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.