Tuesday, April 29, 2008

School Days

Now a chance to mix things up a bit. On two occasions we timed our travels just right to see kids scurrying off to school. Oh to be young again. These kids were as happy as can be and you gotta wonder with the globality of everything, is your next boss among the kids in this picture? What invention or discovery will these young ones make? What sport will they dominate? Will they write a book that has a very profound impact on the world? Never say never and this is very real with the globalness of the world.

Women of India - Part II

I was going through my pictures from the trip and came across some additional photo's I thought everyone might enjoy. It continues to tell the story about the women, the generations, beauty and how their status has changed over the years.

10,000 Feet Above Sea Level

You ever wonder who measured all of this? They have these rules on planes where they don't want you to take out your photography equipment, well sometimes you gotta break the rules. There were some great opportunities to photograph the "grids" in India and Switzerland. The shots from Switzerland in an earlier Blog entry were really cool but I had this thing called a "wing" in my line of sight so I missed some incredible views as we ascended the mountains, broke through the clouds and reached our cruising altitude. As I looked down like a small child with a crayon, I was inclined to start drawing but those skills never matured in me from childhood. Nevertheless, I reverted to just thinking about my family and friends and what they were doing while I was flying high. Below are some pictures and thoughts of mine from 10,000 feet in the last couple of hours of the flight.

I am too lazy to get up and get my camera from the overhead compartment so you are going to do this imagery on your own. Close your eyes and think of a deep black canvas. Take out a letter opener and spoon and gently but purposely architect a 10,000ft view. For the lakes and rivers, use your spoon but be careful not to go too deep as not to flood the city.

On this to India, trek clear across the world (8,000 miles) you really get a sense of how small and fragile we really are. As I look at the map, grids of the world I have lived and am traversing, we are so small. So much to explore, so much left uncharted and so much to experience. God gave us this world as a gift of love and I am glad he blessed me with the opportunity to see so much of it in my lifetime.

I am looking out at Canada right now and I have an Ariel view of a road that goes on for 50+ miles. How many people are down there, can they hear the jets from the plane and is it lulling them to sleep ever so gently as white noise? Do they even know we are up here so far in the air? Is there anybody down there that we know that we are flying over right now? Are we over top of someone right now who is thinking of us? Someone who we are destine to meet, form a relationship, partnership, build a family with, etc.?

The world is so small and we are so fragile? Is someone down there laughing, crying and telling a bed time story to a young child? Are we literally watching someone die but unable to alert the authorities or do anything about it? Things were meant to go on just as they are without our intervention for now but the world is so small and we are all so fragile. There's a certain fragileness when you think of things this way. The patterns on the ground resemble leafs outlined by the snowy mountains below. The roads or passages if you will appear as if they are supplying or funneling the landscape with the richness needed to paint the artistic landscape below that takes our breath away. I wish you could see how small we really are and understand like I do the fragileness of the situation.

Can our friends, family and loved ones below hear our laughter, see our smiles and sighs of missing them. Is there a child down there who is taking their first step and if I cheer, can they hear me? Is there someone down there on the verge of a scientific breakthrough that could change the course of world events? I fear they could solve it today, bring it to market sooner if they could only see it from my point of view, 10,000 miles up.

Every man and woman was given their own instrument of "world" architecture at birth. Instruments for all sorts of intended and unintended world consequences. Time will tell and has told the story of your architecture. Your family and/or friends know if you've been using or abusing those gifts. Some have figured out that they need to turn over the spoon because they were using it the wrong way. Others have now realized that they left some of their instruments on the table which is the reason for their unhappiness or the answer to why the square peg would not fit the round hole. How small and fragile we really are.

In this global world we live in, we have the opportunity to touch so many lives in so many ways. My colleagues were giving me a hard time during the trip because I spent a lot of time talking to the people of India in the evening when I wasn't shooting. Some of these discussions were to relieve myself of any unbridled arrogance I brought with me from the United States. Other dialogue was to learn more about the culture and provide a little broader or maybe just another perspective and some encouragement. I hope some of the seeds I planted while in India take root. Was I successful? I may never know but I couldn't even contemplate this if I hadn't made the investment towards trying. In the global context of things we really are small and fragile beings but with the Internet and these powerful flying gas cans, I mean airplanes, we have the ability to impact globally and global just isn't for business anymore; I adapted that from the old Florida orange juice commercials.

Everything is not for everybody. Everybody will not bear witness to everything. Everyone will not understand everything I am saying about everybody but for those who do figure out what I am trying to say to everyone, I hope your "image processors" i.e. human brain, was able to do the complex math to produce your personal imagery at 10,000 feet above sea level.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ouch, Diet, I'm Sorry

Ouch, diet, I'm sorry, insulin shock, I feel you, I know it hurts but indulge yourself for a minute. You may want to post a guard on the fridge and have someone confiscate the car keys for the evening. Okay, I had a few after I shot these but I worked up an appetite doing all this shooting; yeah right have I convinced anyone yet?

These were delicious but it's one of those situations where they looked better then they taste; anyone buying this yet? Bring a BIG camera into a restaurant with a BIG lens and you'll convince just about anyone that you're serious and not a tourist trying to get a picture of himself with the chocolate cake. This was a restaurant in the Le Meridian hotel in Hyderabad India and the food was awesome; even the non-dessert items. I spent a lot of time with the staff in this restaurant getting some history on the different people and cultures represented in India from the north to the south. Climate differences, social issues from the fair skinned to the more rich in complexion. What to expect on our next stop, Bangalore, and what that experience would be like.

This little talk helped me stay "present" during the last leg of my visit and it speaks volumes to the graciousness of the people of India. Have I taken your mind off the desserts yet? I'll admit, not much artistic stuff going on here. Just basically "point and shoot"; hey I was hungry! I added a little food for thought at the end :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Women of India and their Sarees

It's hard to separate the two in oh so many ways. Whether you talk about the beauty, pageantry or the way they take your breath away, it's all there and I am happy to present them with you.

I didn't know what to expect in so many ways when I got to India and started shooting. My focus was set on the Taj Mahal and not embarrassing myself but when I got to India, their sheer beauty caught my eyes. I must admit I had some reservations about shooting the women of India and making sure I presented and talked about them in a very respectful way. Just because you own a camera doesn't mean your intentions are honorable and that's what I had to deal with in my mind and the minds of the people who watched me as I went about capturing the women and their Sarees.

Most if not all of these shots were taken from a moving vehicle so I had to learn how to manipulate the camera so these shots would be in focus. Shooting from a moving vehicle where the lighting changed constantly was a huge challenge and my camera and I developed a mutual level of respect for one another. I anticipated the shots, it responded when I needed it to and we compromised on the exposure settings; I was right more often though.

The conditions in most of India were harsh through our American filters but you would never know it by looking at these women and their elegance. They had a awe about them that changed the air and mood around them. Their features were amazingly striking and the combination of their beauty and Sarees stopped you in your tracks. I never saw two Saree's that looked the same. I saw almost every color used in the rainbow and yes I broke down and purchased one for my lovely lady - the future Mrs. Beasley. It's going back to Hyderabad sometime this month with a friend to have the blouse cut out and other alterations that I was clueless about. I'll be honest with you, it looked like a beautiful but large piece of fabric and the ladies helping me had to explain the blouse situation to me three times before I understood what they meant. It's a guy thing ladies of which I'm sure you understand.

Anyway, I was and still am in awe by the many color combinations, intricate designs and detailed work on these lovely garments. If you have been to India or are in a work environment where the Sarees are worn you understand what I am talking about. Nevertheless I present to you the Jewels of India - The Women and their Sarees.

P.S. My next post will be on the "Men of India"

Even hard at work, they maintained their elegance

This Saree was so nice I had to shoot it twice

Checking the "celly" while waiting for the bus

Going to Market

Group of women waiting on the morning bus

Many women used umbrellas to combat the heat of the day

Off to class to learn a little C++