I am Screwed

Plan the project! Architects making a project plan.
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Plan The Project!

Planning a Project

I am screwed. Yes. I am quite screwed. Several years back, I had done a project I called “The Seven Cities of Delhi”. Looking back, I remember I didn’t plan the project properly, so I was far over the time limit and the ultimate execution was sub-optimal.

All this, I know, does not tell you why I am screwed, but bear with me, and I will come to that in the end.

I shot the major structures of the Seven Cities of Delhi and had adapted a distinct style of editing for each. As I had done this project after completing a course on the “History of Photography” with the Photography Society of America, I simulated different vintage styles for each city.

The Seven Cities    

Delhi is an old city, and the first inhabitants came here over 5,000 years ago. The Ridge, the Aravalli Forest, and the Yamuna River gave them the perfect place to set up the first settlements, and they did. However, if you read Hindu mythology, you know that the Pandava Brothers founded Delhi and called it Indraprastha. There are shades of Vedic mythology in this, as Indra was the main God of the Aryan time.

There are several theories about how Delhi got its name, but I won’t go into those here.

It is in the 7th or 8th century that the Rajput Kings set up their capital, which became the first city of Delhi. Successive emperors set up their own capitals, which became the successive cities of Delhi. The seventh was Shahjahanabad or the City of Shah Jahan. There is the 8th city if you call Lutyens Delhi, a city.

We also call Shahjahanabad ‘The Walled City’, or ‘Old Delhi’. But, truth be told, New Delhi rests on the ruins of the older parts of Delhi.

The kings set up the first cities along the Aravalli Forest, and the later kings set up their capitals along the Yamuna River. But if the old kings and queens were to visit Delhi today, they’d cry. The Aravalli Forests have disappeared (almost), and the Yamuna River is a bog.

The Project

When I look back, I realize I didn’t plan the project well. I underestimate the time I needed to write the book, plan the publication, and edit the images.

I did a lot of research to figure out how to simulate these old techniques. In certain cases, I was tempted to use Topaz Labs B&W Effects but refrained from the temptation. Sadly, I had to use some actions for one or two specific techniques, but sometimes you don’t have a choice.

On Being Screwed 

In the last few weeks, I thought of re-editing some images, completely re-writing the book, and publishing it in a better format. This would have taken me a few months.

Much to my utter dismay, I discovered that the disc and the backup disc that housed the images had both collapsed. Maybe the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the original or one of the various mutants) attacked them.

When I discovered this, I wanted to sit down and cry. But my flat may have become flooded with my tears, so I controlled myself like a man!

Now, I have two choices:

· To recover the data. I may need to do this, anyway.

· Shoot all the cities again and go through the entire process again.

On 2022

Doors. ©Rajiv Chopra

When I wrote of my plans for 2022, I had not factored in the collapsing discs.

Man proposes, and Coronavirus disposes, they say. Not God, not God.

Except for the realization I may waste a lot of time and energy, it may not be a bad idea to shoot the images again.

If I plan the project well, and I mean if I do a professional job of the planning process, I can take some more time and shoot everything with a pinhole camera. What do you think?

Shall I adopt the pinhole approach? When contrasted with a digital approach, this could be interesting. But it will take more time.

What do you think?

Meanwhile, I will work on, and finish my project, “Doors”.


Incidentally, I got the image for the main banner from Envato. And yes, I have embedded my affiliate link in the word! Envato is a fantastic resource.


Published by Rajiv

I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.

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