My Experiments with Time lapse: A photographer’s lock down dairy note
“I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth” says Gandhiji in his introduction to his autobiography ‘My experiments with Truth’.
While I am not attempting an autobiography here - I am far from that now, I do intend to bring out a leaf from my lock down diary. I intend to share with you – my experiments with time lapse.
As a photographer and for that matter with all professions, we learn through experiments to understand subtle realities about circumstances, us and the tools we work with. Since these are experiments, they come with a tinge of unpredictability. And irrespective of whether they bring you those ‘wow’ or ‘uhh’ moments, they keep the inner child in you alive.
Let me share this particular experiment with time lapse with you today.
June 22, 2020
We have two ways of looking at life: ‘half glass full’ and ‘half glass empty’. Lockdown too has two ways of
looking at it: either we crib or we take up life head on and give time to the things we wanted to know but couldn’t so far.
Just look around - the air smells so fresh these days. I can even hear the myna chirp and the rustling of the leaves as the soft wind blows. Life feels so much new. The honking and trains ‘clickety-clack’ are almost gone. Who would have ever imagined to see clear night sky in Mumbai? But here, I have been visiting my little terrace atop my three storey building and I can spot galaxies!
Spending hours whiling away under the night sky or witnessing the turbulence of the myriad colours in the evening…wow! I feel I am rejuvenated without doing anything.
To capture those fleeting moments, I have been taking my camera along with me on the terrace. While my buddy simply keeps capturing the outside beauty, I fling along with a book and occasionally take a few glances here, there and everywhere. And at the end of the day, I revisit those moments, re-soak myself making sense of this world, this city, the people and the times to come.
I allowed myself the liberty of this experimentation with time lapse – not for a day or two, but across many morns and evenings across the three months of April, May and June. I kept placing the camera randomly and mapped the shifting positions of the ivory moon in its various waxing and waning phases. I keenly observed the impact of natural and artificial light on different objects – the buildings, the trees, the terrace floor and what not! I observed as if I was some child observing her mother bake some cake sheepishly, so that he can imitate it when she is not around!
To a photographer, light is like the medium to express the soul of the photo. And being one-to-one with this playful, effortless and graceful light was like a date with somebody whom I longed to spend some time with!
The human eye can be biased. It can see what it wants to see. It may see but a part of the reality. But the camera can be a huge help to see and capture all that we tend to miss, all that we want to see again and again and again, without bias and without judgements. Its memory is not coloured. The camera is what I call the bespoke friend of eternity.
Yes, the camera is what I call – the bespoke friend of eternity!
I leave you here with no more words but with an urge to look back at your lock down days.
Have you been able to go on a date such as mine? Have you been able to stop, pause, rewind and experiment with a childlike curiosity? You may or may not be a photographer but still I’ll be glad to know what your dairies have to say.
Do let me know in the comments here!