I was getting somewhat stifled in my everyday urbane life and the desire to step out into the world to discover the unexplored was beginning to give me sleepless nights again. I gave in to the impulse and stepped out a crisp December morning around 3 am hoping to see something new when the sun shines above the Sahyadri again. The Tamhini Ghat near Mulshi (Maharashtra) is wild and stunning in monsoons, but on this day, I didn’t find anything exciting to photograph. The monsoon was long over, and the seasonal streams had all dried up, the waterfalls had disappeared into the rocks again, and Tamhini Ghat was hardly the tempestuous beauty she was five months back. Desolate and disappointed, I packed up to drive back to the everyday humdrum again. As I was making my way back to the city, a placid, innocuous lake called out to me – I had passed this water body many times, so I paid no attention to it at first and did not hear her calling me very clearly. And then I saw the sun’s teasing rays lighting up the hills behind her magically. The quiet waters reflected the serenity distinctly making a peaceful frame that touched my city ravaged soul like the parched desert kissed by the rain.
As I saw the magical shot before me, my heart started to pound. I could barely contain my excitement as the shot emerged out of the lake and called out to me. I was overwhelmed by the effect that the lake was having on me - the calm, serene waters evoked a profound state of solitude, and I was grateful for a chance to shoot it. I needed a composition to bring the words to life, and I knew that the light would stay only for a few minutes. I ran around the first few minutes aimlessly, trying to find a composition that would do justice to this breathtaking view and then I saw a lone rock in the lake. I stood joyously; I knew that I had found my composition finally. In the womb of this quiet lake close to a frantic city, I had seen a moment of quiet perfection and beauty. The rock played beautifully as the point of foreground interest, just that I had to walk into the lake to get close enough. And I did. Very gradually, not to disturb the calm lake, I moved as close as possible to the rock.
THE TECHNICAL DECISIONS
- I went with my 14-24 mm lens to highlight my foreground interest and get the required depth in the photograph.
- I used exposure bracketing to take care of the high dynamic range of the scene.
- Used an HDR merge to bring out the details in the foreground, mid-ground and background.