Assignment 2 - Photographing the Unseen

This part of the course has made quite an impact on my photography, how I work and think about it. Looking at the conceptual narratives, thinking about the impact of captions with images, pondering on the freedom that I have as an artist to give a visual interpretation of the subjects I photograph and the world as I see and experience it, is truly triggering a creative streak in me. I find it exciting to realise that I can have an influence on how the viewers of my work interpret what I've made and who I am, but on the other hand that this influence can work in different ways. I can leave much open for own interpretation, or build in enough visual clues to steer the interpretation in the way I would like it to go. 

Initially, I had a lot of different ideas for this assignment, but chose to photograph the City of Djinns, a place in Delhi where  djinns are believed to reside. Hundreds of people come to visit and worship them every Thursday. Through my images I want to show the emotions and stories behind the people who come there, but also the magic and mystery that this place holds. I would like the viewers to look at the images and let their imagination run free, be triggered by mystery and faith and feel the same connection to the pilgrims of the City of Djinns that I felt when I was there.

Click on the images below to see them full screen.

Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills
I hope to think that my work meets the criteria in this part. Taking the photographs was quite tricky, because I had to deal with a lot of contrasting light and pitch dark places. I think I was able to get the best out of the situations and am especially happy with the portraits of the children. I have stretched myself in Photoshop for this assignment and I am planning to learn more, so that I will be able to produce my ideas and not be stopped by lack of skills and knowledge when it comes to drawing and Photoshop. 

Quality of outcome
After my first attempt, I was not happy at all with the result. I thought the set of images looked a bit boring and they didn't convey the feelings and experience that I wanted to show. I'm glad I gave myself some time to work on the layout and post process other images. I think that there is a better balance in portraits, the mystery of the place and what is happening in the city of Djinns. I was glad to have found the text on the internet, because that gave me something to hold on to when organising the images. Besides that, it tells exactly what I wanted to tell and invites the imagination to run freely while looking at the images. 

Demonstration of creativity
It feels that with this assignment I have turned a corner and feel that I am ready to open up and give myself the freedom to experiment with my photos, use different media and work more conceptually. I believe that this assignment is the beginning of this. At least, that is what it feels like!

Context
This assignment was a result of the research and reading that is required in the course. I don't think I would have been able to work the way I did if not for the examples in the reader and the books I'm reading at the moment. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm taking everything a bit out of context, but I guess that always happens when you're walking on unexplored territory and learning new things every step of the way. I trust that the knowledge will connect at a certain point and also infuse my own work, hopefully. 

Bibliography

Arora, K. (2016) On Thursdays, Kotla turns Aladdin’s lamp. Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/On-Thursdays-Kotla-turns-Aladdins-lamp/articleshow/12214806.cms (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Asif Khandehlvi (2015) An Evening with Djinns of Delhi at FirozShah Kotla. Available at: http://delhikaravan.com/2015/12/10/an-evening-with-djinns-of-delhi-at-firozshah-kotla-3/ (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Sethi, A. (2014) On the real tragedy of secular modernity: Anand Vivek Taneja. Available at: http://kafila.org/2014/10/07/on-the-real-tragedy-of-secular-modernity-anand-vivek-taneja/ (Accessed: 14 March 2016).

Kalia, P. (2012) The Djinns at Kotla Feroz shah, Delhi. Available at: http://www.speakingtree.in/article/the-djinns-at-kotla-feroz-shah-delhi (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Routray, O. (2014) Feroz shah Kotla fort – letters to the djinns and other tales. Available at: http://theyoungbigmouth.com/2014/03/31/feroz-shah-kotla-fort-letter-to-the-djinns-and-other-tales/ (Accessed: 11 March 2016).