The marvels of post-processing.

There’s always this debate about where the line blurs between pure photography, art and ludicrous. A large part of this has to do with post-processing images and how far you go with it.

Personally, I really like outlandish, severely post-processed images, as long as there is a flow or an embedded narrative to the image.

post-processing sample

Here’s a quick gif I made from 3 separate stages while post-processing an image I took in Munich. Isn’t it cool how the image transforms? [final image]

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Push.

wouldn’t you rather be in a place of discomfort

Wouldn’t you rather not have help

Wouldn’t you rather be in it for the pain

Wouldn’t you rather rise alone, a little more insane?

// Quick thought after hearing an audio-book about Mandela’s life, his historic court-room speech and post-imprisonment philosophies.

He pushed himself into a corner. Had mostly just himself for company in his beliefs and actions. That takes courage, grit and a certain belief, with a lot of insanity; what an inspiration.

Time-lapse video attempt.

Had been meaning to create a time-lapse  video for a while now. I finally got the equipment needed and made one today. The video quality is quite poor, but it was so awesome to finally create one.

The pictures are of the SF Bay Bridge and the cross street downstairs, from my apartment (taken indoors, perhaps also adding to the poor quality). It was a cold, yet sunny, Monday morning in the fag end of December.

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The video contains a total of 440 images taken at 5 sec intervals and then stitched together with a background score I quickly made.

In case anyone out there is visiting this page, hope you like the attempt! Feel free to provide feedback and any tips you may have.

Old texts and priorities.

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I was back home this October and found an old diary from 1991 lying among the stacks of dusty books in a glass closet.

It was full of handwritten notes, thoughts and recipes – A wonderful quasi time machine providing a glimpse into what life was like and what was important to us over a decade ago.

There is something about such physical relics of ourselves and people we know that helps provide perspective about the past, that in turn provides a unique vantage point about the present. 

Towards the end of the diary, was an erudite scribble by a (probably) 6 year old me. It was an attempt to organize my life through a time table for the week. As you can see in the picture, I had my priorities straight back then 🙂

The diary of a passerby.

Day 1

Passing the annoying swarm of kids, who with torn shorts and mud-laden shirts, wantonly ran with seemingly no purpose, I arrived at the doorstep of a pale green wall only clad by a neatly carved piece of wood hung on to it by a single feeble nail. On it, with recently brassed embossed letters read the sign: ‘Hotel Magnifique estd 1937’ .

(no, this tale is not based in any section of Central Europe, nor is it about any remnant pro-colonial die-hard still inhabiting what was once a French colony, but this story resides in the high and hilly town of Ranat, well poised at the foothills of the Himalayas in Eastern India. The hotel, built in 2004, used to be called ‘Hotel Kilaasik’ until the management realized that the high-brow French twist improved sales by 34%. Class is most times but just a marketing gimmick)

This was going to be my base for the next 3 days as I would touristy-ly observe and encroach.

First things first. Let’s lay out a demographic baseline of Ranat by classifying complex individuals into categories. There were exactly three kinds of people to be found here:

a. The bearded and braided Western tourist with an ‘OM’ laden orange shirt, almost convinced that as advertised in the brochure, (s)he would finally find higher meaning in the world by a few more sips from the ‘holy river’ and a few more whiffs of the local sage’s ‘holy smoke’ (the sage had a neat halo over his head in the brochure – That had to count for something).
Indeed, modern day Nirvana now simply constitutes of being high with just a dash of diarrhea.

b. The goatee donning, Nike obsessed obese Indian (Hi.), carrying European backpacking memories and with just another cushy job in America land, taking 7 of the allowed 11 vacation days to discover his own country for the first time. Taking artsy pictures with a Nikon camera pushed into the faces of old poor men and women, looking for that singular defining moment when their perennial calm smiles dim, brows raise, wrinkles emerge and eyes fill with bewilderment, at the sight of a magnified lens aimed at their face. Somber expressions sell.

c. The local folk. Selling brochures, amulets and local trinkets to the Westerners and wandering Indians. [ money(c) = stupidity(a+b) ]

I lied before. There are more than three kinds of people to be found in Ranat, but three is a good prime number to throw in here to desperately try and retain your attention for a bit.
There are in actuality seven kinds of people to be found in that small mountain town. No, that was just another lie. Although it would become the truth if it said so just above the sage’s halo on that brochure. Brochures after all, like the internet, are sources of unmeasurable credibility.

Having just driven, ridden and hiked for the past 17 hours and as the late evening skies turned a shade darker, the pale green walls of Hotel Magnifique now shone to me like the fresh leaves of spring. I turned the knob of the large, albeit ornate, wooden door before me. Pushed it creakily open, inhaling the mild scent of what smelt like pages from books from the long untouched corners of public libraries.

I was now all set to check-in, set my luggage down and spend the remainder of the day getting some well deserved shut-eye.

Sigh, that sleep never did happen. The hours to follow only went from uncertain to bizarre, from mysterious to revealing, from feeling well adjusted in life, to being stirred by the most unassuming inhabitant of the tiny town at the foothills of the giant white mountains…


Writing a fictional story is one hell of an arduous task, as I have been learning. There is so much thought, planning and craft in execution required. Anyhow, with very less heed given to quality, I’ll try learning the art more and hope to continue the above tale soon with day 2. [If you have reading material suggestions for how to write fiction better, do comment and share]

Moonlit.

Only half-lit was the night, by not the twinkles, but the checkered crescent.

The night begged for more, but the half-shaped whiteness would not relent.

 

“Persevere and wait you must for the full bright to arrive O black night.

For to swim the ocean depths, must you first know the cold’s bite”

 

In patience, the night now learned to wait,

to taste the seconds of time, to flirt with every minuscule moment of fate.

to not look over, but to look within,

to ignore the itch of forward, to look at loss with a grin.

 

A fortnight hence passed, the night had aged,

not in time as much, as much more in sage.

With a ready gaze now, with a learned eye,

the night awaited the full moon shine to dazzle by.

 

She arose now to the night that had waited,

spreading bright and brazen and strong onto the night’s breath that bated.

With renewed vision now from the times of plight,

the Earth below shone like crystal to the night.

 

The checkered full circle of white now bid adieu,

to a protege with grander vision, with a grander view.

With time for the small, with time for the right.

With schemes for love, over schemes for might.


If the above piece (for a lack of understanding literary classifications) seems in any way absurd, I would attribute that to the circumstance under which it was penned.

23,700 ft in the air, while on a plane between continents, packed between two elderly ladies with a penchant for loud snores, without any connection to the internet, I was left with just a pen in my hand and the Time magazine from the duty-free.

To kill time, I watched a movie called A Good Year. The movie was meh to say the least, but the music score was brilliant and inspiring. With nothing else to do, it got me thinking, and then thinking a bit more, only to finally pick up the pen before me and rile the pages of the Time magazine with 3 minutes of ink spewing in the form of words.

So with that little afterword, I say again: If the above piece (for a lack of understanding literary classifications) seems in any way absurd, I would attribute that to the circumstance under which it was penned.