Bombay based Commercials, Film Director and Photographer.
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after a bit of work, some hi res scanning tests, and some nice toning, my first 4x5 image from the @intrepidcamera emerges. have no real idea whether this is a keeper or not but there is a huge satisfaction in just having got it all sort of right. for me it’s about the possibilities, and how this format is going to be able to expand my mind and allow myself to think in different ways from before. overall, just another layer of the photographic onion being peeled back.
a couple of days ago i entered worli village with a view to explore two new formats of film photography. the large format 4x5 and the 6x7 medium format on the clunky pentax 67. i spent the period at dusk walking with a tripod and these two very cumbersome pieces of gear attempting to make a few images. the outing was mildly successful with a few correct exposures (thankfully no doubles this time) and some fresh textures from long exposures, on the kodak stock that i love so much.
i’ve been a bit down on the city of late, and then something happens that lifts my spirits out of the stratosphere. i vacillate and procrastinate as to whether i should go to visarjan. i pack the pentax with a big fat 400mm lens on it and tell myself i’ll get something different with that configuration. i get in the car because i can’t be bothered to haul that gear down the street. the roads are blocked so i come back home. leave the pentax behind and just carry a small camera and some lenses (too many - the paradox of choice 🙄) i leave again and realise i’ve taken the wrong camera (own too much gear) so back i go and change it. by which time the light is fading and i’m desperate to be on the beach. i’m walking at a furious pace and as i cross bhatia hospital i decide to wave down scooters. in an instant one stops and the lovely man offers to drop me to chowpatty. when i get off i ask him if he would like anything and he gave me the warmest smile and shook his head, turned around and off he sped. i caught some magic light but in my panic made some pretty awful pictures. as the sky deepened i waded into the sea, waist deep (unbeknownst to me & ignorant of the fact that my lens bag was being licked by the waves). i walked home shortly thereafter as a light rain began to fall. the streets were filled with joy. i didn’t see or hear the mad DJ’s. just families smiling, dancing and revelling. i fell back in love with the city tonight. #everydaymumbai #indiaphotostory #everydayindia
ko samui in december 2016. i scoured the island trying to go ‘behind the scenes’ of this popular party island. i think one of the things that excites me about unplanned and aimless wanderings without agenda is the idea of serendipity. i saw many heartbreaking images as i scratched a little below the surface.
throwback to kochi, 2017... rummaging through old folders is like a fishing expedition (no pun intended) and you find things that don’t belong anywhere. except instagram perhaps. when i look at this i just feel grateful that i’m an early morning person.
dear friend and wonderful author, kiran nagarkar passed away last night. i spent many afternoons at his old home over the most delicious tea and khara biscuits talking about life and the city. i sneaked a few photos on one particular day. and i’m glad i did.
i often ponder on what attracts me to ‘the old’. i seem to want all the functionality of the new but wish it could all be packaged in an aesthetic that is from a previous age. a question i often ask as i look around at the changes in our cities is - how kind will the future be to the creations of today? #hasselblad500cm #portra400 #nowahuta
a friend and i were having dinner when ola joined us. i found her presence striking and her personality electric. i was only left with portra 160 colour stock and decided to attempt a street portrait of her. it was hugely challenging as the meter wouldn’t even respond so i just chose to shoot it with my own estimation and hope for the best. when this roll came back from the lab i was delighted with the mood. another friend titled the image ‘the moon and sixpence’ and while @alexintheblue i know it’s not a flatteringly glamorous image, i hope you grow to like this interpretation of your presence on that wonderful evening in krakow. #portra160 #hasselblad500cm #krakow
placing restrictions on myself was as frustrating as it was liberating. i ensured the only digital equipment i had was the monochrome which only shoots in black and white, which left me with lots of portra 400 120 stock and 1 roll of fuji 200 35mm stock which i had to use sparingly. one serious pleasure on the trip to krakow was coming across @lablabpl where i had 6 rolls of 120 processed. i was graciously shown around their facility which has the ability to make C-prints as well as analog prints up to 54” in size. it was breathtaking to see such a beautiful studio and lab. this particular image was made with fuji 200, a stock i’ve not been particularly fond of in the past, but which i was pleasantly surprised by this time.
the wondrous and iconic town of Nowa Huta was built around this iconic steel factory. - “Nowa Huta is one of only two planned socialist realist settlements or districts ever built and "one of the most renowned examples of deliberate social engineering" in the entire world. Built as a utopian ideal city, its street hierarchy, layout and certain grandeur of buildings often resemble Paris or London. The high abundance of parks and green areas in Nowa Huta make it the greenest corner of Kraków.” from Wikipedia. the words actually mean “the new steel mill” and was designed to house an entire community that would work in and around this leviathan of a steel plant. today a scaled down version owned and run by ArcelorMittal is still in operation. i spent a morning around the iconic buildings that form the frontage and entrance to the plant, using Ilford Pan 50. it was the first time i’d used this particular stock and was mesmerised by the cleanliness of the negative. extremely fine grain, with detail almost resembling a 4x5 negative. #ilfordpan50 #novahuta #krakow #hasselblad500cm #distagon50mm
some colour negatives are back from the lab. working on kodak portra 400 at magic hour was exciting. i find it to be a beautiful stock that gives me such a wonderful sense of both mood, tone and contrast. but that’s really a side matter. it was really about capturing the beautiful krakow trams in this magical evening light. i didn’t even opt for any digital options or back ups - and that’s what keeps me feeling great. i love the uncertainty and anticipation. i exposed two rolls and was hoping for a single keeper. i think i may have three to choose from. emerging slowly but surely could be a little ‘zine’ of this extraordinary little work trip that gave me the opportunity to explore what i must say is one of the most charming small cities i’ve visited. #kodakportra400 #krakowtrams #krakow #everydaykrakow #hasselblad500cm
the mood around nova huta is peaceful but definitely a bit rough around the edges. i think i can be quite intrusive with the camera and it takes a lot courage to move in close with stealth. the point of images like this? i recently saw a bruce gilden insta story where he quoted robert frank, essentially stating that only by going close to the margins and making street portraits like his does the world get to see these people. it may be controversial to shoot this way, perhaps one might say it’s dated and has been done, but so has everything. the thrill of making a candid moment come alive is still greater than anything else i’ve ever done creatively in my life.
have never really done something like this before but hey, what the hell. my new laptop is letting me work on the go :) bleary eyed and jet lagged i arrived into a beautiful and sunny krakow yesterday and immediately felt as though i was in a tintin comic. the architecture, street signage and names... it took me back to a mythical part of my childhood. i had anticipated being beset with a darker mood given the harsh history of this town, but it seems huge respect is given in the form of remembrance.
mother and sister... @anitose and @celina.mendoza london summer. suburban garden. no greater joy than a celebration of family, connection and love. absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. we are apart from each other much more than i would like, but when we’re together boy does it feel good!