As much as I love my handy Olympus E-PL1, I’ve never thought of myself as a photographer or artist. But if the photographs in Postcards from the Forest (by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi) deserve to be taken seriously, then hell I can totally claim to be a photographer. The problem is that I don’t exude that aura of melancholia and poetry. Never in a million years would I think of an answer like “Silence. Red earth. Rescue.”, no matter what the question. Such are the problems of being rotund, snarly and of the belief that dangling magnifying glasses to see a photograph is just somewhere between ridiculous and gimmicky (particularly when there’s little detail to appreciate with said glasses).
Like, for example, I wish I could come up with a lyrical reason behind the 14 pictures I took of two carnations. Something about the pristine silence of white on the chaos of Holi, perhaps? But I can’t. The truth is that I was up at about dawn and I sat in a room that had a bouquet in it. The bouquet had a few carnations. As the sun rose, the light caught the petals and — maybe it was the classical music playing on iTunes — I thought, “What the hell. Let’s take a picture of the flowers.” There’s nothing remarkable about carnations, really. Except the petals looked so damn beautiful through the camera lens. I think that’s why I kept taking the photos. The eye just saw white carnations; the camera saw softness, shadows, textures, shades. So yeah, 14 pictures of two carnations.