Category Archives: Photography

In Camera Out Camera

Published / by Jehangir

‘Craters on the moon, wildlife from afar, your child's face on a crowded school stage’ is what the brochure for my new camera promised.

Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC and a mega 65x optical zoom is what convinced me to go for the Canon Powershot SX60 HS .

Craters on the moon: Check

Wildlife from afar : Check

Kids on stage will have to wait 🙂

Archived post from 13.10.2010:

I finally got myself a new camera. It is a Fujifilm FinePix HS10. The 30X zoom and amazing wide-angle capability were deciding factors as I dabble a bit in nature and architectural photography.

Here is a sample picture :

The time has come, therefore, to bid farewell to my trusty old FZ10.

Over the years, It has helped me capture some memorable photographs. You can view some of them here:

The Fluzi Gallery

I had zeroed in on the Panasonic DMC FZ10 after it won an award as Best Superzoom Camera at the TIPA Awards <2006>. It was after I recieved my new camera that I realised that I hadn't seen this year's TIPA Awards. Funnily enough the FinePix HS10 too was the winner in the Best Superzoom Camera category. I guess some things are just meant to be.

P.S : I hope Jamshed has half the fun I had with the Fluzi.

Thesiger in Kashmir

Published / by Jehangir

Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003) was a British explorer and travel writer best known for two travel books recounting his adventures in Arabian deserts and the marshes of Iraq.

Arabian Sands (1959) chronicled the vanishing way of life of the Bedouins, while The Marsh Arabs (1964) described the people of the marshes of southern Iraq.

Many people regard him as the last of the great traveller/explorers who wandered wildernesses across the globe. However, unlike his colonial predecessors, Thesiger's USP was his absolute empathy with the communities he encountered in his travels.


At the end of 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush', Eric Newby, no mean traveller himself, relates how during a chance meeting in the of the mountain ranges of Asia, Thesiger reacted to Newby and his friend attempting to inlate their air beds by exclaiming "God, you must be a couple of pansies."

Thesiger had also explored the Hindu Kush, the Karakorams and the Pamirs and described his travels amongst tribes like the Kafir Kalash, but I was unaware that he had visited and photographed Kashmir in 1983.

Exhibit: This single tantalising photograph entitled 'Dal Lake at Srinagar'

Thesiger took tens of thousands of photographs during eight decades of travels throughout Africa and Asia. However not many details are available of his Kashmir visit. Which begs the question – would Thesiger visit Kashmir and restrict himself to just one photo?

Thesiger's photographs were famed for their clarity and expressiveness and I hope we can access more of his Kashmir portfolio sometime.

Three Kingfishers

Published / by Jehangir

I have commented earlier on the Rule of Three in the bird life of Kashmir. True to the rule, three species of kingfishers are commonly observed in Kashmir – the pied, common and white-throated kingfishers.

One of life's little joys is sitting on the banks of the Jehlum and watching a family of Pied kingfishers fly past in perfect formation – think of a fly-by of minutiarised Sukhoi fighter-jets on parade.

The White-throated kingfisher lends a dash of colour to the bleak winterscape, while the Common kingfisher is, well, common.

Harud (Autumn) Photoblog

Published / by Jehangir

Easy to imagine how the the term 'Aatish-e-Chinar' was coined.

A playing card floats amongst fallen chinar leaves in a pond.

The shade of a chinar is a magical place to be in the autumn sunshine.

Saffron blooms in early autumn.

50,000 flowers yield just one pound of saffron.

Jis Khaak Ke Zameer Me Ho Aatish-e-Chinar,
Mumkin Nahi Ki Sard Ho Woh Khaak-e-Arjumand

My Neck Of The Woods

Published / by Jehangir

Here is a series of images from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that focus on the the southern part of Srinagar city. The total absence of any kind of human settlement is striking.

Photograph taken from the Takht-e-Suleman (Shankracharya Hill) circa 1865

An engraving in 'Letters from India and Kashmir' by J. Duguid, 1870. The caption in the book reads ' The curves of the Jehlum, the inspiration for the shawl or pine pattern…'

From a stereoscopic photograph taken by James Ricalton in 1903. The caption reads 'An earthly paradise, famous Vale of Cashmere, watered by the winding Jhelum, India'

The area in the centre of the images, enclosed almost fully by a loop of the Jehlum, is the locality of Shivpora – my neck of the woods.

The first house built in Shivpora was 'The Chenars'. As the name would suggest it was built on the banks of the Jehlum, under a row of enormous chinar trees.

A hundred years later…

The population of Srinagar has exploded from 1,18,960 at the start of the twentieth century to 10,81,562 at the present time.

To illustrate the frenetic pace of construction in and around Srinagar:

My home in 2005, surrounded by a veritable forest of trees.

The same area in 2010. A colony exists where only a couple of houses stood a few years ago.

It is painfully evident that, even allowing for the change in seasons, trees have borne the brunt of our insatiable desire for construction. Maybe I should reconsider the title of this post. My Neck of the 'Woods' seems a bit ironic when the woods are vanishing at an alarming rate.

Unfortunately my old home had to be demolished due to age-related structural damage compounded by the devastating earthquake that struck Kashmir in 2005.

The house in the centre of the colony is my new home. It is still under construction. Here's a sneak peek:

P.S: The low quality of the photographs is due to the fact that cameras are no longer allowed on the Shankracharya Hill.

Photoblog

Published / by Jehangir


A shikara waits to ferry tourists to the Houseboats across the lake.

This years tourist season has been badly affected by political violence in Kashmir.


The last rays of the sun light up a minaret against the backdrop of an ancient Mughal fort.

Unchecked construction within the boundaries of the lake threatens its survival.


An angler practices his art unmindful of the polluted waters.

Pollution in and around the lake has has grown to disastrous proportions despite millions being spent on various control projects.

Stereoscopic Kashmir

Published / by Jehangir

In an unusual burst of creativity triggered by the boredom of Sunday's curfew, I decided to try my hand at animating old stereogram images of Kashmir.

The technique I used is called Wiggle Stereoscopy. These photographs use animation to produce a 3D effect by alternating the left and right images of old stereogram images of Kashmir, originally intended to be viewed in a Stereoscope.

We can imagine the scene as the photographer must have pictured it in his 'mind's eye'. The images may be somewhat jerky but it is a unique method to create the illusion of depth in photographs. Plus no special 3D glasses are needed 🙂

Enjoy.


A Sahib in his Ekka.


Sitar Player.


Village life.


Hopscotch.