I left office early this evening because the weather looked promising for exploring Leiden through my lenses. It was cloudy the entire day. However towards the evening, sun peeked out through the clouds and the sky began to look quite dramatic. Once in the Leiden center, several things caught my attention. One of them was the Marekerk church besides a canal. The domb of the church looked beautiful which was further enhanced by the soft light from the sun playing hide-n-seek through the clouds. I took a few pictures of the church and was walking back. I then passed by a man who was squatting by the side of the road and carefully pulling out a camera from his bag. I tried to take a look at the camera and it looked like an old camera. I wasn’t sure if it was a film camera. For a moment, I thought it’s a Leica.
As I walked pass by him, we had a brief eye contact and seeing that we belong to the photography fraternity, we exchanged smiles. All the while, I was trying to figure out his camera but couldn’t! After walking for a few more yards, I turned back to see him again. I saw him pointing his camera towards the church dome and taking pictures. This surprised me as the spot where he was standing, in my opinion, was not a good spot as it didn’t provide a clear view to the church — only the dome was visible. I myself didn’t shoot the church from this spot and had walked couple of meters further.
I then took a close look in the direction in which he was taking pictures. I then realized and rushed myself there to shoot. He was actually shooting the rainbow which beautifully curved along the church dome. Given the position of the rainbow, the spot he chose was perfect. After taking pictures, I crossed him again. This time, I stopped to thank him for the beautiful shot which I would have otherwise missed.
He then said, “I’m curious to see how the picture would come. This is a film camera”. I said, “Oh ok. Interesting! You are using a film camera”. He continued, “It’s a black-n-white roll camera”. I was surprised, “Black-n-white!!!” I asked, “Any specific reasons why you are using B-n-W”? He said, “I recently bought this camera from a flee market for about 10 euros. I often buy old cameras and try them out. I also use a Canon digital camera”. I further asked, “Did you develop any pictures from this camera until now”? “Nopes. This is my first outing with it”, he said. We then greeted each other good bye and I walked away. Before leaving him, I took a picture of him with his camera. I turned back after a while and saw him taking more pictures from the same spot in the same direction.
I wished that the man’s picture comes out well. I could sense a kid-like excitement in the man when he talked about his camera and his hope for the picture of rainbow.
As I kept walking, the thought kept me occupied – “How would the rainbow look like in B-n-W?” Still intrigued by B-n-W rainbow, I edited my picture into a B-n-W picture.
The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was ‘faith’ and a reassurance of the believe that indeed faith is unbounded. Although man differentiates on the basis of caste, color, religion, language, nationality, etc., his faith knows no such boundaries. It doesn’t take one to be Christian to believe in Jesus or Hindu to believe in Ganesha. Faith is a feeling, irrespective of where it comes from, which gives us the strength to face the odds and inspiration to strive. As beautifully said in 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “For we walk by faith, not by sight”.
In this picture are my friend Joris and his lovely 5 months old daughter Astrid. I took this photo during the baptism ceremony of Astrid. It was a timeless moment and I felt that it could not be conveyed better than in B/W. This scene is imprinted in my heart where a father is so lovingly holding his daughter and his eyes reflect that she means the world to him. Astrid is comfortably snugged in her dad’s arm, feeling so save and secured that she is least bothered about the world around her. It reminds me of my childhood days when as a kid, I always had the feeling that the most secured place is the arms of my parents and it was as simple as running into them. Well today I might have outgrown the physical security but emotionally it’s still the most secured place.
“The Violinist” — I took this photo at Lucerne in Switzerland on the famous Chapel Bridge. It is a beautiful wooden bridge built across the Reuss river. I saw this lady playing violin when I was walking through the bridge. The music was melodious and the sight enchanting. I stopped for sometime to listen to the music and take pictures. The conditions were not ideal for shooting. The day was cloudy and the light was already quite low at 9pm. Besides she was standing inside the bridge which was covered from top which reduced the light further. I played around with the settings and took some shots. Her movements made it all the more difficult to get a sharp shot. Unsatisfied with the photos, I walked away. But I couldn’t get myself walk away and returned back. I tried again to take few more shots at different settings with a hope to get at least one sharp image. She stopped playing after a while and I walked up to her. I thanked and appreciated her for the music and asked if I can give her some euros since I didn’t have any swiss francs. She said that it’s okay and I need not give any money. She asked me if she can see the photos I took of her. I showed her the photos which weren’t impressing me much. I asked her that if she can pose for me without moving her arms, I can then take much better pictures. She gladly agreed and I took the above the photo, and both of us liked it :). She requested me if I can email her a few photos as she didn’t have any photos of her while playing the violin. I took her email id and promised to send her the photos. After this, I walked away happier and satisfied :).
I took this photo in Amsterdam and it was the first photo I clicked there. I had just got out of the hotel in the morning and was waiting for my other friends to join me when I noticed this beautiful family. The little girl (with the doll in her hand) was visibly upset and her mother was trying to cheer her up. I didn’t notice what was in the packet at which the girl was looking and the lady had her hands into. May be she was pulling out some candies to cheer up her daughter. I simply love this photo and probably it’s the best photo I took in Amsterdam. I couldn’t have asked for a better start for the day :)!
I came across this band of brothers (there were 2 more who are not in this picture) somewhere between Zaventem (Brussels International Airport) and Leuven during a recent hike. We had gone for a night hike. It was 11:30pm when we met these boys. They were playing in the fields and on seeing on us ran to us. Probably they were amused on seeing a group of people, at such late hours, who didn’t appear locals. The boys got interested in my camera and wanted to see pics in it. I offered to take their photo. However it was not easy because it was already dark with only faint natural light available. The nearby street lamps didn’t help much. I had to take the pic using a slow shutter speed of 1/4s and it was difficult to keep the boys still :). But the smile, enthusiasm and the energy of the kids are worth more than a perfect click!
(PS: The lady in the picture was one of the hikers)
I took this snap in Aachen in Germany. I call it ‘Photographer’s Delight’ because when the father-son duo saw me taking their picture, they were glad to stop and pose for me. They smiled and patiently waited until I took their photo. I then walked to them and thanked them for their gesture. Quite often, people would either shy away or visibly become uncomfortable when framed in a camera. Rarely would one pose with a nice comforting smile. Danke Herr und Männchen :)!