The Child Never Died

The child in me has never died, for

When the morning, gleaming Sun shines,
The aroma of each new day brings a new smile.

Thoughts unbound. Countless dreams.
Coloring the milestones ahead in my stride.

Lives genuinely appear truthful to me.
The love in people’s eyes equals their might.

Recounting experiences; resounding the self.
Reciting the lore called life.

Never did I stop sprinting toward goals,
Never did I stop seeing horizons beyond the sight.

Things anew have always taken me aback.
Things anew have always had me surprised.

Reasons are infinite. The truth remains one, though.
That the child in me has never died.
©Suyog Ketkar

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Top 3 Things I Look for in B/W Portrait Photography

I have been practicing black and white (B/W) portrait photography since as long as I got my DSLR. In fact, for that very purpose, I had purchased a 50mm f1.8 prime even before I got my DSLR. I knew it would be useful. And how!

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Candid shots of kids have a surprise factor. Not for the subjects, though.

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Candid shots can give you perfect subjects in (almost) perfect set ups.

Here’s a list of tips I have come up with after experimenting with B/W photography:

Begin with What and Why

Have a clear picture of what you want your picture or subject to convey. Answer the “what” and “why” through the picture. Think what story you want your B/W portrait to tell and how.

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The wrinkles have thousands of stories folded along.

Let the Eyes Talk

Consider focusing on the eyes. Let the sparkling eyes of the subject, especially kids, do the talking. Focus on the expressions: draw the attention on the subject’s thoughts.

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Yep. Those eyes.

Look for High Contrast

B/W portraits bring out the best contrast in people’s expressions. That’s because there are only two colors for you to play around with. The black and the white are the only color sources to bring out emotions onto the paper/screen. Having a higher contrast helps.

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Depth in the eyes conveys more than the picture.

If you are clicking pictures from your phone, look for settings that give you higher contrast. This will help you highlight facial expressions. For non-portrait B/W, switch to HDR or taking longer exposures. But, for this, you will need a tripod.

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One from my Instagram feed: the underside of a bridge. (London, UK)

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Whether it is? Or, the weather it is?

If you liked any of the B/W portraits I clicked, let me know.

Happy clicking.

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Give Some Space

Sorry for a clickbait title… I wanted one with a play of words.

The article isn’t really aimed at people who are old enough to have learned (learnt for those who speak the English English) typing on typewriters, but also for those who are still taught to use two spaces after every sentence.

The trend has (almost) changed. In the past, people used two spaces for a reason: typewriters had monospace fonts that inserted equal, not proportional, spaces for all letters. So, the “i” consumed as much space as “w” or “m”. The obvious confusion was when sentences ended. So, it was required that the writers insert two spaces after sentences to visibly mark the end of sentences.

Why this post? Now, in 2018? Well, I still come across write-ups from people who use two spaces. I have seen people encourage two spaces, especially in legal documents. I see some people use double spaces in résumés and personal profiles that are not just printed, but shared digitally, as well. In technical publications, we encourage the use of a single space after sentences because we use proportional fonts.

We are increasingly sharing information digitally. Given that context, I’d encourage you to give only space after a period (full stop in the UK English) or any punctuation mark toward the end of a sentence. Not two.

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The Soul Purpose

Brought to thee
The stories that have
Countless stories within, the Self knows.
Who knows what’s more?

Smelt the magic of the rains—
The petrichor. Though,
Drenched, lost, drowned is
My conscious, helpless Self, to the core.

The evening strands of gleaming light have
Your fragrance, or am I
Afloat the love unbound?
Don’t bother bringing me back ashore.

The chirping of birds.
The rustling of leaves.
Thoughts that come and go.
A rhythmic lore it is, I am sure.

Turned orange, the evenings, again.
Silently mourns my soul.
Wilfully nervous, it tells me.
Could oneness with You be any pure?
©Suyog Ketkar

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Harvest

When the scorching gusts of heat
Fade the tears in your eye,
Recite the songs of the Spring,
Believe that seasons change, ask not why.

When circumstances are bleak,
Your bivouac is left far behind,
Choose what you must—
That let me not remind.

When without the trails
Should You journey barefoot,
Seek sojourns within a companion
In whose heart you could stay put.

When You, and only You,
Represent souls in the strife.
Look within as much as without.
Surely, the only rule of life.

When the days are few
You count each one anew
Amidst the hellish weather that
Destroys your crop that’s but already few.

Remember, always, to stand tall
And present the challenges a full face;
That You are your own harvest:
Be that befitting reply; and the one with grace.
©Suyog Ketkar

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Nothing but Hope

In the turbulent tides of time,
The ebb and flow of the fortune, that is,
What holds me in place is
Nothing but hope.

In the pitch-black nights,
The darkness of misdirection, that is,
What serves me right is
Nothing but hope.

In that corner of my heart, where
Words weigh more than memories, that is,
Passion and compassion meet, I have
Nothing but hope.

In contrast with how much I take
That source continues to give, that is,
A soul that is burning forever has
Nothing but hope.

Inquisitive, as ever, as my self is
For the world that continues to unfold, that is,
Full of surprises, I can only hope to have
Nothing but hope.

Into the untraveled destinations as I step,
I am apprehensive yet committed, that is,
Of a belief that I have
Nothing but hope.

After you became one with the One,
And merged yourself, that is,
I wish you to be there with me, after all, I have
Nothing but hope.
© Suyog Ketkar

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