Photographer and Poet
At times, in captured moments, when everything comes together to speak a common story, it becomes magical.
Being born and raised in the alleys of North India, where ruled a plethora of Indian, Mughal and British dynasties, the inspiration is not hard to find. Still, collecting thoughts and stirring a narrative becomes challenging because there’s so much to draw these paintings from.
For this shoot, I wanted to capture the opulence of olden days but with an effect of old film. Entire shoot was carried out in a room with massive bay windows throwing ample natural light but the frames were toned down while editing through decreasing brightness and vignetting.
How to keep the production cost low
Giving the shots an old painting worthy look was another agenda.
- I used bright shiny colours like royal reds, emerald greens with gold trimmings, the roses and exquisite jewelry which was this is important to give a detail of the old world.
- I used a vintage Victorian bed sheet for backdrop in my bedroom, taped to the walls.
My biggest challenge to overcome
- Every photographer needs to use their friends and family. For this shoot it was difficult to get my sister to pose.
- The advantage of using your family is that you can see the bond even without us looking into each other’s eyes as this was something natural.
- The camera used is a Nikon D3400 with lens details AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm.
- Not very good with tech specs though.
The siblings of Delhi durbar
Inspired by the royal courts of old Delhi, manuscripts and texts on Indian lords and kings, the royalty, the monarchies and the beauty of the era dipped in ‘Shringaar Ras'(The notions of beauty).
The Roses & Prince
A point of distinction, there he sat amid the court. Scarred yet tender, turning a blind eye to the world mocking his sensitivity. Engulfed in the soothing touch of roses and smitten by the perfume they produced. Just enchanted, a spitting image of the Delhi gulaab, the Indian Rose.
Prince's sister, a vision beyond compare, walks in and takes to the court.The Prince bows down and sits at her feet with a heart filled with love and with a fragrance immersed in devotion.
“Pehne kundan haar, kumari mann mein basti jaaye. Aiso meetho raajkunwar bhi dhoondhe na milne paaye.”
The Princess, wearing uncut diamonds and gold jewelry, was a striking vision. The Prince too, was most certainly someone beyond compare.
The Delhi Gulaab
Prince gives her the rose and asks for a promise.
“Behna tum maa ki parchhai, Dilli ka tum gehna. Baba ki saanson ki sargam, paas humare rehna."
A promise to stay close to the home of her birth. For she is a reflection of mother, the Queen and a song of King's life. The beautiful Princess obliges.
She pick us the roses and returns with a silver tray full of onions. An odd choice of a gift which no one could understand but for her brother who knows his sister well and is even more proud than ever because of the deep rooted love and the meaning of onions.
A vegetable, without which no food is complete as there’s no taste. Just like the tasteless separation in this relationship of a brother and sister. Something which, you cut, will make you tear up just like the ties of family. Something that is grown in the home gardens, just like the beauty and sweetness of this relationship with brother and the ties to her native land.
A silver tray of onions
The Princess obliged, hands over the tray to her brother, makes the promise in heed of a request. A request to love her unconditionally.
"Main aanchal loon sanwaar, beer ji, tum sang dheere chalna. Main lautoon jab sang piya ke, hridaya mere tum lagna"
The princess lays her brother’s head in her lap and while adjusting her drapes asks the prince to forever stay by her side. She requests whenever she returns with her husband, they both hold a special place inside prince’s heart.
Opulence, duty and compassion. Such was the love between the children of royal court of old Delhi.
You can buy Abhi's photos here