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Boston: Day 37 – November 15, 2010

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts

I spent a couple of hours in the Museum of Fine Arts looking around various artifacts from a multitude of people. It’s simultaneously inspiring and humbling to see such work. On one hand you stand in awe of the sheer talent, commitment and perseverance of these people who, without the aid of any kind of modern instruments or technology, created such magnificent pieces of art. On the other it makes you realize that even with all of today’s crutches it would probably take a really long time to achieve anything that could be remotely considered as significant as these guys. The stuff belonging to tribes and minority communities – articles of religious and ceremonial use, now serve as educational tools to give us a brief glimpse into life as it was for everyone back then. Then of course there are paintings by many artists who lived in the centuries gone by. Portraits of royalty, scenes of religious epochs, of significant and insignificant details, which caught the imaginations of the artist, displayed in all their glory. A fitting tribute to the craft of these people and their art.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts

Spent the rest of my day just walking around the city centre, parts of Chinatown and the Boston Public Gardens next to Park Street and Tremont Street.

Urban Boston

Autumn in Boston

Clock on Tremont Street, Omni Parker House, Boston

Clock

Massachusetts State House, Boston

Boston Public Gardens

Park Street Buildings, Park Street, Boston

Park Street Buildings

Park Street Church, Boston

Park Street Church

Park Street

Entrance to Park Street Subway Station, as the spire of Park Street Church looms in the background

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House

Day 35 – November 13, 2010

FL370. Pete Murray in the headphones and a new land to explore for the next 48 days. Life is good. 🙂

Day 32 – November 10, 2010

Spent the day visiting Birmingham. Not many words to do the talking today, just some photographs.

Birmingham, UK

Birmingham

Birmingham, UK

Birmingham

Church and statue in Birmingham, UK

Church Spire

Golden evening in Birmingham

Golden light

Day 29 – November 07, 2010

A tree in rain through raindrops on a window

Raindrops on a window

The rain kept me in today, again. This seems like some sort of conspiracy to keep me from shooting. I’m not sure what’s more depressing though – the fact that I can’t get outside to salvage something after the death of the D50, or this persistent feeling of inaction, not just because of not being able to shoot, but also the gnawing realization that I’m shortly about to finish the first third of this three-month journey. It’s the same kind of feeling I suffer from when I realize that Saturday is half-over and I’ll need to go back to office the following Monday. Not as strong, but very similar. The weirdest thing, though, is it doesn’t seem to make any sense. I’ve been having a great time so far, and don’t see why my stay in the USA won’t be good. Scotland was great, and I hope I’ve learned stuff through the workshop that will help me become more focused in my shooting.

The thought of planning my stay in the USA has occurred to me a few times, and having worked though an unplanned trip (in the UK) I’m not sure doing the same across the pond will be equally beneficial. It’s possible to travel across the UK in a relatively small amount of time, but I’m fairly certain it won’t work the same way in the USA where distances are large, and the places to be visited are numerous. The idea of visiting various photography institutes across the country to figure out whether or not doing a course in any of them is a good idea, as an idea in itself, is starting to fall out of favour with me. I can’t really put my finger on why and how that change in mindset is coming about, but I can feel it getting stronger. It’s not like I’m considering dumping photography as a career option completely, but the thought has got more airtime in my head over the last few days. Maybe it’s because after the workshop I find that commercial photography is not really what rocks my boat, but I already knew that.

Oh well, no point spending too much time thinking about all this stuff now. There’s more or less no way to really find out what’s going to happen before it does, and I think I’m going to let things take me wherever they want to and then figure out where to go from there.

Day 28 – November 06, 2010

Drove down to an area close to Birmingham called the Stepping Stones today. It’s in a national park in England, a couple of hours from Solihull. It’s not much in terms of adventure, but is a good way to spend some time walking around rural England, allowing yourself to be regaled by not just the geography of the area, but also by the weather that keeps you guessing.

 

All I did was walk up and down a small hill in the glorious sun, which had decided to make an appearance after all these days of rain and an impermeable cloud cover. There were many families who also seemed to be making the best of the weather. Unhurried and completely relaxed is how I’d describe the day. No real sightseeing done, but the journey across various country-roads on the way from, and back to Solihull more than made up for the slow pace.

StrandedMike

Day 26 – November 04, 2010

Drove down to Oxford today. It’s about 65 miles from Solihull and took a little over an hour to get to. Silverstone, where the British round of the Formula 1 world championship is held every year, lies on the way and I was extremely tempted to ditch Oxford and head over to the track instead. Not knowing whether they’d have a track day today, and also not having much money in the wallet did convince me to keep driving without turning off the motorway though.

Oxford is a student city and feels like one. Everywhere you go, you’ll see somebody walking about with a set of notes or a pack of books in their hands, while others scurry about going from home to their college or vice versa. Of course you can’t help but also feel a bit of nostalgia about your own college days when you look at all of them, and it’s a good feeling to be reminded of those relatively carefree days. The college buildings are great to look at from a design point of view, as are the streets and small alleys between them. I mostly walked around and didn’t bother with any of the touted tourist attractions that I find to be trite in a place such as this. Spent a couple of hours walking the streets and came away with a good feeling inside, of having visited what is possibly one of the most revered cities, educationally, in the world.

Day 23 – November 01, 2010

I took a train to Carlisle this morning, where I’ll be getting off and picking up my rental vehicle which will serve me for the next four days in the Lake District in the north of England. I finally decided to make my way down south, out of Scotland, despite wanting to visit the Dumfries and Galloway area in the southwest of Scotland for a few days. The accommodation and travel options there were becoming a pain to pin down, so I dumped the entire thing. I may try to visit this area some time later, if possible, although the chances look bleak.

Leaving Scotland is making me feel strange. I’ve had such a wonderful time here in the last few weeks, and to leave it now to go into what is most certainly a more crowded region seems counter-intuitive to what I want to do. I’m guessing that will change once I get used to being in the Lake District after a couple of days, hopefully.

Reached Keswick a little after two in the afternoon. It’s a small town and looks like exactly the kind of place where you could get lost within the small lanes, only to find yourself out of the town after 15 minutes of walking in any direction! As a result the number of commercial establishments is fairly low, and so are the number of people who throng the streets of the city centre, especially compared to a big place like Edinburgh. It’s pretty in it’s own right, set in a great location close to Lake Derwentwater and in the shadow of the fells that surround it.

It’s been raining again today, especially later in the day, and I’m starting to get a feeling as if I’ve somehow lost the plot when it comes to photography on this trip. The first few days/weeks up in the highlands of Scotland were great, but ever since the workshop has ended I find that I’ve made much fewer photographs, and it’s starting to bother me a bit. The weather doesn’t seem helpful either. I’m going to try to push things a bit tomorrow to get the imaging engine back into high gear. Hope it gets better.

Day 19 – October 28, 2010

Today turned out to be quite a day. I had booked the ticket to Aberdeen thinking that I’d want to at least see one place on the east coast between Inverness and Edinburgh, but little did I know it was to turn into something so unexpected. While walking out of the train station at Aberdeen in the afternoon I heard someone call out my name, and I turned around to find, to my amazement, Barbara (from the workshop) standing there looking astonished (as much at my presence there as my at facial expression, I’m sure!) I didn’t know she’d be travelling by the same train to Aberdeen as the one I had booked my ticket in. I had a faint idea that she had told me yesterday she’d be in Aberdeen today for some reason, but I didn’t know anything about her itinerary. I was as surprised to see her at the station as she was to see me standing there.

We ended up sitting in a restaurant, having food and talking about everything under the sun for a good two hours, I think. She had originally planned to do some shopping in the city before leaving for Dublin in the evening, and I had thought I’d roam around the city after dropping my bags off at the local Youth Hostel. In the end she did manage to get a short amount of time for shopping while I got trashed by the time I got to the hostel, waiting for the bus for almost 45 minutes. I found it so easy to talk to her, both yesterday and today. I think she’s a beautiful person, full of life, and has an easy-going demeanor and the desire to explore new things and places. She has a child-like curiosity for new things, but a sensible approach to them guided by her experience, and I think that makes her a very appealing individual to hang around with, especially in a strange new city, be it Inverness or Aberdeen.

Day 9 – October 18, 2010

Shipwreck at Diabaig

Torridon is such a world of difference as compared to the tourist-infested area in Glencoe. It almost seems as if the entire world has come into Glencoe for hiking, walking, and general merry-making. It’s not that it isn’t a great place to be in, but Toriddon is no less. In fact, according to me, the rugged beauty of Torridon is a level above that of Glencoe, if not more. The manner in which the land meets the waters and the sky at Torridon are to be seen to be believed. It looks serene and dangerous at the same time; intensely beautiful and awe-inspiring.

I spent the first half of the day driving up to the end of the road onwards from Torridon, up to a village called Diabaig. It’s located at the shores of Loch Torridon, and is accessible only if you are willing to traverse a tortuous section of single-track road across the mountains in the area. The views throughout leave nothing to be desired, and when the sun comes out they gain an entirely new kind of look, so different from when it is overcast and cloudy that it’s hard to believe you’re looking at the same piece of earth. The weather being what it is in Scotland, especially in the Highlands, it kept raining and clearing every hour or so and I was fortunate enough to have witnessed the full splendour of Torridon in just half a day. Diabaig itself isn’t much, but with it’s setting along the shores of the Loch it acquires an off-track charm that is entirely its own.  Hopefully some of the images I shot over there will do it, and Torridon, justice.

Loch Torridon

Overall, I am extremely happy with my stay at here today. The second half of the day was much less eventful weather-wise and shooting-wise, but it was also good to ease-off towards the latter half, which helped the grandeur of what I had witnessed in the morning to sink in.

Demystifying 904F

February 2010 marked my return from Australia, having spent 15 months working in Melbourne. Those were probably 15 of the most eventful months of my life thus far. So much transpired within that time that it’s best not to get into it. Let’s just say I learned a lot of things from my time there, and as a fallout of various events that occurred in, and because, of my living there. So once I came back to Pune, life had shown a whole different side of itself, and me, to me. One that I had not been aware of earlier. I knew I had to do something to change the way things were going. There really wasn’t much that was holding on to in terms of my career. It was no career at all, in fact. Think of it more as a temporary adjustment, just till I figured out where I wanted to go eventually.

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