Are There Any Genies In These Fine Specimens?
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Sometimes, photographic treasures are concealed in the least likely places. I took these shots in rural India, in the lobby area of the Cheetal Grand, a popular restaurant with beautifully landscaped lawns, on the highway from New Delhi to Dehra Dun. As some of you might recall, I was in India for five days just before Christmas, of which two days were spent on the road.
During a brief stop at the restaurant on a wintry afternoon bathed in the mellow embrace of pre-Christmas Indian sunlight, I spotted these ceramic pots indoors. The light wasn't great, but the shapes caught my eye immediately.
As always, I had my camera slung over my shoulder and I asked permission to shoot a few quick frames. I disabled the flash, the better to catch the soft play of light across the glazed surface of the pottery. I took the first shot to highlight the gentle curves of three pots - and had to contort myself to make the frame work!
I took the second shot to capture the notion of individuality within conformity. The row of pots had exactly the same shape but were coated in different colour schemes - and if you look really closely, you'll notice that the lime-green pot (above) is a kiln-mutant, for it has emerged shorter than its companions.
Finally, the last frame (below) was taken to emphasise the variety of choice. The sharpest focus is deliberately on the mid-section of the shot, with the depth of field working to produce a soft blur as the serried pots stretch into what seems like the distance - but in reality was only a few feet away.
Infinity is such a nebulous concept to explain. But when you have a camera in your hands, it is a task that becomes so much easier, don't you think?
And yes, while I was taking these shots, I did listen carefully. Just in case I could hear an episode of I Dream Of Jeannie, with Major Nelson in conversation with his devoted genie.