"Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness."
- W. Eugene Smith

Spiti Rendezvous

Multiple Reflections

01 - 03 September 2010 at India Habitat Center, New Delhi
06 - 22 September 2010 at Indipix Gallery, New Delhi

This group photography show displays the visual impact that Spiti, Himachal
Pradesh, has had on the serious photographers that participated in the Landscape Photography workshop organized in July 2010 by PHOTOSENSITIVE. The images are an artistic exploration of the topography, inhabitants and the culture of this desolate yet beautiful region.

Though more can be said to elaborate upon the experience of the photographers, it is the intention here to allow the visual to be stronger than the written word. Presented below, however, are statements from the participating artists. These give a fair idea of the impact Spiti has had on each individual.

When I went for this Photo Tour, I was a novice at photography. I didn't know what would I come back with. For the first two days I couldn't even hold the camera properly and went to my teachers whining I can't SEE anything. Then Spiti took me in her lap and its beauty started unfolding in front of me. Every image that I captured was as if it was ‘readymade’, inviting me to – ‘come and shoot’.

Each of my photographs is a labor of love, for with each click I was learning
something new. Every image has a story to tell. How many clicks did it take me to get it right? How many times did I run to my teachers to ask 'Have I got it now?' And how agonized my fellow photographers would have been at my incessant questioning…I click what I SEE, without changing the original beauty of the objects in front of me.

Of all the works that you see here, the girl in red is my favorite. We had stopped at a village to witness a celebration. Standing in the midst of the crowd, she was totally oblivious of her surroundings…looking up at the sky in amazement, waiting for her mother to get her something to eat from the feast. How fresh the unconditioned child
can be echoed through the mind…

"This adventure, that was supposed to be a dedicated photography trip throughout, was for me anything but that in the first half...I spent most of that time trying to make sense of the very unusual wet and rainy weather...after all Spiti – the Middle Land – is a high altitude desert. It was also a time to purge a lot of what I was carrying from my everyday routine.

Overall a very intense experience, I was completely overwhelmed and humbled by the forces of nature. The one thought that consistently ran through my mind was the complete insignificance of “me” and a life lesson, if there is one, that it becomes easier to deal with any situation that life will present to you if you stay positive, flexible and simply “go with the flow”!

In spite of all the physical and emotional challenges, I did capture some visual
moments that I would like to share...as my vision. These are images that reflect my experience there and I hope whoever pauses to look at them and the entire collection here will take some time off to do some reflection of their own. "


I have always had the penchant for beauty, appreciating the visual, absorbing the sensory and internalizing the experience. Amazed by the transient beauty that surrounds me, I’ve always wanted to immortalize the experience of that moment. Photography as a medium has helped me immensely in pulling out that one perfect slice of time that I wanted to preserve and sometimes share. Through the lens the world takes on another dimension altogether. Chaos can be turned to order, the entire world enclosed in a dewdrop, the part becomes more significant than the whole.

Spiti exposed me to the raw splendor of the Himalayas with every waking moment beckoning to be captured. The drifting clouds, the hairpin bends, and the suddenly revealing vistas both elevated and subdued me. The change in me is permanent.

Spiti Rendezvous - Multiple Reflections is a stepping-stone in bringing my dreams to fruition. A dream to follow my passion. A dream to travel and see India, something that I had never gotten down to doing, until now. A dream to be recognized as a photographer.

The smiling girl on her way to school in Kaza, the lamas doing their ritual worship in form of a graceful and elegant dance at Key Gompa, the sun finally showing up at Key Gompa after 4 days of continuous rain are all a reminder of the 10 most amazing days of my life. The trek to Spiti was my first serious attempt at trekking ever. With my camera I have tried to capture and bring back memories of an awesome place. Memories of friendly people, of amazing friends some new some old, of fights both friendly and serious, of trying to scare each other with fabricated ghost stories, of landslides, of freezing cold nights, of experiencing fresh snow for the first time, of fighting over Maggi noodles, and of loads of crazy fun we all had in this trip. Memories that make me look forward to the next trip.

Photography has been a passion for me, a first love if you must say. It all started years back when my grand father gifted me the Agfa Click IV. I have trained as a Mechanical Engineer and am currently looking after my family business. All these years of photographing as a hobbyist, I have lately been working on developing photography as a parallel career and trying to create a balance between my passion and the family business.

As it has been said - In life, if you do not define the moment, the moment will define you. Photography to me is like defining the moment - freezing a part of my experience, to be shared with others and to be cherished forever. I owe it to Photosensitive for my transformation from someone who just clicked pictures to someone who now uses the camera for artistic expression. The trip to Spiti made me realize how insignificant we are in front of Mother Nature. We got to experience - her wicked humor as she poured continuously while we waited patiently for that perfect picture in sun light, her wrath when the landslides disrupted our travel plans, her beauty when she finally decided that the Sun should shine, and her charm when we discovered Kunzum La in snow.

The Spiti trip was truly a Rendezvous – like a beautiful date with a wild mysterious woman whom you are allowed to admire but not allowed to conquer. The memories of the date however, remain with you forever.

The confusions of growing up are often difficult to sort through. In my head,
photography, somehow always managed to rise above all the other options. What started as a hobby has taken firm root and I intend to pursue photography as a profession or rather a way of life. I am currently studying in high school.

The recent trip to Spiti brought about a drastic change in my approach, be it the light or the composition. Being in the midst of nature in its element has made me question by notions and has firmed my belief that I shall be a student all my life, refining my craft, learning the art and developing the eye...

A huge admirer of nature, I'm someone who derives great joy from capturing and relishing images of the world around me. Photography started for me three years ago, with my first camera being my first cell phone, a tool I made the most of over the one-year that it was functional. Now, it’s been almost two years that I've been using a DSLR. Two years over which the skill, knowledge and passion have only grown deeper. Extremely eager to learn, I'm still discovering new tricks and techniques every time I pick up the camera.

The trek to Spiti Valley was a challenging one, especially with the weather conditions being hostile to photography over the first few days. Our constant prayers to the weather Gods were answered as we started seeing more of the sun as the days passed. With the light of the Sun, beautiful landscapes revealed themselves, and beautiful people of the land stepped out of hiding. Their facial features were different, and so was their skin. For a year, I had been looking forward to an opportunity to shoot portraits since it was something I hadn't taken a shot at yet. Needless to say, I pounced at this one, and thus, portraits dominated my body of work on this trek.

A third year student of Communication design, all of 19, I love shooting graphic abstracts and surrealistic images using unusual angles and longer exposures, besides spontaneous portraits.

The mountains revealed to me a truth that connects the soul of the individual to the soul of our environment. A silence with which every hill whispers its essence to the keen and listening mind. In a world where the gulf between the self and the surrounding is increasingly widening, the mountains taught me unity within and in relation to my surroundings – No matter how complete I felt within myself, there was something looming large and majestic from a distance which made me feel humble, insignificant and thirsting for more - I bow down to it's silence and supremeness.


Legendary American photographer Ansel Adams once said there are always two people in every picture - the photographer and the viewer. I wasn’t born a photographer. I am an artist and photographer by passion, enough passion to make me quit a cushy corporate job and go behind the lens and in front of the canvas. The idea is to tell stories, stories born from an attempt to visualize how a particular sight and feeling will appear on print and canvas. I work with intuition…and a lot of practice. It is this passion and intuition that makes me a regular on Photosensitive-treks. Each year the locales have been the similar, yet strikingly different and each year I am a fresh student. Every trek to the mountains becomes an exploration, returning with unique images and insights.

Nature with all its beauty and ruggedness poses challenges. Camping means
hardships, cold and wind chill, wet shoes and altitude sickness etc but it also means a soothing balm. Meeting locals, bonding with fellow artists and photographers, admiring the ever-changing beauty of the region, in totality these experiences are strangely peaceful. Actually, peacefully numb.

As a photographer, I believe in seeing things in a different light. These distant outdoor workshops have fueled and taught me exactly that, that life can be seen in a different hue each time. Another insight from these explorations has been that a true art need not be explained, nor contained in words, each time it needs to be felt from within.

My interest in photography began in 2002, while I was studying fine arts & design. In 2008, I did a photography workshop with Photosensitive. To me, photography means traveling to places I would never think of going otherwise.

SPITI has been one such experience for me this year. An extraordinary photographic journey filled with magic, craziness, and lots of rain, landslides, some snow and very little sunshine! I enjoy capturing the vastness of landscapes, as well as the macro detail in things around me. This exhibition has given me an opportunity to showcase these aspects of photography.

Me and my lens, both, are driven by curiosity and dwell on voyeur. The need to analyze things from various perspectives is what gives me my dose of adrenaline and the desire to capture an image seeps in once I have conceived the result in my mind. At times this is instantaneous for me but then there are moments when the subject is intriguing enough to keep you in awe and hold you till the final moment of a frantic surrender.

My journey as a photographer so far has been challenging, rejuvenating
and exhilarating. Spiti was an experience that has had a great impact on me and I am only awestruck by the power nature has displayed on this expedition. Hope you enjoy the show.