Thursday, December 27, 2012

GLA 625 - The History of Photography

Boulevard du Temple, Paris. 1838. Daguerreotype
One of the courses with which I have a love/hate relationship is the History of Photography. I love it for all the meaningful information on the history of the medium that I have learnt about, and I hate it for the amount of reading, research and writing I had to do. Come to think of it I dont think I would have attained the earlier without the later. Like any art history course, this course too is theoritical (and I am no authority on this. I know didlysquat about art, history or art history for that matter), but what make it such an awesome course is the Instructor - Lisa Levine (website) - an outstanding educator and fine art photographer. Should you be lucky enough to take this class under her, you would truly appreciate the evolution of medium, and learn to question and critically analyse photographs in the context of what has come before it.

The description of the course on the Academy's website reads "This course explores the history of photography and the impact of photography on the visual arts. The major photographic movements and genres throughout the history of photography will be defined and studied in theoretical and applied terms."

Monday, December 3, 2012

China Town

One of the many shops in China Town selling
chinese statues.
One of the largest and oldest chinese community in Northern America is located in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Twin Peaks

Atop one of the peaks of Twin Peaks, viewing eastward.
Market Street,  downtown San Francisco, Bay Bridge
and Oakland much further away.
Located in the centre of San Francisco these hills offer panoramic views over the entire city. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

PH 612 - The Nature of Photography

There is so much content covered in the introductory photography courses at the Academy of Art University, that it comes as no surprise that they ended up splitting all the content between two courses: The Language and Nature of Photography. This course helps build strong foundations on visual literacy and expression. Students are better equipped to both verbally and visually communicate through photographs, understand the work of past and contemporary artists from a meaningful perspective. 

The description of the course from the Academy's website - "This course is dedicated to the investigation and understanding of photography as a visual language. The elemental relationship of form and narrative is explored as a means for individual artistic expression. Emphasis is placed on application of these principles through practical assignments and verbal discussion."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge
Is there any one is San Francisco who has not seen or photographed the Golden Gate bridge? I don't think so. And its so wrong to be the only one who hasn't done that.

A 1.7 mile suspension bridge connecting San Francisco to Marine County via the US 101.

Friday, November 9, 2012

PH 603 - The Language of Photography

This course is one of the three introductory courses to the MFA Photography program taken in the first semester. It is meant to bring you up to speed on the essentials of Photography, and provide the necessary foundation to be able understand what is out there and where your work fits in.

The description of the course from the Academy's website speaks for itself - "In this course, students will engage in an in-depth study of the fundamental language comprised of the aesthetical,  technical, and practical aspects of the medium. Artistic interpretation and technique will be examined through the study of image capture, processing and printing relavent to fine art, commercial and documentary application."

Monday, November 5, 2012

First Semester @ AAU

The first semester at AAU for photography majors in the MFA program has a common set of courses to be completed. Almost all the new students go through the same three courses.

PH   603 - The Language of Photography
PH   612 - The Nature of Photography
GLA 625 - The History of Photography

You have pretty much no choice is taking other photography courses in this semester, unless you have a special case for it, and it is approved by the program director. In case you are a student from a non english speaking county and have poor proficiency in the language you will be assigned an ESL(English as a secondary Language) course instead of the liberal arts one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

An evening at Sutro Baths

Ruins at Sutro Baths and the Cliff House restaurant.
A large privately owned swimming pool complex built in the late 1800's by a former mayor of SF Adolf Sutro. Shortly after closing due to high maintenance costs, a fire in 1966 destroyed the building. All that remains now are the ruins and broken pathways.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Foggy morning on the Embarcadero

At this time of the year, you can find fog most of the days, either at dusk or dawn, creating an eerie and dull atmosphere.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bay Bridge and San Francisco night skyline

A photograph similar to this one is what I had seen a long time back, and it made me go "Wow! Now that's a place I want to be in". After moving to SF and starting the MFA program majoring in Photography, this is the first photograph I went hunting after and created my own version of it. It marks the the beginning of a journey for me. Love it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Primer to MFA Photography at the Academy of Arts University

Breaking down the MFA Photography program at the Academy of Arts University into smaller digestible pieces, so that you know what it is mostly about. This of-course is no replacement to the abundance of information available at the university's website. It is more from the perspective of a new international grad student. Do add a pinch of salt, and know that as and when I gather more information or get into a 'aha' moment I will update the post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Leap of Faith

Some major life changes happening here folks. A change of career path from engineering to arts, from software enginnering to photography, from a professional to a student.

The idea to change has been in my head for about two years now, but the impetus wasn't. Its hard to pinpoint which particular reason stood out and made it necessary that I change. If I were to take a guess, it was not just one but a number of them, each adding a little more to the vessel until there was a spill over.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Toronto and CouchSurfing

Toronto night skyline

An nine day trip in Toronto, running a half marathon, sightseeing, couchSurfing, travel photography and attending some of the top b-schools around there. What started as a simple interest of attending a half marathon event somewhere out of the of the country turned out to be a potpourri of endeavours half way across the globe, making the whole trip quite interesting and perhaps a bit too busy to enjoy the moment.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Toronto Half Marathon 2012

I had run a few half marathons so far and though none of them were noteworthy performances, I kind of itched to do a run in a different country just for the experience. Perhaps this idea was party influenced by the company I kept, one who keeps running around the world and another who runs within the country but keeps running longer and faster. Ever heard of the saying "Tell me thy company, and I'll tell thee what thou art.", there is a good amount of truth and worldly wisdom in that, whoever said it. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nikkor 18-200mm VRII Lens Review

The purpose of having a DSLR, apart from the fact that it can produce images with stunning quality, is providing its user the ability to change lenses at will. Maybe a wide angle lens for landscape and architectural shots, a portrait lens to capture the cute baby laughing, a telephoto lens for your wildlife and sports shutter bug needs; and not to forget a low light lens, plus a prime or two. But imagine carrying all of those lenses just so that you don't miss a shot any time. (and not to mention changing lenses all the time and risking environmental effects on you camera sensor) You'd probably end up carrying equipment which would totalling to about 20lb in just lens weight. Ouch! Though each lens is unique in its own way, lugging around all that weight can really bog down the whole experience. So what to do instead? Carry one lens which has all the focal range you'll ever need, gives you great optical performance and is reliable - and that my friend is the the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II. This versatile lens for the DX format Nikon DSLR's gives you no reason to switch lenses again. Lets have a look at some of the specs and what the lens has to offer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fireflies Music Festival 2012

The eternal drums of Fireflies
Fireflies MusicFest has been the most amazing music event in Bangalore in the recent years, and this year is no different. Set in the Fireflies Ashram on Kanakpura Rd. roughly 30km from Bangalore, an open air amphitheatre with the stage below a huge peepal tree. What's wonderful about this event is that its not a corporate sponsored event, so you find no banners all around and no TV stations flashing their cameras. Its a long one though. Starts at 12 on a sunday afternoon and ends 10 at night. The music spans a variety of genres from folk to rock and the artists are from all around. The bands that took part in the event: VaiyaliAgam, Filter Coffee, La Pongal, Saifa Gharbi (Algerian Sufi Singer), Shabnam Virmani, Something Relevant, OTO 3, Om Viloma ft. Amit Heri and Talavya.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Auroville Half Marathon 2012

Ran the half marathon which was organized by Auroville community and conducted in Auroville, Pondicherry on the 12th of Feb '12. Its a different run considering the one's I have done so far. Why so? 'cos for most part you are running on dirt tracks, uneven surfaces, and sometimes on paths which are no more than one feet wide. You'll also hit pavement or black top every now and then but its gonna be there for short stretches only.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mangalore Half Marathon 2012

The first edition of Mangalore half marathon organized by Life is Calling and sponsored by NITTE University Mangalore, took place this year on the 29th of Jan. There were roughly around 110-115 runners in the half marathon category, and another 150 in the 10k and 5k runs. Quite a small turn out for such an event, I was expecting at least around 500 to be in it, buuut ... well maybe next year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starting ... again

Weird to be starting a blog again. The blog that I first managed ( - now long gone), was a personal log. Fortunately or not, after passing through the phases of life it was de-resolutionized . The most likely reason I reckon is a broken heart, which resulted in a massive devaluation of self worth. But now, after what seems like a reasonable recovery time, enough to pick up few of the broken pieces, with renewed interests and a better understanding of self I set forth again. As the man said - "To be or not to be. That is the question"... I guess I chose "to be".