Tag Archives: paris

Paris Revisited

copyright Shivani Shah

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!

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

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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

Best of 2012

I realise I’m a little behind on this ‘best of’ post, but I wanted to do it nonetheless. In no particular order, here are my favourite photos taken in 2012 (and a little about each one). Some of these have appeared in other posts before, so I apologise for the repetition. I guess I just really like them.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Taken at the Rodin Gardens in Paris, the photo above is of Rodin’s signature at the foot of one of the sculptures. I didn’t place the leaves where they are in the photo – these are where they had fallen naturally. I love how the one leaf sits so perfectly near the signature.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Nighttime at the Pantheon in Rome  – this is just a beautiful building and was so beautifully lit at night. I sometimes like to take photos of just a small piece of the bigger picture; it lends a certain mystery to the photo, don’t you think?

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

My childhood friend got married in January last year, and of course I stood up there with the hired photographers and tried to capture every moment of the ceremony. I love the detail of her lehenga and the delicate mehndi.

copyright Flamingo Interiors

copyright Flamingo Interiors

I really shouldn’t take credit for this photo. I couldn’t have done anything if it wasn’t for the gorgeous natural light streaming in through the door of this store.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

And we’re back to Paris. I’ve blogged before about how much I love this photo. I’ll spare you the repetition.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

You may not be able to tell, but this is the Roman Colosseum. I have the standard Colosseum photos – the ones where you look at it and right away know what it is. I like this precisely because you can’t tell at first glance. Also, the sky in Rome is gorgeous.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I repeat – the sky in Rome is gorgeous.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I spent two days shooting the Mahindra Blues Festival as part of the video crew. When we weren’t shooting video, I was taking photos, and I like this one because he just looks so happy while performing.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Apparently she always sticks butterflies on the microphone while performing. I thought it was quirky and colourful.

Here’s hoping I get enough photos in 2013 that I’m happy enough with to do another ‘best of’ post next year!

Photographing New Places

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great at the whole “carry your camera wherever you go” thing. The few times I have taken it out with me in Mumbai I’ve got some photos that I’ve liked, but when I’m in my home city and head outdoors it’s usually to get to some place or meet someone.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

When I go on vacation, however, it’s an entirely different story. While I may be headed to a specific place, my favourite thing about vacations is that the clock doesn’t really matter and you can explore a city at leisure. There are no appointments to keep, so there’s no stress if you make it to your destination a little later than intended.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I have to give props to my family, because travelling with me certainly meant that we reached every destination later than intended. I’m constantly stopping to take photographs, and they wait very patiently for me to finish.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Every photograph in this post is one that I’ve taken while getting from point A to point B. Famous cities aren’t just about the big landmarks – don’t forget the people and neighbourhoods as well. And if you get lucky, you might even encounter something unexpected – like a photoshoot in the heart of Paris.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

The Pantheon And The Panthéon

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The Pantheon in Rome is a gorgeous church in Piazza Della Rotonda. What I couldn’t get over every time I passed by or went in was that it is over 2,000 years old and still being used as a place of worship. The grand columns of the portico and the light filtering through the oculus are simply breathtaking. I was seriously in awe every time I saw the building.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Just around the corner from the Pantheon is Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, which is home to quite possibly the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back!

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I also visited the Panthéon in Paris, an equally impressive structure in the heart of the city. It appears to be bigger than the Roman Pantheon, and the crypt is certainly large enough to get lost in (I almost did).

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I was most grateful to have a wide angle lens in both these buildings – my trusty nifty fifty got some great details but buildings this magnificent need to be captured entirely as well.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

The wide angle also allowed me to get my favourite photo from Paris – looking down Rue Soufflot from Place du Panthéon, with the Jardin du Luxembourg and Eiffel Tower in the distance.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Black And White And Shades Of Grey, vol. 3

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The 2,200 photos I took on my recent European vacation reinforced three things I’ve realised over the course of my travels: (1) I love street photography, (2) I’m more than a little apprehensive of taking photos of strangers, and (3) I tend to convert most of my street photography into black and white.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I’ve said it often and I’ll say it again – colour can sometimes be distracting. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything or add to the photo if a man’s shirt is blue or a lady’s dress is green. If you take those details away, you’re more likely to pay attention to his or her expression or actions, and that for me is what makes the photo better.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

DSC_0473

copyright Shivani Shah

You can also use black and white to focus on the details you think are important to the photo, like in the one below. The couple in the shadows in the foreground makes for a nice contrast with the Eiffel Tower lit up in the background.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

The bright, bright street lights and dark blue sky were all I could see when the photo was in colour. That’s certainly not the case any more.

This certainly isn’t a rule, though. One of my favourite street photography blogs, Shoot Tokyo, has a large collection of colour photographs that are just absolutely incredible. In my own work, I made the deliberate decision to leave the photo below from Sri Lanka in colour.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

It just wouldn’t be the same if the bananas were in grey, would it?

Looking Through The Window

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One summer day last year, I happened to have my camera with me when I went to my friend’s house for coffee. While the water was boiling, I looked out of the window and for the first time noticed the bougainvilleas in bloom. It was late afternoon and the flowers looked pretty with Mumbai’s Fort area in the background, so I took the photo above. I’ve always like the photo, but never given it much thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Vatican Museum and looked out of the window to see the gorgeous view below.

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It was literally the middle of the day, which means only bright sunlight and shadows. It also looks nothing like my Mumbai photo, but for some reason I was reminded of it – they’re two drastically different landscapes taken at two very different times of the year, yet each represents the place in some small way.

Every morning while on vacation in Paris I thought to myself, “I need to take a photograph of this pretty little street from the hotel window”. The boulangeries and cafés that dotted the square looked perfect against the fall foliage and are very representative of the city. Guess who’s kicking herself now for never actually getting around to taking that photo?