Of Lanterns And Lights

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copyright Shivani Shah

It’s a Diwali tradition in my family to go the week before the festival to buy diyas and lanterns for the house. We visit the brightly-lit Matunga street where hundreds of lanterns hang all lit up and pretty and wander about, taking our time to pick the ones we like.

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We invariably end up buying the exact same lantern year after year (we might mix it up a bit and change the colour), but the best part about the annual tradition is to see (and get into) the holiday spirit.

Happy Diwali!

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Happy Birthday, Sister!

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copyright Shivani Shah

It’s my sister’s birthday today, and to celebrate we went to the delicious Pizza Metro Pizza for a lazy Sunday lunch.

While I resisted the urge to pull out my phone and take pics of all the yummy looking food for Instagram (I will not be one of those people), I did of course pull out my hefty DSLR because, really, it was too good a meal not to document.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Happy birthday, sister!

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copyright Shivani Shah

In No Great Hurry – 13 Lessons In Life With Saul Leiter

As I’ve said numerous times before, I love black and white photography. This is exactly why I’m looking forward to watching In No Great Hurry – 13 Lessons In Life With Saul Leiter, a documentary about the man who is widely regarded as the pioneer of colour photography.

I’ve only been pursuing photography for three years now, and it’s a little too soon for me to declare with any degree of certainty that I am better at or prefer one style of photography over the other. So while I favour my black and white photos over my colour photos, it may simply be because I need to learn more about working with or seeing colour. At the end of the day, it’s not necessarily about black or white or colour; as Leiter says, “I go out with my camera and I take pictures because I enjoy catching certain moments”. Simple.

Here’s a short trailer of Tomas Leach’s documentary. At only two and half minutes long, there’s plenty of words of wisdom from a man who has plenty to teach us.

If you want to know more about the film you can visit its website.

Rome Revisited

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copyright Shivani Shah

Again, although I wish it were true, I did not actually go to Rome again (I did make a wish at the Trevi Fountain, so someday). I took another look at my photos from Rome and found a few that I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss the first time around.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

If you haven’t already read it, you can see from my Paris Revisited post why I decided to look at this album again. Will I go for round 3? Maybe. For now though my goal is to shoot some more this year, since I’ve been pretty bad about taking my camera places with me.

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copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

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copyright Shivani Shah

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copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Paris Revisited

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copyright Shivani Shah

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post – I (unfortunately) didn’t actually go back to Paris and come back with another thousand photographs. While Paris is definitely still high up on my list of places to travel to, I simply decided to revisit my existing collection of photos.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

It’s been six months since I returned from my trip, and I decided to take a look at all the photos I’d dismissed at the time as not quite up to the mark. After sorting through the thousands of photos taken over 11 days and the processing the ones I’d flagged, I was saturated. Yes, I love Paris, but I was done with the photographs and had no desire to see the ‘discarded’ ones again.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Or so I thought. On a whim I decided to go through my photos again, and I have to say that the few months that have gone by made me look at the photos with a new perspective. I didn’t just see hundreds of photos of the Eiffel Tower or gardens or museums that all blurred into one another – I was able to look at them carefully and pick out a few that I liked as much as the first round of edits.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

This little exercise was certainly good for me, and it made me realise something very important – don’t delete the photograph unless it is absolutely, absolutely terrible. You never know. Next stop: Rome!

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copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

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copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Glimpses of Vatican City

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copyright Shivani Shah

With the papal conclave well under way, there are images of St. Peter’s Square all over the news, and I can’t help but think of my day spent in St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museum last November. The weather was gorgeous, the Square wasn’t too crowded, and I was fortunate enough to be able to see at leisure some of the world’s finest art from just inches away. Also, it’s as good a time as any to share some of my photos from that day on the blog.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I don’t have any photos of the Sistine Chapel because you’re not allowed to take any and I’m not nearly subtle enough to try and get away with it. Suffice it to say that it’s absolutely stunning and inspiring.

Betty In Paris

This has nothing to do with photography, but it’s just the most adorable video ever and I had to share it with you. Plus, it’s in Paris, and you may be able to tell by now that I’m a little Paris obsessed. I just got back a few weeks ago and I’m already itching to go back and explore the city some more and take more photos!

This might be the most fun way to spend four minutes today.

Check out DesignMom, the blog by Betty’s mother Gabrielle Blair, for a behind the scenes photo