"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chandratal Blues

The Himalayas from Macro to Micro

12 September - 06 October 2009 at Indipix Gallery, New Delhi

Animated discussions on Landscape and Close up photography had taken place in the hotel close to Manali. It was time to hit the road. Three Sumo Jeeps had been hired…camera equipment, personal effects and camping gear lashed on…the journey up to Chandratal Lake in the upper Himalayas commenced. The ascent was designed to be gradual. Photographers from the plains needed time to acclimatize to the rarefied mountain air. Walking with camera equipment was an effort…the bodies might be protesting, but the mind wanted to push on…pictures of Chandratal were doing their own slide show in the head…the itch to photograph it on one’s own was very strong. Conversations on the beauty of the lake wafted in the camp air…the excitement was building up as the nose began to peel.

The first sight of the azure waters, in the afternoon, stunned the 12 photographers into a silence that lasted well into the evening…camera shutters clicked away in silent contemplation as they tried to capture the changing colours of the lake. What is it going to look like in the morning? Will the waters be still so that we get a reflection of the mountains? What side will the sun rise from? Where should we position our tripods? Logistics was silently being sorted out. Packets of potato chips lying strewn around were a serious concern. Was this stunning location going to get corrupted soon, now since a road had been made, making it accessible to the insensitive city yuppie? Was the areas bio diversity going to get killed? Could the photographers carry back a set of images that transcended from calendar perfect shots to capturing the essence? Could the images convey the pristine beauty of areas that are difficult to access? Could our slice out of time, make a small contribution to ensuring preservation of the regions bio diversity?

Chandratal Lake is located at an altitude of 15000 ft beyond Rohtang pass and off the route to Spiti. Initially a four hour walk from the highway, a road has now been made up to a point quite close to the lake. This has made it easily accessible to travelers on the way to Spiti, leading to an impact on the natural regeneration of the area.

Chandratal Blues is an exploration of the upper Himalayas by the participants of PhotoSensitive's Photo-Trek Safari in June 2009. Twelve passionate photographers from various walks of life participated in the workshop  and came back with a skillfully woven mosaic of images that capture the changing colors of the lake...the azure skies...the ruggedness of the mountains and the enchanting beauty of the tiny flora... For a week, the photographers roughed it out, capturing the bio diversity of the upper Himalayas.