light spectrum are opening up. Tungsten light, moved on to fluorescent lights, to flash lights, to LED lights. More sophisticated speed lights and strobes make light modelling and shaping a lot easier. The light meters tell me exactly what is within rage for each of my camera. There is less of guessing and more of innovations and explorations of intricate light patterns than earlier days.

One thing I have learned over the years is that, if you want to master a subject, prepare to talk about it to a group of professionals in the field. That will challenge you to go over each and every minute detail of the subject before you can talk to a group of learned people. Following the same logic, I started to talk about photography and lighting to like-minded and professional groups.Social Media exposure helped to reach a larger audience.  Started following great photographers, their works and learning their techniques. Started to perfect a unique style – a signature style for my photographs. Thus evolved SnapppZ; my venture into professional photography.LM-1-2

How quickly or how fast I can scale up in this field depends on the right opportunities and the right exposure.

The shutter speed and the f-stops do matter.

I need to take images that flatter.

Attract the audience who are smarter.

Make their hearts beat a little faster.

At the same time make my wallet a bit fatter 🙂

 

Cheers!

L K Moorthi

http://www.snapppz.com

My Pet Rocky

I used to be always on travel as part of my job; sometimes for more than 45 days at a stretch. I could never spend quality time with my family.. which includes my pet Doberman, Rocky. Rocky came into our lives when he was almost 30 days old. It was raining like mad all the way from Chennai to Coimbatore (the place I live) while I drove the car with Rocky -the little pup- in the back seat. He was like the rainbow amidst the dark clouds. This photo was taken on the way that day .

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He gave us sleepless nights initially. My wife used to feed him with a spoon and a bottle. Due to my frequent travel, I missed out all his pranks and growing up pains.

1404.NEFNow that I decided to fire my boss and do something without the chains on me, I have at last some time for my family! The one who is most happy about my move is my daughter; for, I could see her happiness through her verbal communication. The other person was Rocky, who has not left me for a single minute ever since I came back. He has been like a shadow where ever I went. He could not express his happiness by words uttered; but, his eyes told a million words! I framed his look with the help of the lens.

Now we spend a lot of time walking and doing things together. He is always there, be it that I am at my desk or washing the car or watering the lawn. .. Even as I am typing this blog, he is at my feet, looking up at my face as if asking me “when the hell are you going to stop this and come out and play with me?”

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I feel like getting my childhood back once again! No wonder, the saying.. “a dog is man’s best friend”… is befitting in my current context. But for him, I would have gone berserk; being a workaholic through out my 20+years of  IT career.

It’s a totally reciprocating existence between us – a BOW and a WOW!

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Cheers!

LK

SNAPPPZ!

From childhood I had been fascinated with images. I had a box camera when I was young with a limited budget for buying film. My attempts with the box camera maybe influenced my uncle, who gave me his SLR camera.In fact TWO! One Yashica and the other a Pentax.

Around 1985 the camera did help me pay some part of the tuition fee and the canteen expenses. One famous cinematographer allowed me to take still shots during indoor shoots. The camera helped me to understand the real life behind the reel life. Made some friends in the cinema fraternity.

Came 1991, I lost my cameras as well as the synchronized flash units and the works along with the car in which we were traveling. More than the cameras and the kits, my wife lost a lot of her prized possessions along with the car.It brought the curtains to a fairly long experiments with the lens.

By 2001, the digital era had dawned and I bought an aim and shoot digital camera. I was thrilled, for, I did not have to visit the labs to the get the output! Slowly, one thing led to another and I ended up with a Nikon professional DSLR camera. I now tread the long lost roads of my earlier clicking days! Compared to my earlier days, when I used to think twice before exposing the film to the light, now I only worry about the space in the memory card! I click almost everything. what ever catches my eye, I try to picture and see if the scene was etched properly on the media.

My love for dogs is as strong as my passion for photography. My favorite breed is the Doberman. I like the ripple of the muscles as it cuts through the wind, its spectacular aerodynamic body skimming against the glowing sunset. This one scene has been my favorite. I have clicked a lot of snaps of my Dob, Rocky. Earlier I had a Snoopy and then a Blacky, all Dobermans! The expression on their faces conveyed a thousand words.

I understand dog behavior and know the best time to take their snaps. Generally, the snaps turn out the true temperament of the breed. This Dec 31st, 2012, when I took a retirement from my job, I thought, why not make my passion for pet photography into a commercial alternative? With that in mind, I quickly hosted a web site http://www.snapppz.in. This way, I can see different dogs and enjoy their characteristics as well.

Now, let me wait and see how the picture draws out to be!

Cheers!
LK

ALWAYS WATCHFULL
ALWAYS WATCHFULL