My photographs and most importantly the story behind the pictures will open up more awareness and exposure towards the medium of photography and necessitate the pretty reason behind every individual to pursue photography.

Ashok Saravanan Ay shares his 13 wonderful pictures and let us listen to his words as he describes every bit of it, about the photograph, the action or the thought process behind making it.

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1) A Golden Day | Champa View

A golden day | Champa view

This photograph was shot in Pushkar Mela (a five day camel and livestock fair), Rajasthan in 2012. The place in the photo is the passage to the camel fair. Herders bring along the camels through this pathway. Morning light with running camels makes a frame full of golden dust. The unfortunate fact is this pathway is no more existent. This natural path is replaced with a man made roadway now.

2) Varanasi Wedding

Varanasi Wedding

Photograph of this couple is from a wedding in Varanasi. I have been to Varanasi for around three times, but I had never come across this kind of a ritual happening in the ghats of Ganga. I was a bit surprised on seeing this, but i had a doubt if i can click this moment or not, so I moved around to the maximum and approached the place. When I clicked this moment, I just had the priest standing next to me. The magic happened, the groom was not in the mood to notice his beatiful wife or the unwanted intruder (me). I found this memory to be much more interesting than the frame.

3) Puri Beach, Odisha

Puri beach, Odisha

This was shot from the east coast city of Puri, Odisha. That was a weekend evening and the beach was corwded with a lot of activities. Indian women are a bit conservative when they are in public places but that’s not really true when they are in the shores. I’ve always noticed the childlike attitude when they play with sea waves and this old woman was chilling, enjoying the breeze and wave like a little girl. The force of the tide pushed her to the shores and she crawled back to a particular place to rest and enjoyed the waves. I clicked this for the beauty of the moment and the childlike attitude of this old woman.

4) In the Shadow of Men

In the shadow of men

Shot from the streets of Jodhpur in 2012. Brahmapuri of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful parts of the city, which is famous for its blue walls. It was a mid noon when we roamed in the narrow lanes of the city, that’s where I noticed the shadow pattern of a man’s face. To make this more dramatic, I wanted a woman or girl to walk across the street. That’s when the lucky bell struck, I waited of some time and found this woman walking towards us, being a very narrow street (less than 2M) I hide myself in a small wall and waited with my wide angle lens loaded (24-120). When she entered in to the frame, she noticed that a man was standing and clicking. Generally northern part of the Indian woman have a habit of covering their head and face with a veil when they are in public place or when a stranger is next to them. As a habitual attitude she tried to cover her face and the moment happened. I liked the profile of her face that matches the face shaped shadow in the wall.

5) Left One Right One

Left One Right One

An unused leg of a challenged person near the shore temple, Thiruchendur, Tamilnadu, While I saw this, I had a question running around, who’s support system is this? where he’s from?, what made him to leave this in the shore temple and who accompanied his return with out a support.

Form the Hindu mythology, this place is supposed to be the war zone between the Tamil god Murugan and giant like Asura King Surapadma. God Muruga killed him in this place. Surapadma had the power of changing himself in any shape and cheated Muruga. He finally changed himself as a tree and muruga broke the tree with his Vel (arrow shaped weapon). Parts of asura felt that everywhere in the shore and made this sea as red. So I planned an eye level shot to give a priority to the leg and kept that in foreground, turning people as atmosphere.

6) Holi, Sowcarpet

Holi, Sowcarpet

This photo was shot in the 2013 holi celebrations at Sowcarpet, Chennai. This is a portrait of a kid who’s in a shock after witnessing the burst of colors. Holi is celebrated every year at Sowcarpet in Chennai, thanks to the north Indian residents.

7) One Day Old-Wives

One day old-wives

Annual Transgender festival @ Koovagam, Viluppuram, Tamilnadu, April 2013

Of the many bizarre and strange customs/festivals observed in India, the Koothandavar festival of Koovagam is one among them. The very basis of the festival is it’s associated with rituals and the people involved make it the weirdest possible celebration on earth. A celebration of love, death, sacrifice and life. This particular shot was about a young man who completed the rituals. After the holy bath he dressed as a woman for the first time. The innocence and difference in the attire made me to click this.

8) The Elephant Faced

The Elephant faced

Immersion of Ganesh Idols at Foreshore Estate, Chennai. The Indian God Ganesh has the mythology background of a divine kid having an elephant head and rest of the body as a human. This was shot from the last day celebration of Ganesh send-off in the sea shore of Chennai. While dissolving the statues, kids held the broken piece and played like a Ganesh God. The hand intrusion from my co-photographer friend made this shot more dramatic.

9) Making of Taj

Making of Taj

This was shot in front of one of the world’s seven wonders, Taj Mahal. During my trip to Varanasi and Agra with Chennai Weekend Clickers, I clicked one of personal favourite photographs. We were in Taj Mahal and all of us were busy clicking the monument. I suddenly caught a glimpse of a person with a hammer who was in the process of renovation near a pond. The whole scene happened with the Taj as the backdrop. I requested and later convinced him so that I could click him. He agreed and thats how the picture, ‘Making of Taj’ came out. It will always be in my personal favourite list.

10) Clean & Enlighten

Clean & Enlighten

An early morning shot from the ghats of Varanasi, India. While we are waiting for the boat to pick us up for the ride, I noticed this. Suddenly a beam of light from the travellers fell on the group of washermen who were doing their morning duty in the ghats. I like the drama created by the light and the early morning hues.

11) Milk Man and the Flower Vendor

Milk man and the Flower Vendor

Banks of Ganga, Varanasi. That was a great evening when we landed in the other bank of Ganga, before reaching the shore itself, I found these young people teasing each other and pulling their legs. When I reached, I saw this woman taking something from the man and him chasing her without noticing that his only piece of cloth was going away from his body. I had that frame too, but I avoided that as a personal ethic of a person’s moment in his life. The energy of these young people in the frame is the what I wanted to share.

12) The Little Hope

The Little hope

Agricultural land of the outskirts of Chennai are now converted as a residential plots. This was shot from the such a place where some one had bought this deserted land and converted it back as a agricultural land. In the process of digging for the water resources using the procline machine, I found this little life in the middle of the frame. It shows some hope to that place. And after two years this place is now transformed in to proper vegetation land.

13) Brihadeeswar Temple Sandwich

Brihadeeswar Temple Sandwich

This is my on-going project of shooting the massive indian temples in a multiple exposure sandwich method. (10 images in a photograph).

About Ashok Saravanan Ay

I am Ashok Saravanan Ay, a visual designer working at Zoho, Chennai. Karaikudi is my native and I am now presently a resident of Chennai. I am designer and photoshop is the hook which drew me towards photography. I just wanted to start it as an experiment and later photography became a part and parcel of my daily life. I get the feel and satisfaction of living for myself. This transition from hobby to passion taught me how to look at the world around. I don’t want to do photography for living. This gives me a freedom to take my passion forward. I work 5 days as a designer and on weekends I travel or I go for local shoots, so i joined with ChennaiWeekendClickers (CWC). I must appreciate my wife’s dedication here.

Story Behind My Photographs by Ashok Saravanan Ay

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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Ashok Saravanan Ay. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.