Posted by: miilee | July 5, 2010

Aimed… Shot… And Framed…

Those of you who’re familiar with my blog (or me, for that matter) know how much of a travel maniac I am. I go off on trips at the drop of a hat. (I’ve been logging my latest trip to Leh-Ladakh in my Nomadic Monologues section.)

However, as I was responding to all the comments on my last post about the journey from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, I saw that most of the people loved the pictures I’d added. I’d casually thrown in the line; A Picture is worth a thousand words.

But in today’s world of surging twitter timelines, bursting facebook newsfeeds and photo sharing at the click of a button, I don’t think we truly understand what a picture can do. It can spark off revolutions. It can unite the whole world for one cause. It can convey a message even to the illiterate. It can document a happening. It can clarify what words fail to convey but most of all, it can tell stories.

Humanity has thus far shown this arcane ability of painting itself into a corner. As a species, we creating things that eventually lead to even more hassles!! I mean, we created languages so that we could express all that we think and feel and yet, through most of the treks that I’ve been on, I’ve spent most of my time being at a complete, total and utter loss of words. The problem doesn’t end there; It becomes more complicated once I get back and people keep asking me, “So, how was the trip? What did you see there?”

Now how am I supposed to handle that? How do I describe all the glorious things that I saw? Walking through forests, traveling over vast expanses of land, climbing steep hill roads through clouds, walking along rivers in the dead of the night with the stars and fireflies for company…. I saw it with my eyes; now how do I show it to you with words?

That’s when I decided to invest in a camera and since my Wilson College Nature Club does have some good photographers as members, I went for the Nikon D40 DSLR camera. It would have scared me to operate something like that before but once you see something magnificent you just simply want to take a bit of it back with you. Now the challenge of capturing the profound beauty of a place on a camera screen is so huge that operating a DSLR looked like child’s play before it; for I could still dream of being an expert at using every operable camera but never in my wildest dreams could I justifiably capture the rapturous essence of something as breath-taking as a Shola forest of Kerala or the awe inspiring might of the Himalayas in something as static as a photograph.

Yet, there still are moments when I find something fit for my camera lens to capture; just a humble moment in time’s eternal fabric. A moment that I can steal from the constant turn of the mill and keep for myself.

I am not yet any uniquely gifted photographer; just an ordinary girl with a good camera in extraordinarily beautiful places. But there are some in my Nature Club who’re aces at bringing into a frame that which one can’t find words for. A momentous expression  on the face of a fleeing Macaque or a meditative look in the eyes of a rescued wild cat, or even the royal ownership on the wings of a gull that soars the skies that he possess. It is a matter of timing and skill along with the undying love for everything that is seen through the cross hairs of the view finder.

That’s why, when my buddies from my college’s nature club, The Wilson College Nature Club decided to organize a photo exhibition, I was thrilled! It is one thing to sift through pictures on a photostream or on a facebook album and another thing all together to take one’s time and scan through the pictures in an ambient exhibition area. As a photographer, I’d like people to see my pictures that way rather than on a computer screen.

So we set about working on the exhibition. Very obviously, the pictures to be used were the ones that we, the members of the club, had clicked over time during the various treks that we’d been to, the focus obviously being on our latest jaunt to Ladakh. A friend spoke to some people he works with and got the place etc put into order.

As a club, we’ve been active for over 30 years and we’ve left behind, a legacy of work as well as responsible citizens in this world and every year, we bring in new levels to take on. This year, it’s this photo exhibition.

There are a few things common about almost every idea that we’ve executed over the years. One; when we first declare our intentions, we’re told that they are ridiculously impossible aims. Second; half way down, we find someone who believes in us and helps us touch those aims. So we take it as a good omen when someone tells us that we’re being unrealistic; it means help is on its way.

This time, help came in the form of the management at Mocha, a popular café. It’s amazing how you find the right people once you start off with faith. I must give credit to the members of the club who spear-headed this idea, for their gumption. Also, I can’t believe how lucky we are to join with Mocha in their initiative; Mocha TreeHuggers. Mocha has just stepped beyond merely being  a cool café or a watering hole to being one of those names that reaches out to pick up their share of social responsibility. They said they’d like to lure the urban populace into the romance of the green and we couldn’t wait to get started with the exhibition to help them show people what nature can be like.

So now, almost a month and a half after the idea was first worded out, we’re able to boast of a Photo Exhibition to our credit.

As A member, I thus extend this Invitation to all my readers:

We, the members of the Wilson College Nature Club cordially invite you to our Photo Exhibition,

“Through The Lens” hosted by café Mocha.

We invite you to look at the world as we see it through the lens and explore it beyond that.


Hosted at Café Mocha, Churchgate from the 3rd to the 10th of July


at Mocha Mojo, Bandra from the 11th to the 18th July



  1. Yes agreed, one can not convey in mere words the wonders the eyes see. Camera are good but it is not about just seeing. When you are their all your senses are involved in capturing the beauty. The sound of a stream, the smell of dew, the call of a nightangale etc also add up to the thrill of an outing.

    Best of luck with the exhibition. I would love to come their and see it but alas I live a 1000 miles away. 🙂

    • Glad you took thw time to read the post. do share it with your friends who may find it interesting….

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