For a long time every weekend or any other holiday has been a hunt for places to shoot, largely it is in and around Bengaluru for me. I am always on the lookout for places that fit three criterion, such as
1. Is the place at a distance that I can travel easily (my time starts from 4 in the morning till 11 in the night, from the city that includes riding, shooting, resting, and heading back).
2. Does the place offer any element that is inspiring for me to shoot.
3. Is it safe to travel in a small group (max 3-4 individuals).
Riding has been a refreshing experience for me so far. I have always had friends who were eager to travel and shoot with me. Cameras charged, fuel in our bikes, directions set, and on a very very small budget we would set out early in the morning to the decided place. One of such places was Lepakshi, which is around 120kms from the city towards Anantapur.
The Veerabhadra temple is the spotlight of this place and is so for very good reasons.
As always I had done a fair amount of research about the place before heading there. So for starters I learned that the temple has Vijayanagara style architectural features, having been built in the 16th century. The paintings on the ceilings and carvings on the pillars represented stories from Ramayana, Mahabharatha and other puranas.
This was the very first temple that I was shooting. It is strange when you visit a religious and spiritual place as a photographer.
You are not there for any other purpose than photography, but the act of photographing these places dives you deep into the presence and ambience of the place, you tend to move beyond time as you begin to recognise the enormity of the place in its significance in time and space, rather than just a place to worship God. Strong beliefs made this place into a reality, speaks of conviction of man.
The visuals and the structures instilled a sense of history, of a time past, wherein I try to relive the lives of people who built it, who visited and celebrated it for the very first time. The time that they were a part of, the cultural and traditional elements that made them believe, when life was still simple.
Standing in the midst of it all I try to build a bridge between us and them, whoever they were, they were and what they left behind as their legacy. Centuries later it still exists, echoing the voices of the time that is lost, only standing still through time to remind us where we came from and what we were as humankind among all other creatures.
I believe in the power of a photograph, photos give humans a sense of possession of the past and a place, much like why I love to shoot.
For me photography is something that I cannot describe easily, it is much more than a few things that the world sees it as. Documentation, art, immortalisation, memorialisation, drama in time, possession of the past, life in a frame, etc,. Some of the things that I consider photography to be.
The equipment I was on was again a Canon 6D with 17-40mm and 50mm prime lens. It was a beautiful experience visiting this place, spending about 7-8 hours from home to back home again.
That was my Lepakshi experience, I thank you for your time and hope you guys enjoyed it. Let me know what you feel about it. Keep coming back for such photos and for my take on photography.