Brief: Take at least a couple of hours or more to wander around. Don’t be shy; you won’t be arrested, you’re not breaking the law. You’re doing exactly what most photographers do every day. Be intuitive. What do you look at? Photograph that. When we search we don’t necessarily have a clear idea of what we’re looking for. However, the act of searching is never aimless because to search implies an openness to discovery. It also helps us to hone our ideas, to sort out what is and isn’t relevant. There will come a time when you need to consolidate a body of work, but for now, you’re free. When you’ve uploaded your photos decide whether to arrange them as smaller images in a scroll that reflects the journey you made. Or pick out some individual images. Does your collection suggest a journey? Or is it about landscapes, spaces or the people you met?
My approach –
For this exercise, my initial thought was to go to a place where I have never been before. That would mean not trying to see everything with a new eye but actually experiencing first hand the various things that would capture the essence of the place for me. I had the opportunity of visiting India’s oldest and holiest city, Banaras, Uttar Pradesh.
Banaras, also known as Varanasi or Kashi, is one of the most visited pilgrimage spots in India. Situated on the banks of the Holy river, Ganges, this city is perhaps as ancient as Hinduism itself. A curious mix of the old and new, the powerful religious reverberations that the place exudes and the fascinating religious rituals make it a city most frequented by foreigners in the search for spirituality. Peppered with ancient temples, burning dead bodies alongside the river, and holy men scampering to get your attention and money, this is a place which grows on you. It is fascinating, enthralling and captivating to say the least. The “ghats” or the river bank are jostled with a myriad of activities.
For the purpose of this exercise, I have put together related images of one particular category, in a grid. I have tried to incorporate the various aspects that fascinated me and tickled the explorer in me. I will also write a few descriptive words to give my international friends a little insight and background about the images.
Conclusion- I feel I really enjoyed and did what was expected of us to do in this exercise. To sort out and categorize the various images into a small series of individual categories definitely helped understand typologies to a great extent. I think it was also a great way to hone our skills to recognize areas of visual impact and successfully capture them. Although I feel I have done an elaborate exercise here, one can easily take any ONE of these topics and do an in-depth documentation of the same over a period of time, In the limited few hours that I gave myself for this exercise, I really enjoyed capturing so many interesting facets of this beautiful and exotic city.