Madras Clickers – 31st Photowalk – Theosophical Society, Adyar
19th Aug, 2017 by Lakshmi Priya
Picture Courtesy : Prashanth
My phone started buzzing with a flurry of phone calls at the stroke of midnight on 19th August and I had one standard question from almost each caller, “So, what are your birthday plans?”. With great fervour I was explaining to my friends that I’d be starting my day with a photo walk at the Theosophical Society, Adyar. I spent almost the entire night explaining to my friends whatever I knew about The Theosophical Society, the concept of Theosophy and about various clean-up activities that have been taking place to revive the Huddleston Gardens.
Picture Courtesy : Johnny
Harish and I reached the spot half an hour late that morning. We weren’t the only ones and we met with Vignesh and Sekar and set off to start taking photos. The Theosophical Society is a captivating place, offering you a complete retreat from the urban world. This particular morning the air was filled with the fragrance of the woods, the flowers and the moist soil owing to the recent showers. I was thoroughly confused as I started looking around. I had a dilemma running in my mind between landscape photography and macro. Finally I decided to try out both styles, because the place had so much to offer.
I would barely take two steps and I would find something interesting, either a flower which I haven’t seen before or a butterfly or a snail and start clicking. Moving in further we stumbled upon a few old, dilapidated buildings which were enchanting.
Picture Courtesy : 1)Prashanth 2) Pushkar 3) Shanmugapriyan
We then headed towards the famous Banyan Tree also known as the ‘Adyar Aala Maram’, which is more than 450 years old and is thought to be the largest banyan tree in the world. We met other fellow photographers who suggested few scenic locations further inside the gardens. The huge Olcott Bungalow with its beautiful arches and pillars completely blew my mind the moment I laid my eyes on it. I came around the building, admiring the architecture and trying various angles to capture different parts of the bungalow. By then it was 8am and I had to head back to the Banyan tree for the technical discussion session. After multiple attempts at taking a group photo, the technical discussion started. Amongst all the photo walks I’ve been to so far, this technical discussion was extremely energetic and I found it difficult to pay attention at certain points when someone was asking a question or answering. After constant efforts I zoned in and learnt a lot about polarizing filters and UV filters. After the technical discussion we had fun taking another group photo but this time it was a 360° photo covering all of us!
Picture Courtesy : 1) Arun 2) & 3) John Ravindran
It has been a long standing wish to explore The Theosophical Society along with my camera. Thanks to the great efforts by the organising team for getting permission to take photos at this amazing location. It’s a birthday memory that I’ll cherish forever!
Write up By Laksmi Priya
Madras Clickers – 31st Photowalk – Theosophical Society, Adyar
19th Aug, 2017 — by Harish Karthik Tk
Theosophy is the philosophy of understanding that there are methods, events, and forces of nature that can not be explained. And this society is there to bring like minded people together to acknowledge the thought of the same – this was explained to me about 6 years ago by a spoke person at the Theosophical Society, Boot Stall.
Now, why would I have gone there 6 years ago? I soo happen to be a neighbor of the society, which spans 260 acres in size and hosts a 450-year banyan tree. I have literally shared compounds with it, studied in a school right next to it and also camped overnight in the compound under the stars. And yet, every single time I have been there before this photo walk, it was restricted for photography. Even during multiple cleanups that were organized, the authority to take photos was restricted to the cleanup zones alone.
Picture Courtesy : 1)Prashanth 2) Pushkar
This is because of fear that public will disturb the biodiversity of the place. Which is true, most mindless photographers just want the best and don’t mind altering the ecosystem just a bit for it.
But for a group such as Madras Clickers, this wouldn’t be the case. Not just because they are under the banner of Chennai Trekking Club nor because it is a sister group to Ainthinai. But because the members are inherently nature loving, care for the surroundings and inherently kind hearted by nature.
So the first hurdle of getting the permissions for the photo shoot was somehow mysteriously overcome by the organizers. Kudos to that. And then the next was to understand that there would be low light because of the canopy of trees and early morning, the light penetration would be low. But still, the enthusiastic participants were active being energized by being around such a rich biosphere. There were birds, butterflies, due drops, a great mixture of architecture and nature, insects, chameleons and maybe a dinosaur hiding somewhere if we searched deep enough 😛 You will never be satisfied or exhausted exploring it all.
Picture Courtesy : 1)Prashanth 2) Harish
Even though I live right next to it, I was late and the walk had begun. I joined to realized that the participants were spread out. Welcome to the jungle, I thought. And continued doing my own thing. Met some friends, shared greetings and continued on shooting.
Everyone’s eyes spot different things even while looking at the same frame. I realized that first hand. While I was occupied with dew drops and color contrasts everyone around me was shooting different compositions and macros. Cursing my lack of a Macro lens in my kit and controlling my mind telling myself, maybe next time, I moved on.
Picture Courtesy : 1)Pushkar 2) Harish
The post photo walk talk was made technically sound thanks to PK and Shinnu who brought up some interesting concepts and it was refreshing to think like an analyst rather than an artist. Maybe we all are a mix of both, being photographers. Some fun moments Karthik anna shooting 360-photo and posing for it ridiculously.
Returning back home from my 6th or 7th walk with the group made me realize that there are soo many photography groups out there and there are a lot of enthusiasts who own bazooka lenses. But what makes MC soo special is that there is a lack of ego between everyone and the organization is fluid. These dynamics make a great environment to learn, and I believe it would be a good place for even folks without a camera to learn and start to love photography.
Kudos to the organizers once more, and cheers to the participants who made it for the walk. And empathy for those who didn’t join, because you might not get the same opportunity ever again! Cheers!
Write up by Harish Karthik Tk