Mono Italia

An angel in Rome

It was a dream. A recurring one.
I am on a cobbled street. I enter a big stone archway, the other side is a little bit darker. There’s a little water body on the “inside”. It’s very quiet, even during the day, no people around, but it feels safe. I feel calm. It’s lovely.
I have had this dream a few times.

I don’t anymore. Because I think I lived the dream. While walking in the alleys of Rome, I felt like I was where the dream used to take me. Deserted lanes lead to deserted lanes lead to lanes where people are shopping, merrymaking, performing, having their aperitif, and generally walking, lead to piazzas where more of the same happens, around a beautiful fountain, or a cathedral, or some statues. At every turn of every lane, I half-expected my dream to turn real, just as I remember it. That didn’t happen, however, the dream stayed at arm’s length throughout my journey in Italy.

Now let’s turn the dream to black and white. Because dreams are black and white? Or because like Vittorio De Sica’s films, I had loved Italy in black and white the most. The idea to go monochrome isn’t really my own though — Master of None did it with their first episode of the second season — which was the starting point of this idea of a post. They in fact paid a tribute to many Italian neorealist films, the most prominent one being the classic Bicycle Thief — they even named the episode The Thief. I didn’t get anything stolen, not at least in Italy. Yet there’s something in the air of Italy that forces me to relook at everything in black and white. Because black and white is pure, it’s romantic, and it goes deeper than just colours. Much like how Italy is.

On Culling

The last few days have been about culling, processing, processing and culling, stitching panos, and then some more culling. And a few celeb reposts (yaay!) on Instagram while that happened.

Culling for me is definitely a more difficult job than processing, you don’t want to miss some shot that could have looked good after a bit of dusting, and therefore you do a bit of processing during culling, a bit of r, a tap of v, move the sliders a bit, whither goes the curve. And, hey I shot so many shots in succession – I need to see how they look after stitching… and while that happens, let me go brew a cup of coffee.

Sigh, culling life. New post coming up on the weekend, promise!

Mullickghat, Kolkata

I have lived in Kolkata for 20+ years, most of it when it was still Calcutta. The photography bug caught me while I was still living there, but I never got a chance to shoot the city’s markets, which are a favourite subject for photographers, especially street photographers coming to Calcutta.

This changed in 2013, when Abhishek, with his new DSLR, planned a trip to the flower market at Mullickghat. He had been there a couple of times, and thought I’d enjoy it too.

I thoroughly enjoyed the early morning trip, the bustle of the market, the burst of colours, the various facets of everyday life, the cliched, the interesting, the faces, the crowds, the merchandise, the congestion, the energy, and our typical Calcutta breakfast after the shoot – hing kachori at one of the sweet shops.

So here it is, finally, the photo set from Mullickghat, Kolkata, 2013.

500px.com/photo/142258663/the-chaos-that-is-calcutta-by-amit-sharma
500px.com/photo/153709217/old-city-by-amit-sharma ~ recaptured.in/old-city/
500px.com/photo/203802019/the-day-begins-by-amit-sharma ~ recaptured.in/the-day-begins/
500px.com/photo/204456751/priest-by-amit-sharma ~ recaptured.in/priest/
500px.com/photo/209951107/centre-of-everything-by-amit-sharma
500px.com/photo/211530293/calcutta-by-amit-sharma
~ recaptured.in/march-2013-calcutta/

Tatooine

I dream of this place often. I have been there, and I haven’t really been there. Was it the desert planet of Tatooine, or was it closer home, on our very own planet? I remember the Sun shining mercilessly and the winds chilling our bones, especially in the shade, and the magnificent clouds dotting the impossibly blue skies.

This was the day my trip ended, of Ladakh.

500px.com/photo/206288619/tatooine-by-amit-sharma