Framing the Stars in New Delhi

 

 

Deep in the corners of Mehrauli Meterological Garden, Shiv Kiran finds his frames with the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Deep in the corners of Mehrauli Archeological Park, Shiv Kiran finds his frames with the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Sakshi Parikh shares her experiences as a first-time crew member of Frame the Star faceoff in New Delhi. Photographers jumped in puddles, climbed walls and trees, got drenched in the rain. But the minute they got THE shot, it was all worth it and their smiles, priceless. 

Life indeed beckons in the capital. Delhi welcomed us with surprisingly pleasant weather and unusually smoother traffic. After checking in the hotel, the crew and participants bonded over a sumptuous meal of Mughlai food, which was followed by an elaborate briefing session by Assistant Editor of Better Photography, Raj Lalwani. Here, we set down the rules and answered questions about the challenge at hand – Frame the Star!

Every day the contestants had only one agenda- 2 cars in 1 city for a day. Immediately one could identify two kinds of photographers. One, who had their shots and shooting locations extensively planned and two being those who were so relaxed that it actually got the crew worried. But, I realised, every photographer has their own way of executing their vision and tackling a challenge!

Dhruv Dhakan in a wide open stretch of land in Gurgaon. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Dhruv Dhakan in a wide open stretch of land in Gurgaon. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

One the first day of the face off, I shadowed Dhruv Dhakan and SP Mukherji as they photographed a beautiful green Mercedes-Benz A-Class and a classy white Mercedes-Benz CLA. Dhruv, who hails from Ahmedabad, navigated us to a huge barren stretch of land on the outskirts of Gurgaon. With the landscape that greeted us there, I assumed he would be carrying a machine gun of a camera, but he began shooting with a tiny compact camera, once again reaffirming that the camera is simply a tool to express one’s vision! Endearingly, he would do a happy little jig every time he got the perfect shot.

Dhruv and his sporty, green Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Dhruv and his sporty, green Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

The weather was soon its moody self with a thick cloud cover and fluctuating bouts of rain. S P Mukherji, being a meticulous photographer, already had his images planned in his head, and at one point heroically decided to drench himself in a puddle of water so that he could get the shot he wanted. “Are photographers a crazy bunch?” I found myself asking. Most definitely so!

SP Mukherji peers into his white CLA. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

SP Mukherji peers into his white CLA. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Day two of the faceoff began with a Japanese breakfast of miso soup and sticky rice as per our participant, Nishant Shukla’s suggestion. After the scrumptious meal, my day was planned around the shenanigans of Shiv Kiran and Manu Yadav, where I would witness them photographing the red and white Mercedes-Benz CLAs respectively. Since both of them were in the south of the city, I got an opportunity to see the famed streets of Delhi, considering it was my first time there!

Spot Manu Yadav! Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Spot Manu Yadav! Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Deep in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, I found Shiv meticulously using his light meter to get the correct exposure. From Mehrauli, I went on to Jor Bagh to catch Manu in action as he decided to scale various walls and trees—all the while smiling— as he translated his vision with the stunning beauty that is the CLA, as his subject.

As I sat on the airplane back to Mumbai after a whirlwind first two days of the Delhi leg of Frame the Star, all I could think about how hard these guys worked with their subjects. Unfazed by the unpredictable weather and striving for excellence, they faced their challenges head on! A life lesson learnt right there.

Tags: Competition, Delhi, dhruv dhakan, Frame the Star 2016, July 2016, manu yadav, Mecedes-Benz A-Class, Mercedes-Benz CLA, S P Mukherji, shiv kiran