Friday, December 31, 2010

My Experience at the Photography Workshop at National Institute of Design

This post has been in my draft folder for too long now and I could not have let 2010 pass without posting this. So here it is...

Always Carry Your Camera, a workshop on basic photography by Dr. Deepak John Mathew from 8th to 12th March 2010 was organised at National Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad. I was sponsored by Institute of Apparel Management, Gurgaon, to attend this workshop.

Photography has been an area of great interest for me. However, I could not even call it a hobby till the time digital cameras became prevalent as photography was a very expensive hobby when you only had film cameras. In 2005, my younger sister living in US gifted me a digital camera ‘Kodak EasyShare DX6490’. That is when I really started taking photographs as a hobby. Someone at NID was rightly telling that since the time digital cameras have come, everyone has become a photographer :D . Yes, I did have interest in photography, and I did take a lot of photographs intending to capture some moments as per my own understanding about art and design; elements and principles of design and composition, but I did not have any formal training or education in photography. When I heard about this photography workshop at NID, it seemed to be a good opportunity to really ‘learn’ about photography. I am thankful to IAM for providing me the opportunity to attend this workshop and learn about photography.

DAY 1 :– 8th March, 2010
The workshop started with the registration process. During registration, we got a welcome kit comprising of a bag, notebook, reading material, brochures, etc. 

 Registration and distribution of welcome kit

On the first day, we got information about some different types of cameras, learnt basics about a camera, parts of a camera like aperture, shutter, etc. and how a photograph is taken. We also had demonstrations of some different types of cameras and lenses. Dr. Mathew was amazing and all the participants seemed to like him and his style of conducting the workshop.

 Demonstration of different types of cameras

The second half of the day was mainly on ‘Elements and Principles of Design’ taken by Mr. Anil Sharma. We were told that the next day when we go on field trip to Modera and Patan, we should take photographs to demonstrate ‘Rhythm’, ‘Harmony’, ‘Balance’ and ‘Contrast’ and there would be a presentation the day after that where we will present 5 photos under each of these categories.

We were also asked to go in the library and spend our evening there as the library is open till 9:00pm. I am willing to spend my time in the library anytime. So I went to the library after the session was over. NID has a very good and big library of which I could hardly see browse through even a small part. I left the library a little before 9:00pm and walked to my hotel room and had my dinner there.

In spite of a long day which started very early, I was still excited about the next day’s field trip. I should have been very tired. But surprisingly, though I was somewhat sleepy, I was not tired. I woke up several times in the night to check the time because I did not want to miss the 6:00 am bus leaving from NID for the field trip like I had missed the 6:00 am flight to Ahmedabad and had to take the next flight. Even in just one day, I had learnt so much and enjoyed my learning experience at NID that I was glad I had taken the right decision to take another flight in the morning.

DAY 2 – 9th March, 2010
The day started early. Before 6:00am I was standing at NID gate. It was still dark and 2-3 participants were already there. By 6:00am most of the participants started coming in. Few did not turn up. However, the bus left for Modera Sun Temple around 6:20am. By the time we reached there, it was already daylight, so we could not see the temple at sunrise. We took several photographs of Modera Sun Temple. Also had breakfast there and left for Patan. 

  Photoshoot at Rani Ki Vav

At Patan, we went to ‘Rani ki vav’. The place was amazing in terms of archeology. A real finding. Took a lot of photographs there, too. I do not have a SLR camera but I got one from NID to take photographs and that was when I first handled a Nikon Digital SLR. After using that camera, of course my own camera seemed outdated ! We came back around 5:00 pm and went to the computer lab to sort our photographs and keep them ready for the next day’s presentation. 

DAY 3 – 10th March, 2010

We learnt how to sort and categorise our photos in Adobe ‘Bridge’. We also refreshed the basics of digital photography in the first half.

In the second half, we all presented our selected photographs from the field trip. We got feedback from Dr. Mathew and other participants. After the feedback, a lot of concepts were clearer. I could see a lot of flaws in my own photographs now and also how those flaws could have been avoided in many cases.

The evening was spent in group interaction over coffee and dinner. The plan for next day was to meet at 6:30 am at NID gate and go for another morning trip to ‘Sarkhej ka Roja’.

DAY 4 – 11th March, 2010
We left for ‘Sarkhej ka Roza’ from NID gate at 6:30 am. We reached there before sunrise, went around that area and took photographs.
The whole day was spent in the Studio where we learnt about different equipments in a studio and about studio lighting. Potraits and objects were shot using different studio lights. 

 Shooting Potraits in the Studio

 Shooting Objects in the Studio 

At the end of the day there was a brief discussion on ethical practices in photography and Intellectual Property Rights. Stock photos and building a portfolio was also discussed.

In the evening, after the session was over, we went to see an exhibition of photographs at ‘Gupha’ near the University.

DAY 5 – 12th March, 2010
The workshop group went for ‘Heritage Walk’. We were walked through old Ahmedabad starting from Swaminarayan Mandir, Kalupur, and ending at ‘Jumi Masjid’. In between we covered two Jain Temples as well.

We had a session on word and image association before lunch. The session was based on how images and words are associated. We saw some examples of images being used with words in advertisements. The session was quite interesting and informative. 

After lunch, two digital photographs per participant were printed in the NID lab and were displayed as an exhibition. We saw the digital printing taking place and we all put up the exhibition of photographs.

After this there was a valedictory session, feedback was taken regarding the workshop, and participation certificates were distributed. 

The workshop ended with this. The IPP team promised to send us the CD of photographs taken by their photographer (which they did send and the photographs used here are also from the photographs in that CD). Overall, the participants appreciated the workshop. It was a very good learning experience for me. The arrangements and management of the workshop was appreciable. We all looked forward to attending other photography workshops scheduled in the coming months, like the workshop on object photography, architectural photography, and other such workshops.

Participants of the workshop along with the faculty and organizers (IPP) at the end of the workshop

As this post is already too long, I shall write another post for some more photos taken during the workshop... or just post the photos.

Wish you a very happy and memorable year, 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Foggy Christmas 2010

This year, it was a foggy Christmas in Delhi and NCR. There was no sun the whole day. Here are some photographs that I clicked from 14th floor, when I had gone to attend a Christmas gathering with my colleagues on that day at our Institute's Director General's house. The view was like that of a hill station!

Photos by: Seema Kumar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Motivating Story About 'TIME'

The story below is not written by me. I have read it many times on different occasions, forwarded to me by different people. But this is one of those stories which has brought out a new meaning every time I have read it. So today when I came across this story once again, I just wanted to post it on my blog.. so that I can come back to it when I wanted to re-read :)

A woman came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find her 5-year old son waiting for her at the door.

SON: 'Mummy, may I ask you a question?'

MUM: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the woman.

SON: 'Mummy, how much do you make an hour?'

MUM: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the woman said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

MUM: 'If you must know, I make  $20 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: "Mummy, may I please borrow $5?"

The mother was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door..

The woman sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions.. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the woman had calmed down, and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $5 and he really didn't ask for money very often.The woman went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' She asked.

'No Mummy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.

'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the woman. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $5 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you Mummy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The woman saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his mother.

'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the mother grumbled.

'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.

'Mummy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow.
I would like to have dinner with you.'

The mother was crushed. She put her arms around her little son, and she begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life.. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $20 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Career Advancement Programmes by Fashion Innovation Lab at IAM, Gurgaon

Apart from being a faculty at IAM and the co-ordinator of 2 year PG programme Apparel Marketing and Merchandising, I am also co-ordinating the courses being offered by Fashion Innovation Lab at  IAM

The whole idea behind 'Fashion Innovation Lab' (FIL) at Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) is to digitally integrate the whole process from "concept to consumer". FIL aims to provide Customised digital solutions to the apparel industry. FIL customizes short courses, training programmes, training and implementation in the areas of digital platform, Computer Aided Design, Virtual Prototyping for the apparel industry.

To keep up with the changing world of Fashion and Apparel Design and Merchandising, Fashion Innovation Lab at IAM has announced short term Career Advancement Programmes. These programmes equip the students / participants to work digitally and be a designer / merchandiser of the future.

Course Code

Technical Sketches and Tech-pack Development for Apparel
2 full days
15-16 July, 2010
10:00 am - 05:00 pm
Designer's Digital Tool-Kit (Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop)
5 half days
19-23 July, 2010
10:00 am - 01:00 pm
CAD and IT Integrated Merchandising
6 months
July to December 2010
02:30 pm - 05:30 pm (twice per week)

Given below are the details of programmes being offered or starting in July 2010.

Apart from co-ordinating the FIL courses, I am also the Anchor faculty for the workshop 'Technical Sketches and Tech Pack Development for Apparel'. Given here are the details of the programme.  

There is a free counseling and mentoring session on 13th July, 2010, from 10:30 – 11:30 am regarding these programme. Here one can get an overview regarding the programmes and can also clarify doubts regarding the programmes. Participation for this session can be confirmed by sending an e-mail to 

The participants shall be awarded a certificate from IAM on completion of the programme. More information is also available on our website or write to 

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Some Quotations for Motivation

"If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either."

"The suffering of each depends not upon the factual happenings, but upon the texture of each one's mind"

"The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs"

All powers, all abilities, which never belonged to us suddenly come alive when we say "I HAVE TO DO IT !"

"I do not know if SUCCESS gives happiness, but I DO know that a HAPPY MIND can lead to mighty success."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Export Merchandising LIVE !

Institute of Apparel Management in association with Triburg conducted a seminar at Epicentre on 8th January, 2010. The topic was Export Merchandising LIVE ! A Seminar on Flat World Fashion Merchandising.

The speakers were from IAM and Triburg. Dr. Darlie Koshy, Mr. Manas Chakraborty, Ms. Padma Reddy and I were the speakers (more details in the image above).

Triburg, one of the biggest buying agencies in India and Asia, also happens to be my ex-empoyee company. It is a great company to work for. This seminar also brought out a shared vision of IAM and Triburg. It talked about the changing world of fashion and apparel merchandising, digital platform and 3D prototyping: their significance in apparel product development (which was the topic that I covered), transforming education to meet the needs of this rapidly changing reality.

The Seminar was followed by demonstrations in the Fashion Innovation Lab at IAM followed by refershments. The participation was enthusiastic and encouraging. It was a really hectic day for me, as I was not only the co-ordinator the seminar, I was also one of the speakers. But when the reponse is good, all the effort seems worthwhile.

I had conducted a lot of workshops at IAM when I was the Coordinator - Industry Programmes and Continuing Education, but this was the first seminar that I conducted and that, too, with my new additional responsibility in heading the initiatives of Fashion Innovation Lab at IAM.

The same day we had the First Convocation at IAM at Apparel House, Gurgaon. The day was really happening for IAM.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First Convocation at IAM

Institute of Apparel Management held its first convocation ceremony on 8th January 2010. I could not attend the convocation ceremony of my own class in college and in NIFT which I had always wanted to. But it was really good to see my students come for their convocation and collect their certificates.
Preparing for the group photo

Getting ready for the photo-shoot

Bottom left to right- Mr. R.S.Kataria, Ms. Sharmila Katre,
Mr. Somesh Singh, Dr. Darlie Koshy, Mr. Premal Udani

Lighting the lamp
Mrs. Rita Menon, IAS and Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India was the chief guest. The institute was lively with its previous batches coming to attend the convocation follwed by dinner.

On the same day, we had also conducted a seminar in the morning and will write more about the seminar in another post.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Discover in 2010

Photos by Seema Kumar

As 2009 ends and 2010 begins, we move into the new year with new hopes and expectations from the coming year. The hope for a new dawn, new beginning and cherished dreams come true.

The photographs here were taken by me in November 2009 during sunrise at my native place. I took lots of photographs of early morning and sunrise. At the beginning of the new year, I would like to feel the same freshness that I experienced that day at dawn, amidst nature.

I read somewhere,

"Before we discover, we must explore"
the exploration has been going on for many years and shall continue lifelong as exploration must always go on. I hope the year 2010 brings about discoveries and open new avenues. I start this new year with hope,faith and enthusiasm.